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Gameday blog: Canes at Maryland

Al Golden and the Miami Hurricanes will open the season tonight at 8 at Byrd Stadium against the Maryland Terrapins on ESPN. You are invited to join The Miami Herald's live Gameday Blog and participate in our in-game discussion throughout the game.

Lamar Miller Herald Sports Writer Manny Navarro will be here to anchor the blog, answer questions and share his thoughts on both Twitter and our blog. Remember, inappropriate or obscene comments will not be tolerated and will be deleted.

Here are some news, notes and keys to the game before kickoff. FYI, the forecast is calling for a 90 percent chance of rain in the area.

- UM will be without eight suspended players for the opener including five starters on defense: DT Marcus Forston, DE Olivier Vernon, DE Adewale Ojomo, S Ray-Ray Armstrong and LB Sean Spence. Look for several freshman and fresh faces to play a vital role in UM's defense.

- Sophomore middle linebacker Jimmy Gaines, one of three non-freshmen making their first career starts (cornerback Mike Williams and defensive tackle Darius Smith are others), has the responsibility of calling plays with Spence out. Gaines, a standout throughout fall camp, will have to show leadership beyond his years for the Canes defense to have a good day.

- With three starters out on the defensive line, expect to see a lot of freshmen Anthony Chickillo, Olsen Pierre, Jalen Grimble and David Perry -- the second-team defensive line. Chickillo has shown in practice he's physically strong enough to battle with college-caliber players. But it's questionable how all the freshman will do in their debuts.

- UM produced two sacks and two quarterback hurries on Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien, the ACC Offensive Freshman of the Year, in last year's 26-20 come-from-behind win last year at Sun Life Stadium. O'Brien finished a mere 9 of 28 for 134 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT thanks to some solid pass defense. UM had eight pass breakups in the game, seven by the secondary. With safety Vaughn Telemaque the only returning starter back from last year's game -- and questions abound at corner -- it will be imperative for the Canes to create pressure on the quarterback and help Brandon McGee, Mike Williams and freshman Thomas Finnie ease in. Maryland, by the way, finished second in the ACC in points scored last season with 32.3 a game. The Terrapins bring back just five starters on their offense, but O'Brien and three starters on the offensive line are among them.

- Offensively, sophomore Stephen Morris will get the start in place of the suspended Jacory Harris. Of course, last year Morris rallied UM to victory versus the Terps by tossing a 35-yard TD pass to Leonard Hankerson with 37 seconds left to play. But before his final drive when he went 4 for 4 for 60 yards and a touchdown, Morris struggled versus the Terps, going 14 of 26 for 226 yards and 2 INTs. New offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has geared the team's offense for Morris and Harris to check down and make safer reads. Expect UM's tight ends, which didn't make a catch last season against Maryland, to be much more involved.

- Two players who can take a lot of pressure off Morris are running backs Lamar Miller and Mike James. Both had big contributions against the Terps last season. Miller ran for 125 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown and had two catches for 20 yards. James had 10 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.

- UM has new players at three key special teams positions: sophomore Dalton Botts will handle the punts, junior Jake Wieclaw will handle field goals, extra points and kickoffs, and freshman Phillip Dorsett will return punts.

> PREDICTION: On most days, I would take Miami's talent over Maryland's talent. But in this case, the Canes are playing shorthanded -- very shorthanded --  on defense. Only three players who started in last year's win over the Terrapins (Nicholas, Telemaque and Buchanan) are scheduled to start in this year's game. The big losses for me are Vernon (sack last year vs. Maryland), Spence (3 tackles) and Armstrong (5 tackles, INT). It's not that I don't think UM's defense can step up and answer the bell. I think they will play inspired. But you are asking a lot from a lot of guys making their first starts playing on the road, in bad weather conditions and in a hostile environment. There are bound to be lapses and mistakes. I think we'll see a big night from Miller and James again. But it probably won't be enough. Maryland 26, UM 24.


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I trust the coaching on this one. I think Al Golden and staff are just good coaches. OL is still there, n RBs, and GOOD COACHES.

Your wishful thinking, but you're wrong.

Manny, I hear ya about being short-handed, but you're saying that our offense, which will be pretty much intact, can only hang 24 on MD. If that's true, we are in for a long season.
I'm interested to see the real-time coaching of this staff and adjustment they will make - hopefully much improved from the previous regime.

I have no illusions about this game. Grimble, Pierre and Chickillo will be asked to play much more than they should have to because of the problems. To me, the loss of Porter and L. Robinson (D-tackles) to injuries is the biggest problem of all. UM needs pressure on O'Brien from the front 4, and I'm not sure it's coming. I believe in Golden, but he can only do so much. I'm hoping the offense plays its best because that is what it will take.

all that needs to be said manny, U gotta believe. go canes

Blow Me Manny...You can barely pick your nose let alone a football game. This is a different team MANNY...pull it together!

24-7 THE U

Offense will be fine, the D just has to play decent. We don't need a top ten D to winn this one.I think we win!

Did'nt I hear we would blitz alot more this year a few months ago. Chickillo may become a household name tonight. Let's go 'CANES!

I do not know if it is good thing or to have only 3 starters from last year playing tonight. If I remember, the last game, which was the bowl game vs Notre Dame, the starting 11 couldn't stop run. New season. New team. New results!


Dau. It's a good thing if they are MNW playets.

Go canes!!! Terps are getting squished like a turtle crossing the highway!!! Let's do this Frosh are stepping up big time Canes 31-terds 17!!!!

So, what will the reasons be tonight Cane ClUcks ?

They need to stop our play makers first in order for it to be a close game. Don't forget it will be the first time Maryland or anyone in the country sees our new offense. Secondly, don't make it sound like we are starting FRESHMEN against them, the starters have some kind of experience and already know the speed of the game unlike TRUE FRESHMEN. After all, I think we get a great win, an ACC WIN. At the end of the day we can count on the whole team, if you are to The U then you better be ready to play.

It's All About The U....

I'd like to thank the Herald for once again failing to cover Canes Gameday like a first class publication, never mind a home town paper. Thanks for the gameday preview and match ups that every home town paper provides......

Can anyone recommend a solid publication that I can start reading?

disagree with mannny completely nis maryland dewe should destroy them
fense any goo0d we beat them with crappy coaching last year

The reason for your morbid obesity? Virginity? Stupidity?

Dunnno, Pig. Guess there is no excuse for a slob like you.

Pig meet shark. You jumped it.


yeh check out cane sports...they got a great new gameday interactive thing-a-ma-gigg....

2hrs to gametime. Why not make this a 7PM start. The young fella has school tomorrow and I'm trying hard to get him an extended bedtime to see The U step back big on the national stage tonight!

That's right haters. Lots of negative press goes by the wayside tonight when The U goes up to College Park missing 7 starters and beats the Terps!

Outside of LSU, Oregon, Boise, UGA, Baylor and TCU; no one played anybody worth beating their chest about this wknd. Once again The U starts off the season on national TV against a quality opponent and on the road.

This team has 4yrs experience starting the season like this and tonight it will show. A talented team with strong leadership will rally around themselves and take that us against the world mentality to MD and deliver the beatdown.

I just wish they could blow off the ESPN clowns who will want to interview them and talk about how they stayed focus and blah, blah, blah...Win the game CANES and step on the bus.

The hell with ESPN, Yahoo Sports, Fox and all the haters that hyped up a nothing story. $4000 worth of impermissible benes for 12 players and they're talking death penalty!

Channel that anger and bust that Terp @ss tonight!

Totally different team tonight than we saw in December...more passion, more heart, more desire, and much more nastiness.

Dau. It's a good thing if they are MNW playets.

Posted by: ltcdolphin | September 05, 2011 at 04:53 PM

The idiocy goes on and on and on.
Tell me spelling bee champ, where's MNW?
Where is this MNW where these "playets" come from?
That's what I thought, you don't know where, so do us all a favor and SHUUUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUP.








-1. Still not talking football for a herald troll to get the count up.
MNW. Miami northwestern but you knew that as you continue to make a fool out of yourself.

Go Canes! No infighting. Let's all just root for the Cabes!

Miller runs for 200+ tonight....

Lol many does a good job with coverage of the team....but when it comes to picking always seems like he picks against us. Even when I played high school ball and many covered high school ball he always picked against us but.....we won state so go figure

C.....A.....N.....E......S, CANES!

This will be a close one. With the wet field and the rain the passing games for both teams will be limited. 15MPH wind and rain. Both teams will put 8 in the box and it's mano on mano! Only the strong survive! Heres hoping our D is up to the challenge. All we have heard about the entire off season is how much better shape we are in this year compared to years past. We will learn a lot about whether or not that is true tonight. On the other hand, the temp will be in the low 70's to upper 60's and we are used to the heat. Hope that works to our advantage down the stretch. GO CANES!

so far, same as olast year

Corners gotta tackle better!!

dcoordinator looked terrible on first drive.

looks like whipple calling plays out there

Wow just one series but Morris looks awful. Cost us six with first of two very bad overthrows

We r being seriously outcoached. We thought all they would do
Is run, and edsall knew that.

d looks terrible

Is the defense sleeping

Help me out here, how are we outcoached?? Are they playing now???

very hard to watch this

LMAO at UM's "what is supposed to be defense"


Your right. He should have run that in

Thank God

Not feeling Morris at all!

We gotta start tackling better. And the O needs longer drives so the D can rest!!

How do you feel about coaching now? we are being out coached on every play and it has nothing to do with players missing.

I'm talking preparation. It's obvious we thought they would nonstop run. Strategy. They our outcoaching us. Better strategy and preparation, which is so important. We thought they'd attack our d line and they haven't hardly at all

Im totaly disgusted, what a shameful display , maybe my beloved canes sre done forever, this is not hurricane football....

why are the corners giving them so much room

How are we being outcoached.

1st qtr goes to the off, def, and coaching of maryland. i thought golden would have us better than this. i guess it was all hype again for another very looong year
like last year and the year before and the year before and so on

Pat nix plays are beating us right now not players.

We got this garbage on for the world to see.

221 yards of offense in first quarter a joke.

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