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Al Golden's Sunday transcription: Defensive woes, injuries, Seantrel, Lamar and more

UM coach Al Golden spoke for 15 minutes Sunday after reviewing game film of Saturday's heartbreaking 38-35 loss at Virginia Tech. Here's a quick bullet item before we get to the transcription:

> With the Canes banged up at defensive tackle, Golden said he gave the okay at halftime to burn the redshirt of true freshman Corey King. King along with senior Micanor Regis, junior Darius Smith and true freshman Olsen Pierre who "is healthy again" according to Golden may be the only healthy available defensive tackles in next Saturday's game at North Carolina.

Asked if he might switch someone over from the offensive line or defensive end to play defensive tackle, Golden said: "No. We'd rather go with King and train somebody who is going to be there long term."

As for Adewale Ojomo, who didn't play a snap in the second half after getting injured, Golden said he had "no idea of his status right now."


Q: It was a tough loss. What did you tell the team after the game?

A: "I'm not really too much concerned about myself. I'm process oriented. I'm going to get back at it today. We've moved on now. It's time to get going and see how much better we can get. In terms of the team, I think they know the things they did that were good. We stick together. We had some leadership from some guys that to be quite honest hadn't stepped up. They stepped up. Both at halftime and during the game. We needed that. We have unity. We stayed together. We didn't splinter. It could have gotten real ugly down 21-7. On the road in Blacksburg. It could have gotten ugly. The guys didn't let them do that. We outscored them 21-14 in the second half. If you have said 'Coach you're going to get 519 yards of offense and you won't turn the ball over, I never thought I would feel the way I feel this morning."

Q: Is there any part of defense you are satisfied with?

A: "I think our will linebacker is a great player. He prepares and works his tail off. I think Sean Spence is exactly what we're looking for. Clearly, we've been pleased with JoJo Nicolas. Jimmy Gaines I thought played really, really well. Played hard. Chickillo continues to be a guy we feel we can build around. Brandon McGee is making a lot of progress, quietly making a lot of progress. We have a long way to go on defense -- that's the bottomline. We have a long way to go."

Q: Does anything concern you more on defense than others?

A: "It's everything in general. Again, it's just hard to get to get any continuity. I think Ray-Ray [Armstrong] would be the first to tell you he didn't play well. It was his first game out there in this defense and it looked like it. He did not perform the way he's capable of performing. He has a long way to go in terms of his development. We hope this week for him won't be Game 1 to Game 2. You hope you make a lot of progress and get back to work. Clearly we have issues on the defensive line. We've had a lot of combinations on the defense. We just need some of the younger guys to keep coming along. Darius Smith is in his fifth game and Denzel Perrryman. Hopefully we Adewale healthy. He'll give us some help inside I think. Shayon Green played more. Kelvin Cain played more for us. I think McGee is getting better. We just have to keep going."

Q: How much does the lack of depth on the defensive line and inexperience in the secondary dictate scheme at this point?

A: "It's all dictated by personnel. I'm not going to tell our opposition. These questions are tough to answer. You don't want to tell the opposition exactly what they are. I know they're good coaches and they can see. But I don't want to help the along the way. But clearly the playcalling, the actual structure of defense, the personnel groupings -- that is all dictated by our depth. If we do have to protect a certain area, I don't think there's any question about that. We're not a defense right now that can line up -- they play schemes too. We can't just line up let 'em loose. We're not that kind of unit right now. We have to build and hopefully we'll continue to make progress."

Q: You have to play your first three conference games on the road how do you feel about that?

A: "I'm responsible for coaching the team and getting them ready to play. You have to play them home or away. We have to develop a no excuse mentality around here. That's one of the issues. We have to get to the point where we're not making excuses no matter where we are or who we play or what time we play. That's the way the conference designed it. Discussing it or being upset about it, none of that isn't going to help us get ready for Saturday.

Q: Did Virginia Tech passing as much as they did surprise you?

A: "I don't know if it was a surprise. I think going into the game we wanted to stop the running back and the running game. We were doing that early on. I can't remember what Davis' numbers were at the half. Now, we didn't stop him, but we had him in check at the half. I think he was in the 60s or low 50s, I'm not sure. We just gave up too many explosive plays. That's part of the issue right now. We're giving up deep ones. We score a touchdown to take the lead. We kick out of bounds. Next play they score. You just can't win doing that. Again, we get in an environment like that Saturday, get nine penalties. I can't tell you how disappointing that is -- that we're still getting selfish penalties in a game like that. It's bothersome for sure."

Q: How much did Seantrel Henderson play and are you hoping to get more playing time from him at North Carolina

A: "We're hoping he'll get more. The problem is [Jonathan] Feliciano has something to say about that. That's the deal. Feliciano, just like B-Wash at left tackle, B-Wash is kind of boxing out [Malcolm] Bunche. If Bunche wants to play more he's going to have to beat him out in practice. Clearly, that's the same situation over there. Feliciano is grading out well. If Seantrel wants to beat him out he's going to have to beat him out in practice to get more reps. Seantrel played 24 reps in the game and did a good job. He's making progress. We know he's got to keep his weight down. Now you're talking two full weeks of football practice, now this will be his third.  Hopefully he'll continue  to make progress. He brings energy. He has all the tools. He just has to get to the point where he shows he can beat out Feliciano or show he's one of the best five. The hard part is Linder, Horn and Gunn are playing so well there's just not enough room to move inside. Those guys are doing so great, they're grading over 90 a game."

Q: Henderson did help Saturday didn't he on a big third down conversion near the goalline?

A: "I don't think there's any question he brings energy to the game. He loves the game. It's just hard right now to say he's playing better than Feliciano."

Q: Can you expand on what you meant by the selfish penalties?

A: "The penalties we've had. You're going to have an operational penalty in that environment. I understand that. I would prefer to have none. But if it happens, OK, I get it. 5-yard [illegal] motion, OK. But Seantrel got a personal foul. [Freshman linebacker Gionni] Paul got a personal foul. Ray-Ray Armstrong just got a horrendous penalty on a 3rd and 7. We're going to get the ball back 14-7 at around 40 with a two-minute drill and try to tie it up at the half. Instead, they convert and score. So that was a dagger. Jake's kickoff wasn't selfish, but certainly unacceptable. The next play they score on a 60-yarder. I think three of them are selfish in nature, personal in nature. We have to get them cleaedn up. But I'm real disappointed to go into an environment like that, don't turn the ball over, get 500 yards of offense and something we can control like penalties turns out to be a major factor in the game. That should never be that way. I'm going to continue to work until it gets fixed here."

Q: Lamar Miller is third in the country in rushing yardage. Is he in a zone right now?

A: "I wouldn't call it a zone. The last two weeks he wasn't running like he was running last night when he was running like he was running against Ohio State. Clearly, he's healthier now than he had been the previous two weeks. In fairness to the kid and appreciation for what the kid really worked through, he was really struggling with that shoulder for a couple weeks there. And he fought through it.  I'm proud of him. He and Michael [James] were running the way they're capable of running. And that's what we're going to need here the rest of the season. We're going to need that type of running. Clearly, Eduardo is carving out a little niche for himself. That's what we need. I think Lamar really ran hard. He really finished his runs and so did Michael. And I think the offensive line was finishing better."

Q: Is the offense just going to have to carry the load moving forward?

A: "I don't think there's any question. We're all watching the same game. We're trying to do everything right now on defense. We've had multiple defense lineups. But we've got to stay healthy. We got to get some guys back. I don't know if at any point if we'll get guys back. Hopefully we'll get Ojomo back. And a week from now we'll get Vernon back. Hopefully we'll get to the point where Chickillio, Perryman and some of those other young guys are no longer playing like freshmen.

Q: You said it was an emotional halftime, what happened?

A: "I thought we were very calm at the half. There was a lot of good teaching going on. I think the one thing these kids are going to learn about our staff is we try to be consistent, we try to be the same guys -- no matter what. That's what we have to learn as an organization. Even at the three minute mark when we go ahead. We don't know how many times those last three minutes the ball is going to exchange hands. We just have to prepare to be a team that keeps working in a two minute situation or a four minute situation. We did that initially at the half. I said a few words and then a couple guys stepped up that hadn't stepped up. We left the room. I thought it was critical for guys to get out of their comfort zone and clearly they did that. They thought they were going to win and they believed in each other."


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Its not about "dread head and gold teeth" that make the U. Its smart defensive players you fools. Vilma, Morgan, Lewis These guys werent dread head gold teeth wearing dread heads. They were smart football player who studied the game. Spence is good but he's 200 pounds he can only do so much.

Another observation is, let these guys play man these guys are not playing zone well. The point of a zone is to cover an area, these guys arent good enough to do that. Simplify it! play your man and drop the safties. MAN UP!

no questions about the fake field goal?
A miami defense has never been this pitiful. I do not want to hear about talent left behind. There is enough talent to win with a decent defensive scheme. i can not be LOUD enough here; i can not do anything with this half assed 4-3 / 3-4, linebackers playing off the ball 1 extra yard, defensive line being coached to get blocked, and what are you doing with these safeties?
Rule 1 on defense; pressure the QB. if you can not do it with 4; BLITZ!!! if not the opposition will pick apart this 'scheme' This Hokie QB had what 2 incompletions.. When you can not stop anyone you can not win.

oh... i have never seen a team that wants their DE's to line up off the ball. What is that? We are getting ran on cause the LB'ers are 5 yards off the ball and the DE's are a half a yard off the Ball. I do Not Comprehend.

as far as players. Perryman might one day be a very good player but as of now his performance is pitiful. More kelvin Cain please.

Defensive football is my favorite part of Football. Right Now Miami has no Defense. Miami has no Defense? That can't be right...

Coach Golden YOU are a TRUE CANE..no mistake about that...when the emotion of the loss to your guys stared you in the face..we as 'Canes fans could feel your pain...THANK YOU for putting a FACE on our team.
Never have I watched the 'Canes (been watching since the 80's) did I feel more proud in a loss than the Tech game..My flag was flying and I have 3 neighbors who are Tech fanatics who said and rightly so "that Was a Hell of a Game."
All the guys on the team....THANKS...we showed more heart in losing than many teams show in winning.....Talk about LEGACY..this Tech game could be the turnaround and MOTIVATOR to show that 'Canes go to the last round..
Sorry we lost but very proud of my 'Canes.. and now on to Chapel Hill...we have something to prove.
I repeat I am Real Proud to be a 'Cane.
Go 'Canes.

The game was not loss because of the failed fake play in the first quater, the game was loss because, the team's lack of defense because when you allow your opponent's quaterback to walk in the end zone untouched and when with only 2 minutes more or less of game left, you allowed the other team to walk all over your defense to close with a walk-in touch down. You really stinks.

We are the canes
We lost again, but we almost won
Heck we are a few plays away from 5 -0
We look better while losing than most teams do when they win
This is a legacy game, cane legacy, look good while losing, almost win, go canes
In Al Golden we trust
A true cane, knows how to lose and look good
Good call on the fake field goal
Good non adjustments on D
Go Al Go
We are the canes

Mr. Golden plan for this year is for the "birds", and I do not envison the UM team getting any better defensevely an ytime soon. The defense is too porous and it has no "Leadership" at all.

I believe the offensive position rankings will get better at the season progress. The U have to be rank in the top 10 in rushing yards, any running back or team doing better than Miami's Lamar Miller, is doing it against cup-cake opponents...dang, and see this is when we needed that win againt K-State,as Saturday's game could have went either way,and it did, but heck, take a few of those calls away, Miami Would have won, so what do we have,,we have team that could easily be 4-1 or 3-2 still with a shot of winning the conference, but in all reality, we have a very talented offensive team, with NFL prospects, several on the offensive line, at QB, WR, and LM, Safety. But the team do not play well together, I think the Administration needs to build on campus dormintories for the players so they can spend time with each other, live with other, and really come to trust and depend on each other, if you go around teams like LSU, Florida, Alabama, heck most of the Division Team have housing specifically for athletes, but at Miami, these players are scattered across Coral Cables, 2-3 per apartment, and this just dont build any team chemistry at all.

Roberto norori have you been under a rock since this season started...suspensions, and injuries have created a patchwork defense with guys being plugged into new postions without any playing time.. we started the season with a PATCHWORK defense and injuries have made it worse...Just look back and in EVERY Game we have played all the way to the last minutes of the game..What "Leadership" are you referring to when the group has NEVER been cohesive and consistent in it's makeup to really develop into a Defensive Unit, as a GROUP...
Yes we lost because of defense but the team played remarkably well to come back and make the game as close as it was..
You neede to look at the total picture.

It's refreshing to finally see some positive comments, but still way too much negativity. We should all be praising the efforts of the coaches and players... This team has already made great strides. They're really starting to buy into Golden's philosophy... Let's be honest with ourselves, he inherited a team that has lacked discipline on the field and the players have not been fully developed... So, he's had to play very young players. With that said, Golden has been able to keep them in every game -- tremendous progress!

They're making significant strides in developing a culture of toughness and integrity... In this game against VaTech, in a very hostile environment, they showed solid play throughout. Of course, the defense is struggling, but they are definitely getting better in spite of the youth and numerous injuries... If any of you know anything about Canes history, Jimmy Johnson's defense was terrible his 1st year at Miami (1984), allowing an average of 24 points per game and in the final 3 games, allowed 42 to Maryland, 45 to Boston College (remember Hail Flutie!) and 39 to UCLA – all losses, by the way! The following seasons, his defense allowed about an average of 16 points per game (1985) and 12 (1986).

What Golden is teaching is quite similar to Johnson, and the transformation will only be fully implemented in year 2 or 3 -- not his 1st year -- see the stats from Johnson's 1984 season for a little perspective! So, his players are learning all about character and patience -- 2 things that the bloggers on the Canes sites should learn as well. All the haters on the Canes blog sites are the ones that should truly receive NCAA sanctions -- 2 year probation from any blogging! I'm all for Freedom of Speech, but it shouldn't be extended to Negative Fanatics and Heretics!
All you negative Monday Quarterbacks need to give it a rest and just sit back and enjoy the process -- a little perspective is warranted… Act and sound like a true Fan! -PT

Golden's term "selfish penalties" is a good one. In other words, don't make a mistake that is going to cost your team. The refs watch Miami like hawks for that stuff.

We are the canes
Golden is the best coach in the Universe
Woe be unto all the haters
NCAA will ban the negative bloggers
NCAA will forgive the Golden canes
Release Shapiro and have him resume the payments
Better yet, forget Shapiro, bring back Uncle Luke
He knows how to buy wins
Golden and Uncle Luke, together
Dah U will be back

AntiCane, U out there??...I jinxed us when I said VT is KSU without the running QB.

I like what I see. No, I dont like what I see on D, but I like their heart. How many times have we been "blacksburged" where those 14-0 VT starts turn into 38-10 finals?

No predictions. No gloom and doom. We'll see how the next 7 play out.


I am retarted

You guys are funny. We are as good as KSU and VT and we showed it on the field. Two top 15-20 teams.

4-8??? C'MON MANNN!

The only problem we have right now is a Defensive Coordinator who puts our players in the wrong position...his schemes are terrible...our defense is so predictable...we come out in a 4/2 defense on most every play...no imagination whatsoever...why can't we put 8-9 guys on the line..we can always drop 3 or 4, or blitz...we do nothing to try and confuse the quarterback...this needs to change and fast...we really should be undefeated at this point..come on Al, its time you had a heart to heart with your defensive coordinator.

This was a good dog fight. This kids are starting to get it.. If we gonna loose at least loose fighting(which we did). We are not loosing anymore games.. we are going to give NC and GT a lost. Boys great game.. thats how u fight... next time we will win..

Got 2-4?

Get ready, cause its coming!

You guys are just too young. I heard Jacory had a cold too. You are 5 games away from being 6-0. All you had to do was schedule Bethune Cookman 5 times.

Will you show up to the ACC title game? Ever?

Go back to being an independent. This conference stuff is just too hard for you guys.

Good fight, we were in it till the very end.
We can still win the ACC with a great deal of help if we run the table and find a D that can tackle. We already have the best coach and Jacory is learning and improving as a senior should. I predict we will beat up UNC,just like I predicted against K State, but this time I am right because Golden spoke so well after the loss. Our kids are starting to get it.

Amen to PT and canes305u...."Canes showed guts in the dog fight...for one step to the left or right we would have walked out with a win...
Hang in there Al u are the glue, let's stick together and play hard..fight until the last man standing...keep conditioning and we will be pressing in the 3rd and 4 th quarter, for the win...I see a pattern here. "GUTS"
Go 'Canes.

I see a pattern too. We coulda, shoulda, woulda. But we didn't. We could be 5 - 0, but we are 2 - 3. We do look pretty while losing or loosing. One day, we will win, probably when we play Duke. We should give UNC and Ga Tech a good game, keep it real close and pretty. What a great coach we have!

Only time will tell if Golden was the right Hire. Its not lack of talent because few of those will go to the league and perform well on that level.

Man, I am in on all this negativity. The only thing keeping me from suicide is that we are not Trailertrash Gatrs. Then it would be worse. Far worse.

Hang your head in shame trailer maggot Gatr fan. No team and a useless diploma. What a horrible way to go through life.

Anyone have the updated depth chart, for this week againgst carolina? It has been released on inside the u.com today. But you have to be a member to read? Peace!

Go Canes

Boys we are not Bad.. going into VT is not easy, trust me I was there. And what ever Golden said to them at half time got them fired up.. so it shows that winning hard games with the players we have is possible.. Ill see U in chapel Hill....

We got to keep our heads up here guys. We can still pull a decent season. We're close, not there yet, but close. I don't believe in moral victories because I personally believe that they are for the weak but dammit we're just inches away from being something special. We're absolutely conditioned physically because we can see that by the 2nd half of play the opposing team is huffing and puffing while we're still smiling. That's obvious to everyone to see.

We can still do this!!!


I see a team that competed but its the big plays that are killing us. We need defensive players that are dicipline and smart. Hopefully Golden will get his guys in and they are.

I can see another D-Coordinator. This guy can' adjust his tie never alone a defense during the game. I like coordinators that can recognize the changes needed, huddle the guys up and make the adjustments.

Although we have lost 3 games they all could have been wins with a little luck. I liken this to the way the Detroit Lions played last year. This the Lions are winning the close ones that got away last year.

Another Hokie here to say how impressed I am with Al Golden. He's got a great attitude and an appropriate level of competitiveness and maturity. Everyone in the conference benefits from a really, really good Miami team, and I think Coach Golden is showing he can build that.

why can't we blitz? This was an inexperienced QB and we let him off the hook. I just can't figure it out. BLITZ BLITZ BLITZ. We sat back and let him just play catch!!!!!!!!!!!SO FRUSTRATING> I like Golden...but when 4 out of 5 games we come out unprepared and then on three losses we can;t finish....that just seams like coaching. someone HELP!!!

We gotta stop bashing the D coordnator. he has little to work with. How many times do we see the DL, LB, and DBs out of position? This is basic football that a decent Pop Warner player understands. Coach D had a terrific defense at Temple. Are they smarter than the Canes? Bigger, faster? Why? Because they bought into the system and played as a team. Coach Golden is a great coach. His first hire was Coach D. Nuff said. Yes, I would like to see the defense blitz more and mix it up but I don't think the coaches have faith in the players ability to execute. If they would just respect their gap assignments we could be 5-0.

Great comment by PT. Remember Jimmy Johnson's first year. Terrible defense. Everybody wondered who hired this guy with the great hair. The rest is history.

By the way, what ever happened to Vaughn "The Ball Hawk" Telemaque. He is no where to be found on the field. OVERRATED !

I'm amazed at how some fans are giving this coaching staff a pass. I'm die hard Canes like most of you guys and kudos to the folks that are keeping it real about this staff.

I see a lot of great things from this staff except for gameday decision-making. 3 losses are squarely on the coaches.

Plain and simple, the DC's scheme is NOT working! These guys play their best when they're attacking the ball. Stop dropping back and being so passive. That's all I'm wanting to see from the defense coordinator.

There's nothing to protect. Our guys have the speed to keep up with any receiver. Go back to the cover two we played in years past and let the front seven attack the damn ball.

It's taking too long for this staff to make adjustments. Golden as CEO has to make the right adjustments with his DC behind closed doors. Say what you have to in public, but get on his ass in your next private meeting.

Let's hope he makes those corrections on D like we've been seeing on offense. Beat UNC.


I don't know why some of U are criticizing for lack of adjustments when neither Shannon or Coker ever made any adjustments. D'nofrio made Temple into a top 20 defense and I 'm sure he will do it with the Canes once we get some players in here. I would like to see us attack more rather than just rushing 4 guys and play some bump and run on the edges. But that being said the players you have are the cards he has been dealt and its hard to make sugar out of S h ! T!

Man... good thing the players aren't as 1/2 hearted as some of the "so called" Canes fans are. Bleeding orange and green isn't about being here for the team only as we are winning,but even when things are rough you show compassion and support to the team.Agreed that the DC needs to do better 100%.PROGRESS IS A SLOW PROCESS AT TIMES folks.Looking back at the game we are all pro coaches aren't we?

Cane68- Are you serious??? Kids could play 50 games a year before they get to the university and not be anywhere close to where they need to be experince wise. Oblviuosly you only played through high school. The college level is a totally different game. The speed is different. the defenses they run are different. Most of these kids play some very simple form of a 43 defense with a cover 2. When they get to the college level there are about 15 variations of the 43. Further more most of these kids get by on talent aolne until they get to the college level. There are very few high school coaches that can develop a kid to what he needs to be to be ready to play immediately.

I agree with most posters that our DC is terrible, but i only think he is terrible because he is running a scheme he is not used to running. He lacks confidence in the 43, but the players he has are built for the 43. In time when he gets is kids in here and you see the 34 I think everyone will be thrilled. Everyone is calling for more blitzes and pressure. Wait for the 34 and it will look like we are blitzing on very play. Our time will come. I can only hope and pray Golden sticks with us. He is the man for the job.

I have seen several comments that the fake field goal was a bad call or if we were going to go for it we should have just ran a paly. I totally disagree. It was a great call with poor execution by the kid on the end of the line. If you look at the play there were was only one guy lined up outside of our last guy. There was one guy lined up over our last guy. All he has to do is make his step-around block and we easily get the first down and probably more. If he makes his block there is only one guy there and he has to decide what he wanted Whip to do with the ball. Again, I thought it was a brilliant call just poorly executed by one player and really the only player that mattered for the entire play.

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