A day after his team won their season opener at Boston College despite giving up 10 acres worth of yards to the Eagles, UM coach Al Golden defended defensive coordinator and close friend Mark D'Onofrio while addressing other issues.
Ultimately, Golden said the reason Boston College was able to put 441 yards passing on Miami was because there were a lot of blown assignments and poor communication between players, not what D'Onofrio was calling.
"We had some blown assignments that just led to wide open receivers. It's as simple as that," Golden said. "There are no excuses here. We have to do a better job coaching it. The kids have to do a better job executing it. Give Doug Martin and the BC offense credit. They really did a good job scheme wise and ran off the first 16 plays without us really distorting that all all.
"But then at the same time I want to give our staff credit for responding. Between play 16 and play 61 they didn't score at all. Hopefully, we can settle down and eliminate some of those mental errors and some of the guys will do a better job with communication..."
Golden was asked if he believes in the scheme D'Onofrio employed. It seemed to me -- and maybe the rest of the world -- the Hurricanes were sitting back in zone coverage while rushing just three or four linemen each play and not getting to BC quarterback Chris Rettig. D'Onofrio's scheme wasn't the problem, Golden said.
"Do I believe in it?," Golden said almost miffed at the question. "I know where the question is going. I will just tell you all the explosive plays basically came on blown assignments in man-to-man coverage. Everybody wants us to do this and do that. The bottom line is we have to execute what's called. And clearly, I have the utmost confidence -- not just confidence -- the utmost confidence in how we're running our defense."
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> Golden was pleased with how many young players gained experience in Saturday's game. He said 58 of the 65 players that traveled to Boston College got in the game -- including 14 freshmen, 12 of them true freshmen.
"I'd like to continue make sure everybody has a role in the game and an opportunity to help us," said Golden, who said he played younger teams at Temple in 2007 and 2008. "They played with a lot of energy and a lot of spirit and were competitive. We have to get them a little more poised, a little more calmed down and hopefully get them settled in between Game 1 and Game 2.
> No play may have demonstrated the difference between the 2011 Hurricanes and the 2012 version than Duke Johnson's first touchdown run when there was blocking help up and down the field to help him get in the end zone. Golden won't bad mouth last year's team, but he did say this about that 54-yard TD run on Sunday.
"It's all effort. Clive [Walford] was excellent on that play in terms of his blocking," Golden said. "If you don't care about your teammates and care about conditioning, you're not going to finish plays. Don't forget [Phillip] Dorsett was 45 yards away on the opposite numbers. He and long with Clive led [Johnson] to the end zone. I think [Jonathan] Feliciano -- even though he looked like he was in the HOV lane, he and those guys showed great hustle that they wanted to finish those plays."
> Duke Johnson finished with 135 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries and Golden noted that Johnson would have received more carries if he didn't break a pair of long touchdown runs. That being said, Golden doesn't appear to be eager to make Johnson the only guy who touches the ball in his backfield. The Canes will continue to share the wealth for now.
"Clearly we want to make sure we get them all touches and we want to be a little more balanced this week in terms of our run/pass ratio as well," Golden said.
> As for quarterback Stephen Morris, Golden said the one sack UM allowed was his fault because "Stephen will tell you he should have found his outlet in the flat and he didn't." Golden said there were "other occasions [Morris] could have pulled it down and ran," and that Morris has "got to trust his speed." But overall, Golden said, "Stephen did a great job with the offense."
> As good as UM looked in its hurry-up offense Saturday, don't start believing the Canes are married to it. "I was just trying to take our greatest advantage and widen that gap. I hope it helped. We stayed in it for quite some time because we felt it was helping, wearing down the defense," Golden said. "But every game plan is different."
> Don't be surprised if you see more of redshirt freshman linebacker Eddie Johnson. He finished third on the team with five tackles and made a big play by forcing a fumble that was recovered by Ladarius Gunter."Eddie Johnson gets beat and then he hustles down the field and takes the ball away," Golden said. "That is type of the effort we are looking for."
> True freshman Ereck Flowers impressed Golden in his first college start at right tackle. "Ereck Flowers graded out over 90 percent. I thought he played really well."
> Safety Deon Bush led all true freshmen on defense with four tackles. Golden said Bush played 30 snaps on defense and 12 snaps on special teams. "I think Deon is making a lot of progress and playing well," Golden said. "So is Rayshawn Jenkins for that matter."
> Golden counted seven drops by the receivers in the Boston College game and said that was what bothered him the most in his game review on offense. But he is confident that unit will bounce back this week. "I think Rashawn Scott will play better, I know Kendal Thompkins will play better, Malcolm Lewis answered the bell, we will get Dorsett more touches and Davon Johnson did his job," Golden said.
> After participating mostly on the scout team last week, Golden said Seantrel Henderson will have a chance to compete "with the varsity" for playing time this week.
> Golden is not anticipating a return for defensive tackle Curtis Porter (appendectomy) this week. That hurts against a good rushing team like Kansas State.
> Golden reiterated that he is hoping freshman linebacker Raphael Kirby, who had a cast removed from his right leg last week, can return by the Georgia Tech game on Sept. 22.