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Grading the Canes - Week 1: UM has obvious work to do on defense after BC win

Enjoy this one. Savor it. Al Golden definitely is and told his team to do the same. 

His young Hurricanes battled back from a pair of quick upper cuts Saturday afternoon at Boston College and survived 542 yards of offense from a team that finished last in the ACC last year in that department and still won 41-32.

Duke JohnsonNot bad, especially when you consider seven Canes -- LB Thurston Armbrister, S Kacy Rodgers, CB Thomas Finnie, DL Olsen Pierre, RB Duke Johnson, OT Ereck Flowers and C Shane McDermott -- were all making their first career starts and several others were getting their first real taste of action. Like youth movements? The Canes put eight players on the field who weren't here last year -- including seven true freshmen (Deon Bush, Tracy Howard, Tyriq McCord, Malcolm Lewis, JaWand Blue, Flowers and Johnson).

Saturday was fun if you bleed orange and green. But the truth is, Golden knows much tougher challenges lie ahead. As talented as those freshmen are UM is going to have to solve major issues on defense moving forward if the good times are going to keep rolling.

Now, to the first round of grades/observations for the Canes:

> Play/Player of the Game: True freshman Duke Johnson had three huge plays -- including touchdown runs of 56 and 54 yards -- to spring UM to life and rally them to victory. But the biggest play in my opinion was the two yards he picked up on 4th and 1 and UM down 14-0 left in the 1st quarter. For all the talk about Duke's lack of size, Johnson barreled past three defenders to get the first down. BC was flagged an additional 10 yards for a facemask on the play. If Johnson doesn't stick his nose in there, the flag might not happen. Eduardo Clements scored three plays later to make it 14-7.

> Offense: A. Hard to find much wrong with what the offense did other than the three big early drops that lead to UM falling behind 14-0 (and a couple of flags on the offensive line that hurt). Allen Hurns, Kendal Thompkins and Rashawn Scott all looked bad early, but Hurns recovered nicely and had a career day at receiver with eight catches for 81 yards. He scored big points with me when he raced over the middle of the field on 3rd and 16 and snagged a 21-yard pass from Stephen Morris on the drive that eventually put UM ahead for good when they were down 23-21. If Hurns doesn't make that catch, maybe game sways a different way. Stephen Morris, meanwhile, was truly fantastic. He scrambled for a couple of big first downs and put several tough balls on the money en route to a 28 of 45 for 207 yards, 1-INT, 1 TD performance. The pick wasn't his fault either. It was Scott's. The offensive line, meanwhile, was stellar. UM ran for 208 yards on the ground and gave Morris plenty of time when he needed it. Morris was sacked just once.

> Defense: D. No pass rush. No pass defense. And not a lot of good other than three turnovers, Denzel Perryman's 41-yard interception return for a touchdown and a couple stops on 3rd-and-1. We can debate about UM's coverage woes. BC quarterback Chris Rettig threw for 441 yards and two touchdowns. But when nobody breathes on you and you have time to order pizza, bake a cake and plan the rest of your Saturday night before making a pass, how else is the pass defense you are going against supposed to look? UM obviously didn't produce a single sack and there were times when receivers (Alex Amidon 10 catches, 149 yards) had nobody around them. But I believe this all stemmed from the success BC had running the football early for big chunks. The Eagles only finished with 101 yards on 34 attempts (3.0 average), but they ran play action off their early success and kept UM's secondary off balance. Meanwhile, Rettig exposed horrendous coverage by the Canes' linebackers and safeties who always seemed out of position when the quarterback rolled out. Whatever defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio planned in terms of creating a pass rush failed miserably. He's got to devise something new. It's going to obviously take time. But Saturday was a day to forget.

> Special teams: A. Now you know why punter Dalton Botts is so respected. He took a bad snap right before halftime that could have turned out badly and got it off. He finished with five punts for 40.6 yards including two inside the 20. Miami's return team of Johnson and Phillip Dorsett, meanwhile, put a good enough scare into BC after the first half the Eagles basically refused to kick it to them anymore. The Eagles, meanwhile, never took over possession outside of their 30-yard line following a kickoff or punt. That's good coverage.

- WR Allen Hurns. Emerged as the go-to-guy when times were tough at receiver.
- QB Stephen Morris. Coaches were right. He is a lot better. Tremendous arm. Very few mistakes.
- RT Ereck Flowers. Didn't hear his name for anything bad during the broadcast once. Seantrel Henderson is going to have trouble getting his job back.
- WR Davon Johnson. Came in with six career catches. Had a huge third down catch down the sideline to pick up a first down. That wins you more chances.

- S Vaughn Telemaque. He was already getting bushed by true freshman Deon Bush for playing time. He was out of position too often.
- RB Mike James. He finished with 54 yards on 14 carries (3.9 a carry) and had a couple nice runs. But the Duke arrived Saturday. It's going to be hard for James to take on the lead role with him around.
- WR Kendal Thompkins. He started after shining in practice all camp. But he dropped at least two balls in the game and finished without a catch. Just disappointing. 
- Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. He's a standup guy, a great quote and a good coach. But his defense can't go on like this. 


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Finally, someone "officially " calls out d'onofrio

His name is "Ohnofrio". No "D" in his name. He's a buffoon, and Foldin' won't fire him because they're the best of friends, which, considering their ties to Penn State, makes me really leery. Foldin's a false prophet.

I'm not seeing anything from coach D'Onofrio. If he's not on the hot seat then he should be. The O line looked much better than in the past so good job coach Kehoe.

The D wwas terrible!!!! What kind of game was he calling! Golden needs to go get a top notch D Coordinator, if this isnt fixed! This is the same D from last year!!! Now lets beat KST!!

Layoff the secondary, they are very young. They played hard today and gained a lot of experience. They will get better each week. I think golden and coach d have a long night of watching film and on Monday it's back to work. The team will fix the holes in the defense and be ready to play k state on Saturday.

The defense forced some turnovers, including a pick-6, but overall it gives up too many passing yards. The offense will have to outscore every opponent this year again.

Kehoe has done a stellar job. Duuuuuuke is as good as advertised. We're going to ose a lot of games with this D, however. It is pathetic. Whether it's coaching or personnel, it just sucks.

Why is The Nation still here? The defense will get better, the offense will get better and Golden has the team playing like a TEAM. 64 freshman and sophomores...I'll take this game as a learning experience and just go with it!

The run defense was strong especially late in the game, the last few years the ball was pounded down our throats. I think our players have excelled in strength and conditioning and it showed today. Our team played fast on offense and got conversions when it counted. Every team on our schedule now has to spend time game planning for duke.

Coach Golden! If you're reading this..PLEASE, PLEASE do something about the defense particularly the secondary. I commend U on a great win today against boston college but you MUST fix the defense quickly. The D cannot play like they did today against the likes of kansas state, florida state, notre dame, and virginia tech. It CANT happen... please get a new coordinator!!!!!!!!!!

Coach Golden! If you're reading this..PLEASE, PLEASE do something about the defense particularly the secondary. I commend U on a great win today against boston college but you MUST fix the defense quickly. The D cannot play like they did today against the likes of kansas state, florida state, notre dame, and virginia tech. It CANT happen... please get a new coordinator!!!!!!!!!!

can't say enough about the great effort and conditioning of the players plus we got TALENT... coaches are very good position coaches (as assistants) as for play calling , game planning and MANAGING the team during the ACTUAL GAME..they suk!! Our D couldn't be worse..BC ran the same play action pass play to the back ALL GAME LONG and they guy was scary ALONE every time PLUS on offense what was the deal with all those dum WR pass runs... hey so pedictable PLUS PLUS INSIDE THE 5 don't get CUTE
JUST RAN IT IN pleeeaaaseee... (after the turn over) we could have iced the game for good with a TD!! D'Onofrio must GO!! NOW or we will loose at least 7 games this year and its not fair for the PLAYERS that did their JOB,, in the offseason

Relax people. The D is still a work in progess. Coach D'Onofrio is doing the best with what he has. The talent level will get better with our recruiting. Overall, great job on the road against a good team. Go Canes

You fools it was RBI outta the backfield that killed us.

Kendall Thompkins has to go, replace him with any player. He doesn't deserve to be on the 53 man roster. As for our defense there's a lot of blame to go around. However D'Onofrio deserves more time. Just look at what Golden and he did at Temple defensively. Duke Johnson looks like a heisman winner in years to come if he stays healthy.

Add Chick to the Slipping list!

He did nothing today!!!!!!!!!!!!

D'Onofrio SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!

3 man fronts on 3rd and long!

Did this Clown not realize that 4 man fronts were not working!!!!!!!

Golden: Get a real DC!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ya that right tackle made chick disappear, he had that fumble recovery but that was about it. He'll recover though, just one bad game for him. Thompkins has been here for 5 years and hasn't done crap.

Long time alumni here living in Connecticut. I was at the game and this team was awful today. Offensive play calling was conservative and unimaginative. Morris was not in the same league as the BC QB. There is something very wrong with this team. You have all these BC players from small catholic high schools from the Northeast going toe to toe with our "talented" South Florida kids. I think its the coaching. Golden, Fisher and the rest do not have what it takes to bring Miami to the national stage. The whole coaching staff do not have enought experience for this program. The responses here are living in dream land if you think time will solve this early mess. It will be another year of disappointment.

i think people are giving the offense too much credit. only a few passes were downfield, and except duke's 2 big runs, we really didn't show alot against an average opponent. i know we are young, but reality will hit hard if we play like that against a real good team. kstate is beatable, but these canes need to grow each week. congrats on the win, it was a great effort after a long offseason. go canes

Jim gallo, you're a turd.

Manny...you and the rest of the yahoo's are WAY off base with Coach D and the defense.....THEY ARE THE REASON WE WON!!!!!!!!!! YOU F'ING MORON!!!!!! Pick 6......mulitiple turnovers....a stop on the goal line......WITH A MAJORITY OF FRESHMAN....YOU DUMB SPIK.....Go write about soccer you fhag.....

Why isit no one in Miami can catch the damn ball. The White House blames George W Bush - no sorry, got that wrong that was the Broward school bus problem. Anyway I know for a fact it is due to offshore drilling. Usually on SoBe

Jim Gallo please stay in Connecticut you obviously lack intelligence and any sort of perspective. If you knew anything about football you would realize that this is a VERY young team that is gonna have some good close wins and some tough losses this year. Seven first time starters, seven true freshmen contributing, a good performance from Stephen Morris spreading the ball around nicely and Duke Johnson showed he is could be great.

To say Stephen Morris isn't in the same league as "the BC quarterback" whose name you don't even know? And our offensive coordinator's name is not Fisher. You don't know anything about football and are totally unqualified to judge whether Golden can coach (UCLA and Penn state among others would have loved to hire him this summer).

Its embarrassing that you are an alumni but I went to school with a few like you. One game in (a win!) and you are pronouncing the season a disappointment! You are a disappointment. Go back to your hole in Connecticut and come out in a year when the team might be up to your standards. Better yet go root for the gators you will fit in better.

Jim Gallo you are like our president, telling us differently than our eyes are seeing, in other words telling untruths. Not a loyal fan you must have left at 14-0.
Because the U grew up big time yesterday. Too bad your not smart enough to see it.
U fans looked to be 50% of the crowd and were loud and vocal. That is why the entire team came to the U sections after the game. Big event.
Stay in Conn and root for the Conn basketball team.

Work to do on D, go U best KS

I think people should have to pass a football knowledge quiz before commenting. One knuckle head writes Tompkins shouldnt be on the 53 man roster? Really? Check your college roster list pal.....this isn't the NFL. Another "negative nancy" says Morris was horrible and "Fisher" has to go. Every other critic in the country thinks he had a good game and who is fisher?

It's simple. IF we get better play fr om the d-line, the secondary will have an easier task. Run defense look good so far. Coach D?..... got some coaching to do. Fisch? No complaints. Golden? ... needs to get more involved on defense. Loose the tie.

Great job by the Baby Canes. And Morris has a rifle for an arm. O line played well and Denzell was all over the field. Nice win on the road. Keep up the good work. It was a good day for the Canes and better ones on the way. Go Miami!

Great job by a young team! D must shape up. Duke wil be a Heisman candidate at some point!

We used to be D college. Sacks, stars on D, gamechangers, constant pressure, and during the 80s and 90s...THE 3 AND OUT COLLEGE! WTF HAPPENED?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wed have greats behing greats on the D line! Medearis, Krein, Patrick , Stubbs- these werent even the greatest like MAryland, J. Jones andTez and Jerome! WTF happened?!!! We are in Recruit, USA! Should I even bring up the LBS and DBs?!! The DBS used to be so good that wed keep a lone safety and bring up the other one...leave the Cbs alone!Awful.

The future looks bright~~~

Let's idle it back a few notches people. BC is a bad team made even worse with the loss of their 2 best offensive playmakers and best defensive player. BC is the second worse team we'll play this year. Good to see the offense not spotter and shoot itself in the foot. Got to like Morris' leadership. Just hope he learns to put a little touch on the short throws. Folks Duke Johnson is a very good Football player. But enough with the Barry Sanders comparisons. It's one game against a crappy BC Defense. Hell, even the Gaturd smurfs ran track meet sprints against the Vandys and Kentuckys. And to those of you saying he should be the feature Back carrying 25-30 times a game... He'll end up in the hospital. He's a major weapon as a chane of pace game changer. Mike James and all his 3 yards and a cloud of dust is what tightens up and wears Defenses out until you zap'em with Duke. Kid is a "Band Striker". Thats when ANY time he gets the ball, the head of the Band starts to tap his baton to get the band ready to play a TD celebration tune. All that said, just enjoy the role he plays. But aint it nice to finally have that coverted at any moment game breaker?

On to the Defense. Anyone watch Bamas front 4 ? Or their 2nd. team front 4 ? Simply put, our D-Line suck. Our outside LB's are suspect at best. Thank God Perryman is in the middle to give us some simblence of front 7 toughness. DB's just aren't ballhawks. Whether it's coaching or talent, our guys are out of position and and 2 steps late way to often. But, they should get better as the seasons plays out, but the key thing for them to improve is pressure on the QB. And we CAN NOT get consistant QB pressure and will not all year. That scares me more than anything. Our Defense is what it is and will never be confused for a great one. I'm hoping they can just be considered "good" enough. And F that bend but don't break defense. Bend, break and mame the Offense. 541 yrds and 440 in the air verses BC ?

Special teams are solid. They will Win a game this year.

Coaching. Game management is nice to see after the last clustered regime. The quitting mentality is no more. And that is instill from the Head guy period. But lets wait til a little adversity and losses hit. (and to the guy earlier talking about winning the ACC and BCS Bowl Orange Bowl? Just Stop.) It will be Goldens job to keep the train on the tracks when those losses come, and I'm confident he will do just that.

Finally, funny how so many where all gloom n doom down 14 nothing. I never doubted Golden would see to it that they continued to play hard. This was an absolute must win game that could have set the tone for the season. The test coming up are going to be so much more tougher. Remember, this season is nothing more that a prelude to next year. whether they go 5-7 or 9-3, it's next year and beyond that this program is striving for. So don't freak the F out when tough times come.

A solid 8-4 (KS-ND-FSU-VT losses only) and then on to 2013.


Look green peas, alumni and native Miamians are sick of the year to year performances of both the Hurricanes and the Dolphins. You can believe in the "tie" all you want but this coaching staff is weak and at best mediocre. Same as last year when they had seasoned players...basic and boring (how many side patterns does one call in a game). Golden was 27-34 at Temple and is 34-40 at Miami, those are his numbers...they will not change. Lets look for another Dennis Erickson or Gary Stevens.


34-40 with Miami.

I don't know Jim. This team would have folded just a couple years ago down 14-0.

No, Coach Golden is 7-6 with Miami. Where are you getting your numbers Jim?

He is 34-40 total with both teams. Temple/Miami. The point is that those numbers will not change, will be in the same range going forward. Thats the type of coach he is. You'll see. Lets me know when 3 and out comes back to Miami.

Did you people hammering D'Onofrio watch the game? Specifically, the adjustments that were made at the half? There was absolutely zero rush in the first half. Zip. The coaches recognized this, started blitzing and got some pressure as a result. BC only scored scored 12 points in the second half, 2 of which were a gift safety.

This is more an issue of young, inexperienced players than it is coaching. Instead of looking at stats, gain a deeper understanding of the game. Yes we gave up a lot of yards and didn't have a sack. When you look back at the first two drives BC had, then compare to the second half, how do you not see improvement that was aided by adjusting the schemes?

I commend U on a great win today against boston college but you MUST fix the defense quickly.

Posted by: ken | September 01, 2012 at 10:57 PM

those parts are just not in stock unfortunately.

fire D-dumfrey now..save the season... the D sucks is time for a change... same crap as last year...

great job on the road against a good team. Go Canes

Posted by: Dave | September 01, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Are you serious? If you're right, we're in trouble because everyone else we play, other than Bethune, is far better than BC.

Kendall is afraid to get hit, he wont change this year, dont waste your time on him, hears footsteps. Our linebackers have to cover more ground and watch satety valves KSU will eat us alive with this. Secondary needs to react to ball not keep following your man who is not in the play, this will stop some large yardage plays. BC had three scores were their man could have walked in untouched,

Are you serious Jim Gallo? Golden took over a 0-11 team that was so bad it got kicked out of the big east! Of course the first few years he's going to have a losing record there. He turned that program around. By your logic we should've fired Schnellenberger after his first season because he went 5-6. Give Golden time. If you can't see how his player play so much harder for him than they did with Shannon, if you can't see the difference between this years team and last years team then you need to educate yourself about football. Also there was nothing wrong with offensive play calling, BC was defending against the long ball all night, when their corners are playing back off the receivers then those short passes will work until the corners press our receivers, which they didn't do, that is why you saw so many of those plays.

First of all enjoy the W at least this season has started better than last.
Now get some perspective, BC is a bad team and the put over 500 yards of offense. Now some of you are calling for Donofrio to be fired, can't do that now. We will have to play this season with him. How much is it on him and how much is it the players?
At least we found our RB and Morris played very well.
We need to chill and see what adjustments or personnel changes take place for next week when we play a real team. Hey it's great to start the season with a W but let's not get carried away, the tough opponents lie ahead. Overall this is a great win and a great start to the season.

D'Onofrio D'Onofrio D'Onofrio...WTF

good win go canes!!!!

The more I read these post I wonder if any of you played football or even understand the game. We beat a bottom feeder BC team and you guys are talking like that's a big accomplishment. Miami football is not the same as years PAST! If Golden is a true Cane and care about the success of this program he will let go of the D-coordinator ASAP. Every QB we play has a career high passing game against us over the last 2 years. That NEVER happens to the Canes I know and follow. We always had pride in our Defense at The U, we would dominate from the first snap to the last. The D-coordinator never made adjustments during the game or at half-time. Every post, slant and rb coming out the backfield was wide open all game long. The reason why Miami stopped the running in the 2nd half wasn't because of adjustments it was because BC didn't run the ball!

I did see a few good things from time to time but nothing on a consistent basis. And let's stop with the excuses that we are young, every program plays freshman look at Bama last night they replaced a majority of their team from last year and they are still playing top notch consistent football. Sometimes as Canes fan we have to look in the mirror and remind yourself that we are not in the 80's, early 90's or in 2001. Old championships can't help us win right now!
We have talent but that means nothing when you are out coached every week. We lost every game last year by 8 or less pts. That's not making key adjustments when other coaches are!

Any win I will take but I want to see the CANES dominate football and I haven't seen that in a looooong time!

Just being honest.... The []_[]

RU kidding me. We didn't test the long ball at all against BC. Morris was throwing at the ground the whole day (Alumni Stadium your right on the field) 4/5 inches off on almost every side pattern. Key drops by BC cost them the game. Live the fantasy all you want. Where is all this so called talent against catholic high school boys vs Dade/Broward seasoned players (feeder programs). Do you think Golden is a Dennis Erickson or a Gary Stevens? That pick was a rush and a mistake. I've been thru all the coaches and history at Miami and Golden and staff are weak. You keep blaming the youth on the team but these payers have been playing most of their lives and have experiance at their positions. Its the coaching and the statistics of Golden will not deviate much from his history.

They're going to have BIG trouble against teams that throw to tight-ends. Notre Dame is rotating 6. That game will be scary to watch. They will have trouble with FSU throwing to their tight-ends too.
They need to get the D together and FAST!

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