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Canes offense has to get back to hitting on explosive pass plays

Just before UM lined up and faced Georgia Tech last month, coach Al Golden told reporters quarterback Stephen Morris needed to do a better job connecting with his receivers down field. 

It might be time for Golden to send another one of those notes down the hall to Jedd Fisch's office. 

Davon and Dorsett

Morris' longest completion since his seven-touchdown, 1,002-yard two-game stretch that featured nine pass plays of 40 yards or more? A 32-yard garbage time completion to Davon Johnson late in the fourth quarter versus Florida State, which preceded Morris' only TD pass in his last three games (an eight-yarder to Rashawn Scott). 

The other big pass plays? A 28-yard dump and run by tight end Clive Walford versus Notre Dame; a 26-yard dump and run by Duke Johnson in the same game; and a 24-yard dump and run by Mike James versus FSU.

Notice a trend? Fisch has.

"Every passing offense wants to be able to go deep. If you have to dink and dunk and dink and dunk it forces you to have to make every play perfectly," Fisch said. "You can't have any setbacks. You can't have a penalty. You can't have a drop. You can't have a misread. You can't have a bad ball. When you're trying to have more of an explosive play offense and take some vertical shots you can miss the first one, hit the next one and no one knows you missed the last one. That's kind of where we're at."

Of course, the Canes haven't exactly faced a bunch of defensive patsies lately (FSU went into this week's game ranked 2nd in total defense; Notre Dame was 6th and North Carolina ranked 36th). But regardless of how tough UM's last three opponents have been, Fisch said his offense has to do better (UM produced 37 combined points in those losses). 

After the seven drop fiasco against the Irish, Fisch said North Carolina made it a point to take away Miami's deep passing game by playing a soft two deep zone. The Hurricanes dinked and dunked their way to 235 yards passing and 180 yards on the ground. But the offense produced just 14 points. 

Against FSU, Fisch said, UM's offense had a handful of chances to hit on deep balls against one-on-one coverage early and simply missed those opportunities. FSU, meanwhile, completely devoured UM's run game. After taking account of four sacks for 33 yards lost, UM had just 29 yards rushing on 21 attempts.

"The thing with us is we've got to be more consistent in our intermediate throws," Fisch said. "I don't think we're as consistent there as I'd like for us to be. We got to find a way to get better there.

"We got to make sure everybody does their job. We got to make sure if your job is to run a route, run the route, not some other route. Our guys are really close to doing something really special. We just got to make sure we close the deal. If you're open, we've got to catch it."

According to ESPN, UM went into last week's game against the Seminoles with 23 drops -- the second most by any school from a BCS automatic qualifying conference this season. 

"When you drop balls it's always more than what you expect," receivers coach George McDonald said Saturday. "I think our drops have come at bad times. You never want to drop it, but you never want to drop a touchdown pass or drop a pass on third down. That's what's critical.

"We watch [the drops] on film. What I tell them is it's a personal thing. You're a writer. When you turn your story in, it's personal you don't have any typos. It might happen. But you take personal pride in it. It's the same thing I try to teach them as receivers. If the quarterback throws you the ball, it's a personal thing. You've got to catch it. No matter where the ball is you catch it. If you drop one, OK, that happens. But you have to take personal pride in that."

Receiver Phillip Dorsett, who dropped four passes against the Irish, has been non-existant in UM's passing game since putting up back-to-back huge games against N.C. State and Georgia Tech. He's made just six catches for 54 yards with a long of 23 yards against the Tar Heels. 

UM's leading receivers over the last three games has been Scott (15 catches, 136 yards, 1 TD), Mike James (14 catches, 112 yards, 0 TDs), Davon Johnson (8 catches, 148 yards, 0 TDs) and Allen Hurns (7 catches, 72 yards, 0 TDs).

Fisch, for his part, isn't pointing the finger for UM's offensive struggles at any one particular group. But he did say that even if Morris' numbers over his last three games (55-104, 52.8 pct, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 579 yards) don't look as good as his first five games this season (124-207, 59.9 pct, 9 TDs, 4 INTs, 1,635 yards), Fisch believes his starting quarterback "is improving every week."

"Whether the stats show it or not, I can just tell you he's getting better every week," Fisch said. "Over the course of these next 16 regular season games, I can't wait to see him get better every week. He's going to be a special player."

Virginia Tech (4-4) has hardly been the defensive juggernaut UM is used to seeing. The Hokies rank 71st in run defense (167 yards per game) and have given up quite a few big pass plays. But Fisch said Bud Foster's defense is still very good on third down (35.2 percent, 35th nationally).

The Hokies rank third in the ACC in pass defense. UM ranks third in the ACC in pass offense. 

"Our biggest focus is just to stay on the field," Morris said. "We've got to get a drive going. We got to make sure we're moving the chains and the deep ball will present itself."

Comments

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Apparently facts aren't facts with you.

Doesn't matter that Miami has the base ACC requirements and doesn't lose recruits.

Doesn't matter that more people go to games at Sun Life when Miami's losing than went to the Orange Bowl when they were winning championships.

Doesn't matter that Miami doesn't make money from football.

Doesn't matter that Miami won championships under presidents who allowed worse behavior than what's in that BS Yahoo report.

Doesn't matter that UM has great facilities and invest more than Alabama. Doesn't matter that the money Shapiro gave UM is literally nothing, $83K TOTAL when they're raising BILLIONS.

Doesn't matter that Larry Coker and Randy Shannon were bad coaches.

Everything's Shalala's fault. Whatever makes you feel better bro.

Forget about the made up problems with Shalala then.

Explain to me how Randy Shannon and Larry Coker were good coaches who were held back by the AD or Shalala.

Why didn't either one of them get another head coach offer?

In regards to your coaches question. When, at anytime, have I EVER said that they were good coaches? Answer that one. Once Butch Davis left and Coker took over, he had no one telling him where to recruit so he started to expand out across the country and leaving the back door open for opposing schools to pick whom ever they wanted. Candy randy pretty much didn't like any school that wasn't NorthWestern (that coming from a guy who graduated from Norland high). When Golden took over and started communicating with the head coaches across dade and broward county, those coaches came forward and said that the change was night and day in comparing the two coaches. Randy ignored schools so they ignored Miami and promoted other schools to their players. Golden had to rebuild those bridges.

Now in regards to the money topic.... There is no definitive way of knowing exactly how much money was moved around their. You only mentioned the $83k that was meant for some special conference room with a plaque with shitpiro's face on it. Now where did it mention the $50k check that she drooled over at Lucky Strikes in Doral at Dolphin Mall. There is no way possible of knowing how much money was really there. Only the money that had a check number attached to it. Other than that everything is hearsay with that POS. Ya she's raising tons and tons of money now but at the cost of ripping out what is left of the heart of Miami (definitely not talking the Dolphins here, they died when Dan Marino retired). Look man you make decent points and I have my own let them be good or bad. My love for my Hurricanes will not die. There was nothing to change and she made changes once she got here. Those changes never needed to occur and she did them for her own resume. Howard Schnellenberger brought the City of Miami together through the football team with all of the turmoil that was occurring at that time and she's destroying it.

It's just common sense. I say to you Miami football has been down because they had two bad coaches in a row and the president of the university had nothing to do with it. I could write pages backing up why I believe Coker and Shannon were bad coaches.

I also say that good coaches were responsible for Miami's previous success and not university presidents and that Nick Saban and Les Miles are responsible for Alabama and LSU's success and not their university presidents.

You say that Miami's president is the reason Miami football has been down. You have literally nothing to back it up except the move to the ACC (which would have happened eventually anyway) and completely ignore the fact that football coaches run college programs and that UM has had two bad ones in a row.

How does that make any sense to you?

As to the money, that's where your lack of understanding of how universities work makes it a conversation not worth having.

The $83K was all Shapiro gave to UM, maybe he spent more money on athletes or gifts to athletes but this guy was small potatoes, he's not a Miller or a Schwartz, he gave almost nothing to UM.

$83K is nothing to UM, or any major university. Shapiro was just a new money piece of sh*t trying to impress people.

Listen, Shalala's 70 years old and retiring in 2016, you'll have to find a new scapegoat soon enough if Golden can't get this thing turned around.

I think he will. Starts Thursday.

Please these coaches are not in the same league as fisher or kelly.....they will never be able to elivate UM.....they dont have it and their records show it from their past....there is so much internal poisen now in the Um system that it will be impossibe to fix unless there are significant changes at the coaches level.....6-6 or 5-7 year end cane record will do it. The players now have hidden animosity towards the staff....they hate the DC...no new recruit or parent will want their kid exposed to this especially with sanctions....it really is very over for miami...I dont see how this gets better unless nfl type coach is hired that brings in a solid staff.....just aint gonna happen....the stats this year are the worst in 25 yrs at UM....

look at the stats:
this year - defensive yard total 3,576 or 447 avg
offensive yard total 2,694 or 336 avg
now look at last year with a 6-6 season year end totals
offensive total yards 4,533 or 447 avg
defensive total yards 4,319 or 357 avg
what you see is the offense is performing weaker than last year with a more experienced players...weak OC plays...look at last 3 games with 27 points total
then you see the defense blowing up the offense by widening the spread differential in total yards....the offense cant keep up with the defensive allowed yards....the coaches cant fix this...and our sched is really weak when you think about it....solution is make a total coaching staff change since those statistics will not get better going forward and there is nothing in Goldens record that proves he can drastically change the outcome of the statistics....make a brian kelly change like in the nd charlie weis...your not going to see 11-1 or 10-2 from Golden going forward....there is nothing in his coaching history to prove that...he was 27-34 at temple and he really didnt turn that program around to miami caliber...sorry those are the facts

jim gallo, there's nothing in Golden's record to suggest he can be a good coach at this level except for what he's done at UM.

Last year they were in every game. First time that's happened since 2002.

This year they got blown out by the #2 and #3 teams in the country.

UNC and FSU were disappointing losses but I don't think anyone at that FSU game was that disappointed by the effort, they hung with Florida State for most of the game and FSU is clearly the better team right now.

UNC this year is as close as it gets to an "unacceptable" loss (whatever that means) but at the end of the day UNC can't go to the ACC championship game and the loss didn't hurt Miami.

It's all about beating Va Tech now, they are talented and they are well coached, throw Miami and VT's bad losses this year out the window.

Thursday night football for a shot at the ACC championship game.

I think the players dont support the whole staff.....look Al Golden has a 6 game loss average during his coaching career....what r we doing with a guy like that? Do you think a guy that averages losing 6 games a year is BCS material?...please put the crack pipe down....it is never going to happen...he is at his high water mark.....

Jimmy Johnson averaged 5 losses before getting to UM.

Howard had never been a head coach before.

Erickson averaged 5.3.

Butch Davis had never been a head coach before.

ok now wheres the 10-2 or 9-3 from Golden just like the rest put up at Miami?

ok so the davis-erickson-johnson average after 2 years at miami is 18-5

golden is 10-10 already...a statistical impossibility...there is your proof

Nick Saban lost 5 and then 6 games at Michigan State. There's your "proof" he's a bad coach.

ok try to follow....we are talking about when a coach came from another program to miami....when saben went from michigan state to lsu....the first 2 years he went 18-7......out miami boys went to 18-5....Golden is 10-10 now....I rest my case....he dont have it..get it, it is not going to change...he is like a bad stock....hope and change does not work.....it just goes lower....take you loss now and move on

the coaching staff has lost the locker room....stuff like this dosent suddenly go away....morris will not be ready for VT....williams is a disaster waiting to happen....its all bad

If the offense can repeat their performance of the BC and GT games, they will beat Virginia Tech.

Hokie power... You all crack me up. Champions of nothing. Pretenders of evrything. Chokers perennially. Ol leather face will be on the hot seat.

Posted by: 5>3>2 | October 29, 2012 at 07:17 AM

Dead-on 5>3>2

VT has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with their favorable pre-season rankings and with FSU and UM being down over the last 5 or 6 years.

They had their chance. They were a perpetual Top 12-15 team. 2006-20012 represets their high-water mark. Now they can look forward to being a borderline Top 20 team for years to come.

Im pissed I had to cancel my trip to see the game as Hurricane Sandy is overhead as I speak. I'd like to see some rowdy Canes in the house on Thursday.

GO CANES!!

I know we could have beat fsu we was up 10-0
whit the ball inside the five yard lind
and pass the ball for no yards
you dont do that when you got running backs
like M. james and D. jonhson
you cant blame them for THAT!!!!!
let go canes.!!!!!!!

We need some big TE's to step up and we need to recruit a couple of 6'4-6'5 receivers..[ala streeter[

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