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Golden after heartbreaking Virginia loss: "It's really important we don't splinter"

The Hurricanes are back at .500 following a heartbreaking 41-40 loss on the road at Virginia.

Of all five UM losses this season, this one will probably haunt UM coach Al Golden and his assistant coaches the most. UM (5-5, 4-3 ACC) had a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, and then a five-point lead with the ball following a safety with 4:19 remaining. 

This loss wasn't about a lack of talent or being outclassed by a better team. The Canes simply blew too many opportunities against a Cavaliers team (4-6, 2-4 ACC) that will be lucky to finish .500.

This, by the way, is Golden's third loss to a sub .500 team in his first 22 games as Hurricanes coach. Golden's assistants deserve to share the blame equally.

Jedd Fisch's offense had the ball in Virginia territory on each of its last two possessions and went three-and-out on each drive.

Mark D'Onofrio's defense, meanwhile, gave up a 12-play, 71-yard scoring drive which made it 38-35 and then a 16-play, 87-yard scoring drive with six seconds left to give up the lead for good. Virginia converted two fourth downs on the game-winning drive including the last one on a defensive holding penalty on cornerback Thomas Finnie.

Afterward, Golden called the loss "heartbreaking."

UM, which was minus two suspended starters (linebacker Eddie Johnson and receiver Rashawn Scott) and two injured starters (linebacker Denzel Perryman and safety Deon Bush), returns home next week to host USF.

We have to see if Bush and Perryman will be healthy enough to return, and if Johnson and Scott will be allowed back. Golden didn't elaborate on the status of either suspended player.

"We just got to keep fighting," Golden told WQAM after the game. "We can't go backwards here. We got to stay together. It's really important we don't splinter, we stay together."


> Freshman Duke Johnson pretty much solidified his spot as the ACC's Rookie of the Year. He ran for a season-high 150 yards on 16 carries, threw an 8-yard TD pass to Allen Hurns and returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score (the two kick returns in one season tied the school record). His 368 all-purpose yards in Saturday's game helped him surpass Edgerrin James, Graig Cooper, Chuck Forman, Santana Moss and Lamar Miller for all-purpose yards in a season. Johnson now has 1,688 total yards on the season. Willis McGahee holds the UM record with 2,108 in a season.

Yet, it somehow still wasn't enough.

Fisch turned to Johnson with the game on the line -- with UM facing a 3rd and 6 at the Cavaliers 49-yard line with under three minutes to play. Johnson only got two yards on the carry and the Hurricanes had to punt. But Saturday's loss was hardly Johnson's fault.

"The last 3rd and 5, I wanted the ball in his hands, thought he would be able to get us in there," Golden said. "We didn't and had to punt the ball. Duke gave great effort. Last couple of weeks he's been healthy, preparing better. He's really playing hard for us right now."

UM's defense gave up 482 yards of total offense including 388 through the air as Virginia's two QBs Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims combined to go 40 of 51 passing in the game. That's a 78 percent completion percentage. Rocco was completing just 58.2 percent of his attempts coming in. Sims was completing 55.8 percent of his passes.

By giving up 41 points, UM's defense has now surrendered 312 points on the season -- just two shy of the previous UM worst set by the 1984 and 2008 defenses. The Canes have already given up 4,896 yards in all. The previous worst was 4,369 yards (1997).

The records for most yards allowed rushing (2,492, 1944) and passing (2,695, 2009) are well within reach with two games to go. The Canes have now given up 2,310 yards rushing and 2,586 passing after Saturday's loss.

> Gionni Paul ended up leading UM with a career-high 14 tackles. With Perryman and Johnson out, Paul and Jimmy Gaines (12 tackles) saw extensive playing time. Paul was beaten by Jake McGee for the game-winning touchdown pass.

"Obviously we left some guys home that could have helped us here today," Golden said. "We got to get off the field more on third down or the play count gets too high. The play count got really high on us. We didn't have the depth we need right now at the linebacker position and it showed late."

> Defensive end Anthony Chickillo produced his first sack in six games and helped along with Curtis Porter to produce a safety on Rocco in the fourth quarter when it was ruled he intentionally grounded the ball while jumping back towards the end zone. Chickillo was later credited with his second sack on that play.

Despite his effort Saturday, it's clear the Hurricanes need Chickillo -- and other pass rushers -- to be more productive consistently. Virginia's QBs rarely felt the heat on third and fourth down. The Cavaliers were also 6 of 6 in the red zone with 6 TDs against Miami. The Hurricanes have now given up 33 touchdowns in 54 red zone trips this season.

> Freshman Rayshawn Jenkins didn't start for the Hurricanes at safety, but finished third on the team with eight tackles. Jenkins and Bush are the future for UM at safety and D'Onofrio might consider playing both together in Miami's final two regular season games -- assuming Bush will be back.

> Cornerback Ladarius Gunter continues to impress in pass coverage. He had three of UM's five pass breakups. Most of Virginia's successful passes went in the direction of Finnie, freshman Tracy Howard and over the middle against UM's linebackers, who were out of position on many plays. 

> A week after going 1 for 12 on third down versus Virginia Tech, UM finished 4 of 10. It's the last two third down attempts that will haunt them.

> Receiver Phillip Dorsett, who had just eight catches for 81 yards in his four previous games combined, finished with six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown.


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I have stated for the past TWO years, Golden at best is a small time program coach. He is mascaraing as a competent FBS coach. Five star H.S players will not come to the U and play for Golden. How can this clown allow FSU to be a homecoming game? How can he allow the UVA game to end with three timeouts in reserve? He should have been saving time on the clock for the offense. What made him think the defense (Porous at best) was going to stop UVA. The school gave him a contract extension and nice pay raise for what? Please if you are listening, go across the state to FSU and hire coach Stoops as our new head coach. We would see improvements instantly!!! Look at the turnaround at Notre Dame; they were once down like the U. They hired the right coach (players respect) and he actually can coach then up!! I now live in VA, so I will go to work next week and just get hammered for our poorly coached team.

I was calling for Coach D's head after week two and everybody was telling me to calm down. Telling you I told you so doesn't make me feel better but I do feel vindicated. Until we get a top assistant from a winning program or a head coach from one of those BCS buster schools, we will continue to get Temple like results.

I like Al Golden and would be patient in letting him have his four seasons to turn things around, except for one thing ...... Butch Davis is available and we need to grab him before another Top 20 team does. Futhermore, the fact that Miami will go on probation, and the fact that Butch has already demonstrated he knows how to operate in these troubled waters, Miami needs to grab him before another school such as Arkansas does.

We missed the opportunity to re-sign Butch after Coker was fired (he had just finished up at Cleveland), opting to go with Randy instead. Lets not waste the Butch "pick" this time around.

Moreover, it frustrates me that when we talk about prior great Miami coaches, that Butch is left out of the equation. It is always Jimmy and Howard, which deserve their due. But what Butch did under duress, was incredible in the mid 90's. Had he stuck around, who knows how many additional championships the Canes would have won after the 2001 season.

I like Al Golden but under the circumstances and timing and the fact that he followed a bad four years under Shannon, Miami has to make this move.


I totally agree with you, Golden will not quit because he is getting a nice paycheck to be incompetent! The U tied their hands by giving Golden a contract extension without proving anything. Where is the upgrade from Shannon? Where is the return on investment? Wearing a tie does not make you intelligent, just look at Golden as the proof source.

It is so easy to JUMP on a computer and type:



The Coaches have sold a program to the team..now we should throw the program out and get someone who has no idea of what can and would be done to make the team better and even more...

After reading all this B******** who would want to Coach the 'Canes if the fans lose close games and want to shut down the program...

Look at yourselves, and everyone take a frenzied breath.
The 'U' is BIGGER than all of us, and with our Legacy I would think that we can stand by the team as we REBUILD yes I said it REBUILD this year..

There are going to be close and disappointing loses, but it not the end of the world, nor is it the end of our 'Canes.
As a Cane fan told me at the UVA Game"All these so called fans will badmouth the team, but if they start winning, and have a good 2013 they will be the first in line to be the most ardent fans for the 'Canes."
He had something there...

Support the team, the players, but fire this and fire that is totally illogical for building something.
Defense suck when we have players out, fix it, don't burn the whole team down. Sorry we lost, but we all know that.
No one is getting fired.

Come on, those kids who were on the field need to hear something positive, instead of all these Gallows crap.
Don't for one miunute think they were playing to lose..everyone played to win..Sorry..move onto the next game and we all need to get real when we hear REBUILDING.
Go 'Canes Always

You people want to hire and fire like crazy. Firing Golden wont do anything positive for this program.

If we get JIMMY JOHNSON as AD, itz over for MARK D'NONO. Also hopefully for Donna the TROLL SHALAA. Im sick of this s!@#.

Perhaps both of you should take a look holistically at the health of the program. How many years are you going to provide the excuse "rebuilding" Look at the talent level that Golden is recruiting, other than Duke Johnson he is getting lower ranked 4 star HS players. I guess neither of you see that as a problem. The problem is none of the 5 star or higher ranked 4 star players WILL NOT sign at the U. I will venture to say that HS coaches are probably telling their kids with options to look elsewhere. But please feel free to employ the ready-made REBUILDING excuse for each poorly coached game. I have a lot more than keyboard courage, I will tell you and Al (the great POSER) Golden to your face what I think!!

I like golden but his record at temple speaks for itself and his record here is no different. I don't have a problem with losing. That's pretty funny you had someone from VA telling you about the hurricanes. What can they speak of about winning championships. We don't have a championship scheme in defense and we have lost game because of play calling and coaching and the coach blames it on youth and the players. Players don't want to come here and here the coaches blame the game on them. Stop making excuses and put these players in the proper position to win games. The process is garbage we lost three games last year on coaching vtech,Ksu and Fsu. It's the same story every week. Golden hasn't win a meaningful game yet. Temple or Miami no way we lose that game yesterday. The product everyone sees on the filed is what it is. We could have all the talent in the world but if we coaches that are inept we will never win the big one with these coaches.

butch davis is not avalible...NCAA sanctions and his agreement with NC is he is not to take ANY college coaching position. Stoops goes to NFL...so hes out. Start looking now....do it very quietly....of course Golden is going to get paid at the end of all this....well, thats the price you pay for stupidity and irrational judgements....go after kirby smart (alabama DC)..he just got a raise to $750K...offer him contract that is merit based as a HC....$2 million plus if team goes to bcs....he was assitant under bobby bowden,,,he has DC connections....lets move forward and clean house at UM

I also like john chavis (lsu) and lorenzo ward (south carolina)....put enough money up and those will come sactions and all...I like sec coaches...recruit from there

Derek Dooley fired

Mark u next

how does UM lose to a team that was 3-6 and 1-4 conference...then!!!! get a safety gift from the refs with under 2 minutes in the game....let me guess....rookies and youth....we suck period...the players are not good either, lets be honest...the coaches have to go at least.

Golden has brought talent into the program. Perryman, Howard, and Duke are going to be great players. I think we dont lock down south florida because of the attendance at home games. That place was empty against VT. Its easily the most depressing environment in college football. You can bring in Nick Saban and that place will still be empty.

wrong....winning lifts all boats.....the key word here is "had"....now that the word is out (HS coaches and media) that Golden was more hype than anything the "Duke's" will become less and less.....alex collins (a duke type recruit) is gone.....now watch keith bryant, artie burns and jamal carter (all defensive players)....I bet 2 of those de-committ

Gallo, U dipshit it was the older players that stunk things up yesterday. If Perryman, Johnson and my man Bush had been there the game wouldn't have been close. Those 3 along with Chick, McCord, Howard are our best players. Highsmith may be his fathers son but the kid has never played safety like Deon Bush can where he will lay the wood to a player.

And who is the idiot that thinks Jimmy Johnson is going to leave a NFL halftime analyst job to come be the AD here or anywhere for that matter. That idiot is a bigger dipshit than U or the character U created is little jimmy.

Calvin: I could not agree more, I was shocked to see Portis drop back in coverage. He's one of our best past rushers, and looked pretty good up to that point. Why waste this kids talents and energy trying to cover a back out of the backfield? That was really awful; these coaches are clueless at tims - more often than not. We have a long ways to go and I am unsure if this team is going in the right direction with this coaching staff.

I hate my life, hire uncle luke

come on really we can beat v-tech but not the cavalers better get it together AL this is getting old

Much as I hate to say this! We will not win another game this year, because this coaching staff is in over their heads!!!! They can't get it done!!! South florida will Win, Duke will Win. I have no Faith in this coaching staff. You can't tell me that we don't havebetter player than UV. Please Fire this coaching staff and get someone that will develop these kids... SAD!!!

Jim Gallo "Curse",

It's frauds like you that call yourself a fan that was calling for Butch's head when he was rebuilding the program. Hell Butch sold the program out because of idiot fans such as yourself calling for his head while he was building the monster. Working at Walmart doesn't qualify you to make any decision on hiring or firing coaches. Just collect those carts and get them back so customers can buy their Chinese crap.

sell butch out?...what in the world are you talking about....you delusional with championships...golden is 38-45...what is there even to talk about....just because they call the titanic "unsinkable"....trust me, it is made of steel and it will sink..that is a certainty....just like UM...snap out of it green pea....the program is done

a safety handed to UM on a ref bad call....less than 2 minutes in the game and a 3-6 team goes all the way down the field and wins.....how is that even possible? these coaches should do the honorable thing a resign...less bloody than falling on a sword

Dumbass, what southpaw is saying is that guys like you were calling for Butch's head until he beat FSU in 2000. I can't say much because I said the same thing about him up to that point. At least I have enough balls to tell the truth. The program is far from being done, it merely is in the tough part of rrebuilding a program. This was a game we should have won but when 3 of our best defensive players are out and have to be replaced with holdovers from the previous regime games like that will happen. The players will learn from this and come back much stronger.

Why don't U resign and let us worry about our team.

Jim Gallo "Curse",

Your football knowledge is as bad as your reading comprehension. Like I said, those carts at Walmart aren't going to return themselves. Get back to work...

like ive said...without shannons offensive recruits we would be winless....our players suck, plain and simple. If you cant close the game after you get a safety...then get the ball back...then have a defense loose the game with less than 2 min left...YOU SUCK, your idiot green pea class of 2016 opinion is worthless..your too young, dumb and stupid to understand any of this. there no high school team in dade/broward county that is any less in talent than this 3-6 virginia team who had 6 straight losses in a row.....here build this...we completely suck....need to clean house at every level...no other legitimate program would allow this...

Gallo, I believe MOST here would be satisfied with the removal of D'Onofrio, our D-backs coach, and our strength/conditioning coach.
The supposed "gains' by our players seems insignificant after watching our D-Line getting pushed around by EVERYONE, whether we win or lose.

As far as recruiting, EVERY other program recruiting against the U probably mentions the horrible fan support, sub-standard (but getting better) facilities, lack of a true home field, and, did I mention LACK OF FAN SUPPORT.

We are now way down the list of apparel sales, and being a small private school can't afford to pay the 2.5 to 5 million top SEC coaches get.

BTW, even if Butch WAS available, the last thing UM needs is the NCAA breathing down our necks due to the fact we hired a coach whose program was severely punished.

look golden is not going to fire dnofrio....therefore thety both have to go....also my sources tell me that keith bryant will de-commit and will land at fsu....butch is not allowed to coach ncaa football....these bloggers dont understand that there is alot of headwind going forward with this team....forget rebuilding at the temple model....golden had to win immediately....second year had to post a winning season....8-4 at worst...his recruiting class has dropped to #53...another shoe to drop soon..stay tuned

i wish everyone would stop criticizing these players these young men are really trying their best and are just what they are told and how they are coached. there are no shannon players or golden players anymore they are UM players. the players that didnt want to buy into this so called system were forced out,quit or left for the nfl. after 2 years this now al golden's team regardless of who recruited them.when players mess up people on this board are quick to say it was a shannon player,but no one said anything when eddie johnson and scott were suspended for this critical game. players al golden brought in.

baaad coaching 1.you take your best dt the only one that gets push up the middle and drop him into coverage.2. on the same play your slowest de playing on one leg into pass def.3.on the same play your 5'10s lb to cover a 6'5 te.4. there aren't any other coaches in football at any level that would let a lb cover an athletic te 5.i have never seen lbs run with their backs to the ball thats bad technique @ popwarner level after 2 years that shouldnt happen and all the lbs do that so you can tell its coaching.

Hey Miami

Just wanted to say thanks for firing me not even into my 4th year good and replacing me with this clown...BTW your defense sucks!!

you guys miss Coker yet??

Randy Shannon

It is not the players who have lost games this year.
The players individually and as a team are great. They have won games that the coaching staff tried to lose.

The players are being handed defenses and offensive plays that would stink even if the Canes had NFL all pro players at every position.

The facts and the statistics of this team prove that with an aggressive defense, man to man coverage, the Canes win. When golden and the DC change to prevent-the-win, no blitz, zone pass coverage, they lose. It is as simple as that. Any team that has a good winning record has an aggressive defense that keeps the other teams' scores low so that our offense can outscore their low scores.

Two solutions: 1. golden and the DC implement ONLY an aggressive, attacking defense, or 2. fire them for breach of contract. If make a contract with a builder to build you a building, and it collapses, you do not pay. He pays you for his breach of contract to go out and find a competent contractor to clean up his mess.

shallaaalala and golden and his two coordinators have breached their contracts, collapsed this program, blamed the players they recruited, in other words, THEY breached their contracts and should be told to GTFO the Miami campus.

Shannon would have been 1-9 at this time with this personnel

By the way- You all hating on the U. But the U is still very relevant (see below). They just have to put the pieces together on Defense. Imagine if UM had a fraction of the defense they used to have with this offense. So lets now be positive. There is still lots to play for.

Golden's true worth will be on how he keeps these kids focusd on the next two games. Shannon lost the kids before the USF game, and it showed against USF then BC.
If Golden can string together two wins PLUS a trip to the ACC ch and a good showing aginst FSU, he's got me. I'll give him a pass (passes are only one year at a time).

By the way, the U not relevant? Here's the latest on NFL rosters:

#1 (tied)- UM and USC -47 players
#3 - Texas- 40
#4- LSU 38
#5- Ohio State- 37

And there are two running backs in the top tenin rushing at this time, one receiver in the top 3.

Please, lets get over the negativity. Lets show up against USF and support these kids.

532, no one wants to watch losers. golden and the DC and OC and shalalala are losers.

The kids are great. But they can not overcome bad coaching, bad formations unless they kick the coaches out of the meeting. Then, Morris should draw up some slanting passing patterns and some pitch outs for Johnson, and the defensive players come up with a four down lineman defense with a blitzer on every play, and man to man initial pass coverage with two free safeties.

This coaching staff is so stupid, they do not even put in extra big linemen on 3 or 4th and l, or on goal line stands to fill the gaps. Same old crap defenses with LBs off the line allowing the first down or TD pickup.

Lifelong Canes fan. My son is getting recruited by the big schools and loves the U, but with this administration and coaches making excuses, cannot see myself endorse this school for my son. FSU or Gators...

again lets go over how weak these coaches are....miami is up by 10...then the defense (dnofrio) lets them back in the game with a touchdown, not a field goal......then we get the ball and do nothing....then viginia gets the ball and with a blown call by the ref and we get a safety (game is won here).....then golden runs 3 running plays and with a third and 6 runs it again....what an idiot handing the potential win back to the defense that just a few plays ago let virginia back into the game....then dnofrio lets rocco go 87 yards to win....unbelieveable incompetance....

yup Dave, I understand,
Sad to say, but with shalalalalaal, golden and his OC and DC, Miami is only going to sink lower until they are gone and a real and competent AD, prez and head coach come in, especially coaches who have proven themselves in the NFL on superbowl winning teams like Schnell.

All those tens of millions of income wasted by the U when they regularly went to the BCS games should have been used to buy the old OB or build a new stadium and hire competent coaches. Not only have the present clowns cost Miami attendance, income, pride, and recruits, but it will take a long time for everyone to get angry and demand that the clowns go.

We all know that our defense stinks. Our play calling also stinks. It is the coaching staff's job to put our kids in a position to be successful. They are failing in that respect. Mark D'Onofrio is just an utter failure. I know that he's AG's buddy,but at what point does his abysmal job performance get addressed? My son was a fraternity brother of Jedd Fisch at UF, and he told me the day we hired him that we would regret it. He was right.
You cannot lose games to teams like UVA, in the fashion that we're losing, and not face the obvious questions.

Naples Dave- Be a man and dont hide behind the internet.Who's the kid? And guess what, we cane fans dont want him anyway with a football parent like you. He's probably overrated anyway. Let him go to UF and be a soft loser, or to an inferior school like FSU- that last one is on you. Don't come on here with your negative BS. We don't need you or your apparently entitled kid.

To true cane fans- you know the ones that dont give up onour U like cane 72 and gallo- I know I'm not giving up on these kids. Quitters and whiners like many on this blog can go root for the turds who nearly lost to ULLafayette- The ragin cajuns!

What UM has to do in the next 3, 4,5 years is do what Florida and many other programs do. Play your conference schedule, fine. Then play 3 cup cakes, and in Miami's case, add say UCF or USF. Not Oklahoma, not ND, NOt Ohio State, not even KSU. That will allow a young no depth team such as ours to get their bearings before you embark on an all world schedule.

To true cane fans- you know the ones that don't give up on our U like cane 72 and gallo- I know I'm not giving up on these kids. Quitters and whiners like many on this blog can go root for the turds who nearly lost to ULLafayette- The ragin cajuns!
Hey Corpus you said it...
It is one thing to lose a close game in the last 10 seconds..It is another to fire the whole team when these fans are the ones that will be watching the 'Canes in the future, hoping they can win for the 'U'....Replaying this mess when the players we need to win are being groomed to step up, and after every loss the same refrain..."but if they lose fire everyone."

We always seem to take a snapshot of bull and create a frenzy, when the Big Picture is helping these 'Canes and their parents, families, high school associtates, Hgh School Coaches,to get recruits like Duke that are die hard 'Canes. We need for the team Family to be there with us....Don't pi** them off, work to become what we all want. Winners, and a top football team.

Good ideas on scheduling, too...
Good post.

Naples Dave your son's LOVE of the U was not deep enough. Let him go elsewhere..we are looking for 4- 5 more Duke Johnsons..Good kid great family, and bleeds the U. That is our future and we will get there.
Go 'Canes Always

BS....now were are seeing the coaches take it out on the players....captian queig (golden) puts the whole ship on probation for missing strawberries....diciplinary issues, kids leaving the team...parents calling radio stations.....recruits having to go to goldens camp or else.....this is really not working golden...its time for you to move on....eddie johnson the latest casualty

i love the canes! this one hurt yes, but this group is working hard playing hard and getting better each week... they are the ones who play the game ,if it hurts us its killing them . sat and wathched some tuff times before over the last 30 years... better days ahead , starting next saturday Go Canes !

please....golden had a choice, put the game in the hands of morris (best player) or put the game in the hands of the defense....he put the game in the hands of the defense by running 3 running plays instead of unleasing morris especially on 3rd and 7....all morris had to do was thorw a short first down and the game ended with win....these bloggers are complete idiots....this was a loss by the staff..pure and simple....its all golden BS from now on

what are the chances keith bryant comes to miami....with dnofrio as the dc...no way....when we loose the #2 recruit then maybe heads will roll...well see

This is for DWAYNE! You think this is about race! Seriously this is what you bring!! This whole blog is criticizing AG! Which he deserves and its in his second year! DWAYNE if your going to bring up the race card at least try to be right! Try to READ a little! And not just coloring books!!!! RS was a lazy recruiting and and cant get another HC job or coordinators job! Hes a POSITION coach! The Canes are aweful! RS his legacy lives on here as a BAD RECRUITER!

There is no way as a parent or player that I would consider Miami football. The kids we have are great. The head coach, DC and OC stink and do not know their elbow from their ear about good football. I saw it at the spring scrimmage and from the first game of the season when BC took two opening drives for scores.

These great kids being forced by golden to run crap offense and defense is like hitching up a winner of horse racing's triple crown to a plow. The coaches are morons as are the bloggers going rah, rah, rah, golden and future years. Nothing will change until the OC and DC change or they drastically change their formations after studying a few successful programs like Lombardi's Packers, Shula's Dolphin superbowl years.

Randy Shannon as D-Cooridinator!

By the way when will Anthony C make a play! Very slow almost always out of position!Sad that he starts! D2 talent!

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