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37 posts from November 2012

November 30, 2012

More football, just not the Miami Hurricanes. Will you be watching FSU-Georgia Tech? Al Golden: "I probably won't be.''

It's a big weekend for college football.

Unfortunately, a lot of us who would have been in Charlotte this weekend for the ACC Championship, will now sit at home Saturday and watch Georgia Tech (6-6 overall. 5-3 ACC) take on Florida State (10-2, 7-1). 

Probably not Al Golden.

Unless he changes his plans.

When The Hurricanes coach was asked If he would be watching the ACC title game, he replied, "I probably won't be. I hope I'm at a recruiting dinner trying to get someone that's going to help us get in that game -- again.''

You know it's driving Golden crazy that the Canes aren't in this game, which should have been UM vs. FSU in a rematch of state rivals. When the UM administration opted to self-impose its second consecutive bowl ban in hopes of softening expected NCAA penalties in the Nevin Shapiro case, that also included the ACC title game. 

"We've made a significant sacrifice here,'' Golden said. "It wasn't just one postseason game. It was three postseason games. It was a chance to play in a championship game and it also was a chance to play our arch-rival and have a chance to go to a BCS game. So, we're giving up significantly."

Especially frustrating that Georgia Tech is the team that got the nod for the title game over the Hurricanes, who beat Tech in Atlanta in overtime this season (remember Mike James' incredible performance that game?)

Anyway, in case you didn't hear already, the NCAA has granted Georgia Tech permission to play in a bowl game should the Yellow Jackets lose to FSU and have a 6-7 record. In doing so, that could prevent a team such as 10-2 San Jose State from playing in a bowl, or 6-6 Central Michigan.

Doesn't seem to make sense. 

WAY TO GO SHAYON

Wanted to give a shout out to defensive end Shayon Green, who won the 2012 Brian Piccolo Award along with FSU running back Chris Thompson.

The Piccolo Award, given annually since 1972 in memory of the late Brian Piccolo, goes to the "most courageous" football player in the ACC. Piccolo, who played for Wake Forest (and the Chicago Bears) and was the 1965 ACC Athlete of the Year, moved to South Florida when he was 12 and graduated from the former Central Catholic High -- now Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas -- in 1961. He was stricken with an aggressive form of cancer and died at age 26. (aside: any of you remember, or ever seen, the movie that immortalized Piccolo -- Brian's Song? A remake of it was made in 2001. The original was aired in 1971.)

Shayon, according to the news release of the award, "had to overcome four different major injuries:'' two ACL tears in his right knee, one meniscus tear in his right knee and also suffered a dislocated wrist that forced him to miss "all, or a major part of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons.''

"Shayon is an amazing individual with an unparalleled work ethic,'' Golden said. "I cannot think of anyone who exemplifies the ideals of Brian Piccolo or is more deserving of this award than him. He has overcome a dislocated wrist and three separate knee surgeries to become our leading tackler and team captain. His commitment and perseverance is an inspiration to us all.''

Frank Gore (2004) and Glenn Sharpe (2006) are the other two Canes who previously won this award.

I did a feature about Shayon early this season. He's a tough player, whom I recall many a day walking to or from practice limping. But he ended up leading the Hurricanes in tackles with 67 in 12 games -- three more than LB Denzel Perryman (nine games); six more than LB Gionni Paul (nine games); and eight more than LB Eddie Johnson (10 games).

Shayon will be back next year.

HERE'S THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY I WROTE ABOUT SHAYON EARLY THIS SEASON:

 When Shayon Green learned that fifth-year senior linebacker Ramon Buchanan sustained a second major knee injury Saturday on the same knee Buchanan tore last October, tears welled in Green’s eyes.

“That was very upsetting,’’ Green said this week, taking a few moments to compose himself. “He’s in my prayers.’’

Green’s empathy is palpable. The 6-3, 260-pound Miami defensive end tore the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee as a freshman during 2009 fall camp. He tore the same ACL again during spring practice of 2011.

“But I never quit,’’ he said.

This medical marvel, an inspiration to teammates and coaches alike, resumed his playing career six months after his second reconstructive surgery. Today, the redshirt junior leads the Hurricanes (1-1) in tackles with 15 – highlighted by his tackle-for-loss on an attempted trick play from the 1-yard line at Kansas State in the second quarter.

KSU missed an attempted field goal on the next play.

“He’s as tough as they come,’’ defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said of Green, who plays strong-side, rush end and nose tackle on third downs. “He has come back from multiple injuries, yet he throws it around every day. Here’s an example of someone who doesn’t make excuses, a guy playing three positions and owning the game plan.’’

Green, 21, grew up in Tifton, Ga., where he was rated the No. 65 weakside defensive end by rivals.com. He said his mother, a nurse; and father, who owns a small construction company, helped keep his spirits up through both ACL tears.

“Proud is not the word,’’ said Larry Green, who had just hung up with Shayon a day after the demoralizing 52-13 loss at Kansas State. “He’s very respectful, well mannered, smart – and I love him to death. He was a little upset because he’s a leader on the defensive line and they played poorly. I told him, ‘Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get ready for Bethune-Cookman. You’ve got to rally your troops.’’’

TICKETS ON SALE FOR UM FOOTBALL BANQUET

Tickets are on sale for the UM Football Banquet, which will be held Dec. 9 at Jungle Island in the Treetop Ballroom -- 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, 33132.

Tickets are $60 per person, which includes buffet lunch.

Check-in and reception begin at noon, with luncheon and awards program at 1 p.m. 

Fans can purchase tickets online or by calling the Hurricane Club at 305-284-6699.

HURRICANES TO HOST WOUNDED WARRIORS

 The UM baseball team will host the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team for a 7 p.m. exhibition on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

  The Wounded Warriors are young veterans and active duty soldiers who have lost limbs while serving their country in the military since 9-11. 

  Pregame festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. All proceeds from the game ($10 general admission tickets a the gate) go to the Wounded Warriors.

  These guys are awesome -- and they're incredibly fit. I've covered the Wounded Warriors who run in the ING MIami Marathon. It's a fantastic organization. I'm guessing that this event will be inspiring, and worth attending.

IN CLOSING...

  Another shout out, this one to the men's and women's hoops teams, who had back-to-back great victories against highly ranked teams -- the men against No. 13 Michigan State and the women, last night against No. 6 Penn State.

  Michelle Kaufman covers UM hoops for The MIami Herald, and wrote two compelling stories on the games.

  While she was at the men's game two nights ago, by the way, she caught up to UM interim AD Blake James to ask him about the speculation of Al Golden speaking to Tennessee (or other teams) about head coaching vacancies.

  She relayed this quote to me, from James: 

"I spoke to Al the last two days regarding all the rumors and he assured me that he'll be with us next year and isn't going anywhere."

 I believe it.

 I am on furlough next week (mandatory and predetermined), so will be back after that.

Everyone have a healthy and happy week ahead.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

November 26, 2012

Duke Johnson only Hurricane named to All-ACC team

The Miami Hurricanes might have won a share of the Coastal Division title on the field, but that didn't mean voters felt like they deserved much representation on the All-ACC Team.

Freshman Duke Johnson turned out to be the only representative from UM to make the team. He earned second team honors at running back and as a special teamer.

Four Hurricanes were named ACC Honorable mention: OL Seantrel Henderson, OL Brandon Linder, OL Jonathan Feliciano and LB Denzel Perryman.

Here is the complete list released moments ago from the ACC.

FIRST TEAM
Offense
QB-Tajh Boyd, Clemson (86)
RB-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (91)
RB-Andre Ellington, Clemson (77)
WR-DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson (80)
WR-Alex Amidon, Boston College (53)
OT-Oday Aboushi, Virginia (53)
OT-Brandon Thomas, Clemson (51)
OG-Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (79)
OG-Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech (64)
C-Dalton Freeman, Clemson (78)
TE-Brandon Ford, Clemson (54)
K-Dustin Hopkins, Florida State (79)
Spec.- Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (48)

Defense
DE-Bjoern Werner, Florida State (89)
DE-Cornellius Carradine, Florida State (77)
DT-Joe Vellano, Maryland (80)
DT-Sylvester Williams, North Carolina (63)
LB-Nick Clancy, Boston College (66)
LB-Kevin Reddick, North Carolina (65)
LB-Steve Greer, Virginia (58)
CB-Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (66)
CB-Ross Cockrell, Duke (50)
S-Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (59)
S-Earl Wolff, NC State (46)
P-Will Monday, Duke (73)

SECOND TEAM
Offense
QB-EJ Manuel, Florida State (25)
RB-Duke Johnson, Miami (47)
RB-Chris Thompson, Florida State (31)
WR-Conner Vernon, Duke (51)
WR-Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest (32)
OT-James Hurst, North Carolina (50)
TIE OT-Cameron Erving, Florida State (21)
TIE OT-Emmett Cleary, Boston College (21)
OG-Tre' Jackson, Florida State (26)
OG-R.J. Matttes, NC State (24)
C- Bryan Stork, Florida State (19)
TE-Eric Ebron, North Carolina (51)
TIE K-Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson (22)
TIE K-Casey Barth, North Carolina (22)
Spec.-Duke Johnson, Miami (44)

Defense
DE-James Gayle, Virginia Tech (30)
DE-Kareem Martin, North Carolina (22)
DT-Everett Dawkins, Florida State (34)
DT-Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest (24)
LB-Demetrius Hartsfield, Maryland (34)
LB-Christian Jones, Florida State (31)
LB-Jack Tyler Virginia Tech (28)
CB-David Amerson, NC State (46)
CB-Antone Exum, Virginia Tech (44)
S-Rashard Hall, Clemson (43)
S- Walt Canty, Duke (31)
P-Tommy Hibbard, North Carolina (40)

Honorable Mention
OFFENSE

QB Mike Glennon (NC State) 10
QB Bryn Renner (NC) 15
RB Orwin Smith (GT) 13
WR Sammy Watkins (Clemson) 19
WR Jamison Crowder (Duke) 15
TE Jake McGee (Virginia) 12
C Camden Wentz (NC State) 12
C Jay Finch (Georgia Tech) 16
OG Brandon Linder (Miami) 21
OG Dave Harding (Duke) 14
OG Jonathan Feliciano (Miami) 16
OG Travis Bond (North Carolina) 14
OT Menelik Watson (FSU) 13
OT Emmett Cleary (BC) 21
OT Seantrel Henderson (Miami) 13
OT Will Jackson (Georgia Tech) 14
OT Brennan Williams (NC) 13
OT Perry Simmons (Duke) 11
K Ross Martin (Duke) 11
ST Stefon Diggs (Maryland) 33

DEFENSE
DE Kenny Anunike (Duke) 13
DE Darryl Cato-Bishop (NCST) 12
DE A.J. Francis (Maryland) 12
DE Malliciah Goodman (Clemson) 16
DT Antoine Hopkins (VT) 10
DT Derrick Hopkins (VT) 15
DT Timmy Jernigan (FSU) 15
DT Anthony McCloud (FSU) 10
LB Jeremiah Attaochu (Georgia Tech) 26
LB Denzel Perryman (Miami) 12
LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (BC) 14
LB LaRoy Reynolds (Virginia) 10
LB Kenny Tate (Maryland) 12
LB Bruce Taylor (VT) 19
LB Vince Williams (FSU) 11
S Brandan Bishop (NC State) 20
S Tre Boston (North Carolina) 29
CB Kyle Fuller (VT) 16
CB Tim Scott (NC) 10
CB Demetrious Nicholson (Virginia) 12
P Alexander Kinal (Wake Forest) 12
P Gerald Levano (BC) 13

> FYI, a year ago UM had linebacker Sean Spence make the All-ACC first team. Running back Lamar Miller and center Tyler Horn were named to the second team. Leonard Hankerson, Matt Bosher and Brandon Washington made the All-ACC first team in 2010. UM had six players make the second team in 2010.

Duke Johnson wins 5th ACC Rookie of the Week honor, finishes 4th nationally among freshmen rushers

University of Miami freshman running back Duke Johnson was named the ACC's Rookie of the Week for the fifth time on Monday.

Johnson, who along with Maryland receiver Stefon Diggs, is in the running for the ACC Rookie of the Year Award, capped his freshman season with his best rushing performance of the year -- running for 176 yards and three TDs in a win at Duke Saturday.

Johnson finished the season with 947 yards -- a new UM freshman rushing record and the fourth-highest total in the country among freshmen. He finishes 65th overall in terms of yards per game with 78.92. 

The only freshmen who ran for more yards than Johnson: Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon (1,194 yards), Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (1,181 yards) and Georgia's Todd Gurley (1,138 yards). Each of them had at 37 or more carries than Johnson on the season. Johnson had 139 carries.

Johnson also finished fourth nationally in kickoff return average (33.04) and eighth in all-purpose yardage (171.67).

The last Hurricane to win a conference Rookie of the Year award was offensive tackle Joaquin Gonzalez back in 1998. Reggie Wayne won it in 1997. Kenard Lang won it in 1994.

The last Hurricane to win an overall yearly award in conference was the late Sean Taylor, who won the Big East's Defensive Player of the Year award in 2003. UM hasn't won anything since.

> Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post did a good job breaking down the fight for the ACC Rookie of the Year award between Johnson and Diggs on his blog. Check it out. 

November 24, 2012

Gameday blog: UM at Duke

The Canes (6-5, 4-3 ACC) are playing their final game of the season at Duke (6-5, 3-4 ACC).

Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on the ACC Network. Locally, that's Channel 4.

Feel free to participate in our CoverItLive.com chat below. All you need to do is sign in with your email address.

NEWS: #UM #Canes LB & second-leading tackler Eddie Johnson not at Duke game -- UM's final game of season

Here we go again.

Hurricanes linebacker and second-leading tackler Eddie Johnson is not on the travel roster for today's game at Duke -- the final University of Miami football game of the season.

Johnson has violated team rules, said UM athletics director of communications Chris Yandle.

Johnson, a 6-1, 234-pound redshirt freshman outside linebacker who won two Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week Awards this season (as linebacker of the week and rookie of the week), did not travel to the Virginia game two weeks ago because of disciplinary reasons.

He was reinstated for the USF game last weekend.

On this week's depth chart, Johnson was listed as the backup to sophomore Thurston Armbrister.

"There's a responsibility and level of accountability that we can't move on without, " UM Coach Al Golden said after he announced Johnson's reinstatement the week of the USF game. "It's not, 'Do this for me.' It's, 'Do it because the rest of the team is doing it and because you want to be accountable and you want to be responsible and you want to be a good teammate.'

"Hopefully, he'll come out of it stronger and respond. I've been in situations where two or three years down the road you look back and say, 'That was a moment that I finally realized what I'm giving up or what I'm costing the team.' As a coach, you can't look the other way."

Chatter about Johnson started trickling down on the Internet yesterday.

He has 59 tackles (7.5 tackles-for-loss), a sack, interception, two pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and three forced fumbles in 10 games. He has started eight games.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

November 21, 2012

Talk Canes with Manny Navarro, live Q&A begins at 2 p.m.

Come talk Canes with me one last time before the season ends. I'm sure we'll have plenty to discuss.

Chat begins at 2 p.m. Leave your questions on the blog below or tweet them to me. I will answer all of them on the CoverItLive app.

Ultimatum by NCAA on former Canes players shows just how flawed system really is

In case you missed it, our Barry Jackson posted an interesting entry in his latest Sports Buzz column about how the NCAA has sent letters to former UM football players telling them they must talk or they will believe Nevin Shapiro's claims against them.

The deadline is this Friday. Barry and I heard about this last week and he got a copy of the letter recently and posted it on his blog.

Here’s how the letter to one player's attorney reads:

"The purpose of this letter is to apprise you that the NCAA enforcement staff is requesting to schedule an interview with your clients regarding their knowledge of or involvement in possible NCAA violations concerning the University of Miami, Florida, football program.

"Interviewing your clients is important in order for the enforcement staff to conduct a thorough investigation, and both the staff and the institution request you and your clients’ cooperation in this matter. However, at this time, all attempts to schedule and execute interviews with [blank] have been unsuccessful. As a result, this letter serves as a formal and final request by the NCAA enforcement staff for interviews with [blank] to be completed by Nov. 23, 2012.

“If we do not hear back from you or your clients by that time, the staff will consider the non-response as your client’s admission of involvement in NCAA violations. You may contact me at [blank] in order to arrange this interview. Your assistance in this matter is appreciated.”

Sincerely,
Molly Richman,
Assistant Director of Enforcement

MY THOUGHTS

I've heard all along from a couple sources that were interviewed by the NCAA who have told me the organization feels like it has a solid case to hammer UM for lack of institutional control based on the testimony of about eight to 10 former players, former assistant coaches and recruits who went elsewhere and were given immunity.

Not only do I think that stinks (immunity), but I find it downright offensive now that this letter surfaces and that former players are basically being told as the case is being wrapped up they have to speak or all of it is going to be considered true. In my opinion, this is a huge black-eye on the NCAA and the way it goes about collecting its information.

Do we live in America or a dictatorship?

Somebody has to step in here and do something. This system is clearly flawed. 

November 20, 2012

Scott will return from suspension on Jan. 1st, plus other UM notes

UM coach Al Golden told reporters Tuesday suspended receiver Rashawn Scott will return to the team after Jan. 1.

Scott hasn't played since the Virginia Tech game.

Other notes from Golden Tuesday:

- Golden said team will start weight lifting as soon as the season ends. He said he wants the commitment to continue before players go home on holiday break.

- Freshman safety Deon Bush, who has missed the last two games with a stinger, has been cleared to return and play this week at Duke. Bush practiced Tuesday.

- Golden said he and his staff have been energized by the effort of the players this week in practice. That's a good sign considering players were flat last year after learning they were not going to be a bowl game prior to losing to Boston College in the season finale.

November 19, 2012

VIDEO: Al Golden, Stephen Morris, Mike James react to bowl ban

UM coach Al Golden talked about the program taking a second consecutive bowl ban. He also addressed his future with the Hurricanes.

UM quarterback Stephen Morris said the team was "in a state of shock" when they found out Monday morning they wouldn't be going to a bowl game for the second year in a row.

UM elects to skip post-season again

Here is the official release from the school sent this morning:

The University of Miami has made the decision to withhold the football team from bowl consideration for the 2012 postseason. The decision was made in response to the ongoing NCAA inquiry and the University has informed both the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference of its decision. The decision also means that should the Miami football team qualify for the ACC Championship Game, it will not be eligible to participate. Interim Director of Athletics Blake James informed the team of the decision this morning, two days after the Hurricanes became bowl eligible with their sixth victory of the season.

The unprecedented decision to voluntarily withhold the football team from a second consecutive postseason was made by University leadership, including President Shalala, the Office of the General Counsel and Department of Athletics leaders. Considerable deliberation and discussion based on the status of the NCAA inquiry went into the decision-making process and, while acknowledging the impact that the decision will have on current student-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans, a determination was made that voluntarily withholding the football team from a second postseason was not only a prudent step for the University to take but will also allow for the football program and University to move forward in the most expedited manner possible.

The University and President Shalala have been clear from the start of the inquiry that Miami will cooperate fully and will seek the truth, no matter where the path might lead and that the institution will be stronger because of it. The University has already taken proactive measures to ensure more strict compliance with NCAA rules and continues to evaluate further steps. No other self-imposed penalties have been issued at this time and to continue to protect the integrity of the inquiry, the University will have no further comment.

November 18, 2012

Does UM's delay in announcing bowl decision bode well for the Hurricanes?

 I admit I was a bit surprised -- and disappointed -- when Al Golden didn't relay a decision about what the Miami administration will do regarding the Hurricanes' post-season future.

 Golden said he wants to keep playing, but that it's what any coach would want, and he wasn't taking into account any future implications. Whatever UM president Donna Shalala decides, Golden said he will support.

Waiting at all makes me think they might be waiting to see what happens in the game at Duke, and whether UM qualifies for the ACC Championship game, which would precede a Bowl. And if UM beats Duke and were to go to the ACC title game Dec. 1 in Charlotte, N.C., a victory would put the Canes in the Orange Bowl. Wow. Imagine that.

Of course, should UM get in the title game and get killed by FSU...

Maybe the administration wants to appease Al Golden, who is the right coach at the right time for this program. The Canes do not want to lose Golden, who seems very committed, but who also will likely be on the wish list for other programs.

Either way, what do you guys think? Should they go or should they stay?

I think they should self-impose, but I figure I win either way. Covering bowl games is really fun, and the players have such a good time, too. And I have to admit it would be really cool for the Canes to get into their first ACC title game.

Have a good night.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

 

 

New Depth Chart Released by UM for Regular-Season Finale at Duke

Good afternoon.

Al Golden usually releases his weekly depth chart early Monday morning before practice, but we just received the newest one for the Duke game in Durham -- announced for 12:30 p.m. Nov. 24 on ACC Regional TV.

Freshman receiver Herb Waters, who had an exceptional performance yesterday with 130 receiving yards that included an 87-yard touchdown, is now a No. 1 wideout, ahead of injured receiver Allen Hurns (broken finger).

At left tackle, freshman Ereck Flowers is now a co-first-teamer at left tackle with Malcolm Bunche.

Denzel Perryman and Gionni Paul are co-starters at outside linebacker.

Freshman Rayshawn Jenkins, who led UM yesterday with seven tackles and an interception, is a co-starter at safety with A.J. Highsmith.

DEPTH CHART, courtesty UM

OFFENSE (PRO)

WR 86 HERB WATERS 6-2, 185, Fr.

 

1 Allen Hurns 6-3, 192, Jr.

87 Garrett Kidd 6-2, 186, RFr.

LT 79 MALCOLM BUNCHE

OR6-7, 325, RSo.

74 ERECK FLOWERS 6-6, 314, Fr.

LG 70 JONATHAN FELICIANO 6-5, 314, RSo.

68 Jeremy Lewis 6-4, 316, RSr.

C 62 SHANE MCDERMOTT 6-4, 295, RSo.

75 Jared Wheeler 6-5, 314, RJr.

RG 65 BRANDON LINDER 6-6, 308, Jr.

63 Daniel Isidora 6-4, 320, Fr.

RT 77 SEANTREL HENDERSON 6-8, 340, Jr.

74 Ereck Flowers 6-6, 314, Fr.

TE 46 CLIVE WALFORD 6-4, 250, RSo.

82 Asante Cleveland 6-5, 263, Jr.

49 Dyron Dye 6-5, 255, RJr.

FB 33 MAURICE HAGENS 5-11, 240, Jr.

43 Sean Harvey 6-4, 262, RSo.

QB 17 STEPHEN MORRIS 6-2, 214, Jr.

11 Ryan Williams 6-5, 221, RSo.

RB 5 MIKE JAMES 5-11, 220, Sr.

8 Duke Johnson 5-9, 188, Fr.

25 Dallas Crawford 5-10, 192, RFr.

WR 4 PHILLIP DORSETT 5-10, 185, So.

83 Kendal Thompkins 5-10, 182, RSr.

SPECIALISTS

P 13 DALTON BOTTS 6-3, 205, Sr.

40 Jake Wieclaw 6-2, 193, RSr.

FG 40 JAKE WIECLAW 6-2, 193, RSr.

18 Matt Goudis 6-0, 170, RFr.

KO 40 JAKE WIECLAW 6-2, 193, RSr.

18 Matt Goudis 6-0, 170, RFr.

H 13 DALTON BOTTS 6-3, 205, Sr.

11 Ryan Williams 6-5, 221, RSo.

LS 61 PAUL KELLY 6-1, 262, RSr.

59 Jimmy Gaines 6-3, 230, Jr.

SS 61 PAUL KELLY 6-1, 262, RSr.

65 Brandon Linder 6-6, 308, Jr.

PR 4 PHILLIP DORSETT 5-10, 185, So.

8 Duke Johnson 5-9, 188, Fr.

KR 4 PHILLIP DORSETT 5-10, 185, So.

8 Duke Johnson 5-9, 188, Fr.

DEFENSE (4-3)

DE 71 ANTHONY CHICKILLO 6-4, 262, So.

99 Jelani Hamilton –

OR– 6-5, 271, Fr.

90 Ricardo Williams 6-5, 240, RFr.

DT 96 CURTIS PORTER 6-1, 305, RJr.

67 Corey King –

OR– 6-1, 295, RFr.

72 Earl Moore 6-1, 300, Fr.

DT 91 OLSEN PIERRE 6-4, 300, So.

93 Luther Robinson 6-3, 288, RJr.

DE 51 SHAYON GREEN 6-3, 260, RJr.

17 Tyriq McCord 6-3, 236, Fr.

94 Kelvin Cain 6-3, 245, Jr.

OLB 34 THURSTON ARMBRISTER 6-3, 222, So.

44 Eddie Johnson 6-1, 234, RFr.

MLB 59 JIMMY GAINES 6-3, 230, Jr.

56 Raphael Kirby 6-0, 218, Fr.

OLB 52 DENZEL PERRYMAN

OR6-0, 229, So.

36 GIONNI PAUL 6-1, 230, So.

31 Tyrone Cornileus 6-2, 210, Jr.

CB 37 LADARIUS GUNTER 6-2, 198, Jr.

3 Tracy Howard 5-11, 185, Fr.

20 Thomas Finnie 5-10, 183, So.

S 29 RAYSHAWN JENKINS

OR6-1, 203, Fr.

30 AJ HIGHSMITH 6-0, 202, RJr.

S 22 KACY RODGERS II 6-2, 210, Jr.

7 Vaughn Telemaque 6-2, 204, RSr.

2 Deon Bush 6-1, 190, Fr.

CB 21 BRANDON McGEE 6-0, 194, Sr.

39 Antonio Crawford 5-11, 188, Fr

We're still waiting for the teleconference with Al Golden at 4:30 today. Will be back after that.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN 

 

November 17, 2012

Transcript of UM coach Al Golden following the win over USF, plus post-game video interviews

UM coach Al Golden's post-game transcript following the 40-9 win over South Florida.

On his team’s win...
"We knew they were going to bring a lot of energy - the game means a lot to both teams. I was nervous with them coming off a bye week. We did whatever we could to get them fresh this week. We didn’t go in pads very much, and the kids responded today. I was very pleased with the effort, and obviously the amount of kids that stepped up - most particularly at wideout, to answer the call, because we had some injures at that spot."

On the performance of the wide receivers...
"Obviously we really believe Herb [Waters] is going to be a really good player for us. Philip [Dorsett] grew up tonight. I was so proud of Kendal [Thompkins], the plays he made, the blocks he made, the unselfishness he showed out there - he really deserved to go out that way. I’m very happy for Kendal."

On the performance of Clive Walford...
"Our biggest thing with Clive, and what we keep saying to him, is we have to keep pushing you to five, six, seven catches a game. He has that ability. If he didn’t have that in his talent zone, we wouldn’t push him. We have to get him out of his comfort zone and into his talent zone. We think he’s a six-, seven-, eight-catch [guy], he’s in that range. We haven’t got there yet with him. He’s getting better. Sometimes you look out there and you forget he doesn’t have a long lineage in the game. He’s a sophomore. I’m pleased with the direction he’s going and how he’s working."

On being bowl eligible...
"It’s nice. Obviously we lost by five points to the two ACC Coastal teams, which is disappointing. We’ve had a tough road to get to this point. I just stay focused on moving the team forward. When I look out there and see Herb Waters doing what he did today, and some of the other guys respond the way they did, the young guys, it’s really exciting for the future."

On the performance of Stephen Morris...
"They were pressuring us a lot. They hit Stephen a lot on plays he shouldn’t have been hit early on. I think the offensive line responded in the third quarter, they obviously protected him better. I think Stephen shook it off, and that third-quarter drive was as good as any drive we’ve had. We’ve stalled a couple times in the third quarter when we’ve gotten the ball. Stephen had a good look, we protected, we had a good mix of run and pass there - that was excellent."

"I’m excited about Stephen Morris. I look out there and you take Mike James off the field, and everyone else back. I’m excited about the direction that that’s going, and how those guys are maturing. To see Stephen step up like that is great."

On self-imposing a bowl ban...
"I’m not in that loop. I have complete confidence in our president, our legal counsel and our Athletic Director Blake James. The way I look at it is this - we have the best president in the country. A president that oversaw a 600 million dollar budget when she was in the cabinet. She was in rooms where they made decisions as to whether they are going to overthrow heads of state, whether we were going to commit troops. I think she can handle this one. I have complete confidence she can handle this one. I’m just happy for the guys. I’m happy for the win today. I’m happy to have the opportunity to go to Durham next week and play for the Coastal."

On his role in the bowl decision-making...
"I’m not part of it, and most of that is to protect me from the legal side of it, to be quite honest. I’m not privy to what the president is privy to. I don’t know what the president knows, or our legal counsel, or what Blake James knows, and I’m not a part of that. I’m sure there will be some discussions tonight and tomorrow and we’ll go from there."

On addressing the bowl eligibility with the team...
"I lamented the fact that I didn’t address it before Virginia. For all the things we didn’t do well in the game, I wish I had said, ‘hey guys, I’m getting so many questions about it, if we are we going to do this or do that, so I know you must be seeing it or hearing it.’ I think the kids did an awesome job this week of just listening to what I was saying and what the staff was saying. Just live in a vision. Go out and play. Enjoy it. Don’t let anyone get you down, talking about what you don’t have, because it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy."

"I thought our kids enjoyed it tonight. Our kids played hard. We have to do the same thing next week. Wehave to block out the circumstances. Don’t make any excuses, we’re responsible for what we can control. The rest will take care of itself - I have faith in that."

On playing for a spot in the ACC Championship Game next week...
"It’s critical. It’s critical for our seniors to weather what they have weathered, and to be able to have an opportunity to go out like that. If you look at it all the way down the line, if you’re a freshman, and you’re playing for that your freshman year, you become accustomed. You change the culture. They start to understand what it means to pack your bags and go on the road to Durham or wherever you have to go to win that game. We’re going to have our hands full – we know that. All our Coastal Division games are hard to win. I hope our guys learned from the Virginia game on what we need to do. That’s my focus. I have complete confidence in our leadership and the direction we’re going with the program and what we need to do to move forward."

On the timetable for a decision...
"I’m here to coach the team and make them better. I’m here to move the program forward and move the team forward. I want to reiterate how proud I am of the guys. You can say whatever you want, come at me, bury me all you want. Attack me all you want. These kids who have stuck it out, who have stayed here, who have never gone one week in two years without hearing this nonsense, don’t blame them. I appreciate all those kids that not only stayed here, but those guys that answered the bell, that answered the call to fix this. We will get it fixed."

On the performance of the team’s defense...
"Denzel [Perryman] and Eddie [Johnson] make a difference, I don’t think there’s any question, having guys back like that. Hopefully we’ll get Deon [Bush] back. I think Corey King did a nice job. The presence of all three of those kids made a difference in the game. We played a lot of guys, we rotated, we got some takeaways which were huge. It was a good win."

On the defense holding USF offense to single digits...
"We were all disappointed with how we played last week and the circumstances we were dealing with. The three games leading up to Virginia, we showed marked improvement, and obviously we got back on track here tonight. You can’t erase what happened last week, but obviously we all understand what goes into a game like that and an effort like that. I thought the guys responded today."

On blocking out distractions with a young team...
"It’s tough. It’s not just the kids, it’s everybody. Everybody in the organization. I’ve never had a season where I wasn’t answering for those questions, never been in a kid’s home recruiting where I didn’t have to answer those questions. I can’t wait for that day. I thank the parents, and the players who stayed here to fight through this – those are the ones we should be honoring. Those seniors who stayed here to fight through this and didn’t take the easy way out, and all the kids that joined us, that want to see the University of Miami back where it needs to be."

On the play of freshman safety Rayshawn Jenkins...
"I think he’s talented. That rookie class has really stepped up. I don’t know if he’s the ninth or 10th freshman who has started for us this year, but they’ve stepped up. They’ve really had to fill in. A lot of them were pressed into service before they were ready. They’re competitors, they love football, and they love the University of Miami. I’m very pleased with Rayshawn."

Gameday blog: USF at Canes

The Canes (5-5, 4-3 ACC) are playing their final home game of the season against South Florida (3-6).

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game can be seen on SunSports.

Feel free to participate in our CoverItLive.com chat below. All you need to do is sign in with your email address.

November 15, 2012

Canes WR Davon Johnson is out for the season

UM won't just be shorthanded at receiver for Saturday's home finale vs. USF.

Senior receiver Davon Johnson (21 catches, 348 yards, 0 TDs) has had season-ending surgery according to UM. He joins freshmen Robert Lockhart and Malcolm Lewis as receivers who have been lost for the season. Sophomore receiver Rashawn Scott was suspended indefinitely before the Virginia game and remains out.

So, UM is down to Phillip Dorsett, Allen Hurns (fractured thumb), Herb Waters and Kendall Thompkins as the only scholarship receivers who are expected to play Saturday. UM has two other freshman receivers being redshirted

Safety Deon Bush, meanwhile, will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury. Bush has been battling stingers all season.

VIDEO - Canes Chat: Mike James

Our correspondent Maribel Rivera (@MLRivera31) had a one-on-one interview with senior running back Mike James before his final home game as a Hurricane.

Duke Johnson on his way to becoming most prolific kickoff return man in Canes history

Thanks to his big day returning kickoffs last Saturday at Virginia, Hurricanes freshman running back Duke Johnson now ranks third nationally in kickoff return yardage with a 35.41 average.

Duke JohnsonThe Hurricanes, who ranked 71st a year ago in kickoff returns, rank eighth overall with a 28.05 average. In 2010, UM ranked 102nd (19.66 average).

So could Johnson end up breaking the single-season kickoff average in Canes' history? He might.

Johnson already owns the school record for most kickoff return yardage in a season (779). But according to the record book, Tremain Mack owns the highest average (1996, 37.71 yards per return, 14 returns for 528 yards). Devin Hester is next with a 28.72 average set in 2003. 

In terms of career kickoff return yardage, Randal Hill owns the mark with 1,169 yards. Johnson, by the way, already ranks ninth all-time in terms of yardage and is tied for the career mark in touchdown returns (2) with Ottis Anderson, Hester and Tim Morgan

This week, special teams coordinator Micheal Barrow had high praise for the kick return blocking of Allen Hurns, Mike James, Raphael Kirby, walk-on Nantambu Fentress, Maurice Hagens and Herb Waters.

"Obviously Duke, he hit it hard, found a crease," Barrow said of Johnson's 95-yard kick return for a touchdown. "But those guys laid on a barbwire for him, tried to block guys to the Gatorade cooler and gave him an opportunity to find a button to run off."

UM ranks 13th nationally in kickoff coverage defense, but it's an area UM coach Al Golden and Barrow agreed this week the team has to improve on. Of UM's 56 kickoffs this season, only six have gone for touchbacks. Of the 120 teams at the FBS level, only 14 teams have single-digit touchbacks.

"A few times we've missed a layup, had a guy inside the 20 and missed a tackle," Barrow said. "We also have to get better ball placement where scheme is setup. We went from being one of the tops in the ACC to now we kind of slipped on a banana the last few games. We have to get back to our training and what we do well, and challenge our guys to get off the milk cartons and make plays."

Said Golden: "A lot of it's personnel. We've had a lot of changes, lose Deon [Bush] and Gabe [Terry], elite cover guys in terms of speed and strength. It hurts. We've made a lot of changes there, need some guys to step up and respond - [Raphael] Kirby, guys like that. We need other guys to step up. Eduardo [Clements] is hurt, too. Eduardo was great at it. Dallas [Crawford] has stepped up. We need others to."

MORE LEFTOVERS/NOTES

> Although he's moved back behind Denzel Perryman this week at weakside linebacker, odds are sophomore Gionni Paul will be fighting with freshman Raphael Kirby to be UM's starting middle linebacker -- and not in pass coverage -- next season. Paul was beaten for the game-winning TD pass at Virginia.

"Gionni has a great knack for finding the football," defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said. "He made 14 tackles [at Virginia]. He has to improve his conditioning, improve his speed and his pass defense and his knowledge of the defense. Until he does all that there's going to be some plays where not only, he but some other guys get exposed [in pass defense]. But I'd rather have a guy who can find the ball, than one who can't, and that's his strongest asset."

Barrow agrees. "He's a guy that has instincts, comes from Ray Lewis' high school. Must be something in the water up there," Barrow said. "He knows what he needs to focus on. Last year he didn't play a lot like he wanted to and we wanted him to. Through the ups and downs, he's kept fighting. I like guys like that."

> Cornerback Brandon McGee on just how country Alabama-born cornerback Ladarius Gunter is: "Allen Bailey is like Green Mile country. LG ain't that country."

> With the program mired in mediocrity and with NCAA sanctions hanging over head, one might imagine the recruiting pitch has changed. Barrow said he tells recruits when he goes out on the trail that at UM there are great opportunities to play.

"It's still an opportunity to win a championship, a great opportunity at education, for playing time," Barrow said. "We're still playing a lot of young guys. We're a top 30 university in the nation, a private school. Socially it's like a buffet here. It's a small town of Coral Gables outside a major city. There's a reason LeBron [James] went to Miami. It's a beautiful place. And with us located in Coral Gables, that's the Beverly Hills of our county."

> Receiver Phillip Dorsett bounced back from his struggles with a nice performance at Virginia. The Canes, however, will be short a couple more receivers this week with Allen Hurns banged up, Davon Johnson likely out and Rashawn Scott still suspended. The good news? South Florida ranks 102nd out of 120 FBS teams in pass efficiency defense.

"They like to play a lot of Cover 4, Cover 8, man up," Dorsett said. "They're a physical defense. Secondary can run a little bit. I know [former Monsignor Pace standout] Kayvon Webster. I went to middle school with him. It's going to be a challenge like every week."

VIDEO - Canes Report: Looking ahead to USF

November 14, 2012

Ask your questions to me here for live UM Canes Q & A. Susan Miller Degnan

 

I'm here for the next hour for a live Q & A session. Go for it. I'm ready.

(THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THE QUESTIONS. HOPE TO DO THIS AGAIN SOON!)

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

********************************************************************************

Q: Thank you Susan for always taking the time to bring us the latest from our beloved U. Are there any updates on the Highsmith/Uncle Luke Stadium in Tropical Park? I have sources that along with the petition we are on track for something as opposed to nothing!

GO CANES ALL DAY EVERYDAY

A: Well, Go Canes All Day everday, I haven't heard anything like that. I talked to UM Interim AD Blake James a couple weeks ago and he made it pretty clear that for now, and for the immediate future at least, Miami is concentrating on trying to make Sun Life Stadium a better atmosphere. UM has a long-term lease there. It would be nice if people showed up for most home games. This Saturday is the last home game for the seniors. I sure hope people show, but I have, frankly, given up on being optimistic in that area this season.

Q:  Posted by: CANETILIDIE...DH | November 14, 2012 at 02:28 PM

Prediction on game this weekend. How is USF's QB situation, do you think that coupled with Eddie Johnson and Perryman being back will be enough for us to win?

A: UM wins this game, but I don't want to predict a score. Just a win would be pretty nice for Miami right around now, though it would certainly be refreshing for UM to win in a rout. Al Golden said Denzel Perryman will be back, and Eddie Johnson has been practicing as well. Those two will make a big difference, but Deon Bush likely won't play, and the Canes are in sad shape receiver-wise. USF is without B.J., a very talented player who suffered a broken leg in the UConn game. If Miami doesn't win this game, with or without receivers, it's in a bad state, indeed.

Q: DisFan82 said:

Know there was alot of whispers about NOA going out last weekend (that turned out to be false) Any insight on when this may actually happen? Will the NCAA say when it goes out, so we know, or will it depend on "sources" to leak the info?

A: Re: NOA, should be soon. The NCAA will not say when it is going out, unless someone leaks something.

Q: SMD, What can UM do better to stop (or slow) the top talent from leaving So. FLA. I'm tired of seeing guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Geno Smith, Amari Cooper, and Giovani Bernard tearing it elsewhere.

A: It's tough, because of media the way it is today, including social media, everyone knows about every program. There are a lot more from which to choose, and we've seen talented kids get lots of pub no matter how high-profile (or low-profile) the program. When UM starts doing better, and does it consistently, more kids will be attracted to the program.
Is the Marlins, stadium adaptable for use as a football field? If so, could/would the Hurricanes play there?
A: I just talked to Marlins expert Manny Navarro and he said he was told the Marlins Stadium is, indeed, adaptable for use as a football field, and that it was hoped that eventually a bowl game could be played there. But it has not been done yet. Hurricanes? I don't know the answer. Not for now, that's for sure.
Is Gabe Terry still on campus?

A: (PART I) Rashawn Scott is on campus, and I happen to know because I just saw him a couple hours ago picking up another player and driving away. I don't know the specifics of his situation, however, other than he is suspended indefinitely. I've heard rumors, but not going to disseminate rumors unless I know if they're correct.
A: (PART II) Oops, you were talking about Gabe Terry being on campus. I am not sure, but the way Al Golden talks, I am thinking yes. Al makes it seem like it's up to Gabe Terry to get his life in order and do the right things, and then he'll be allowed back. We had heard Gabe was involved in a fight within the team, but Golden said he didn't know anything about that a couple weeks ago when we asked. I know he's been suspended before this, as well.

Q: CaneRock said:
"Rashawn Scott is on campus, and I happen to know because I just saw him a couple hours ago picking up another player and driving away. I don't know the specifics of his situation, however, other than he is suspended indefinitely. I've heard rumors, but not going to disseminate rumors unless I know if they're correct." Susan, I respect your journalism, but the sentiments in the above post, are waaaay different than what you tweeted earlier: "smillerdegnan just saw suspended WR Rashawn Scott... He was driving away from campus." You gave the impression that He was driving away for good.

A: That's your impression. I didn't mean it that way, although in hindsight I should have worded it differently. So my apologies. He was driving away from campus. For all I know he could have been driving to Starbucks. But I think you are right about the wording. I'll try to be more careful. Twitter can be tricky.

Q: Montreal_Cane said:
Susan i don't remember UM athletics to be so much on the down slope. Do you think UM needs an experienced AD who has had a lot of success elsewhere or you think James is up to the task to restore UM athletics?

A: What UM needs is someone who truly cares about the university and knows the South Florida culture and the distinctions of the UM fan base, and someone who wants to be here. It has to be someone who is smart and savvy and knows about business and marketing and shmoozing and economics and student-athletes. It would be nice to have someone who reaches out to the community and is accessible, and is open-minded. I think experience is vital, though there are people who haven't been ADs per se, that could still fit the bill. Blake James seems like a great guy. I don't know him well, but everyone who does says he'd be great.

Q: rchy said: So when does Mark D's (UM Def Coord) get his head chopped OFF?
A: Not while Al Golden is here.
Q: John said: Could D. Crawford get more playing time at WR?
A: At this point, he could if they needed him. But I don't know how much he has practiced there and how well he knows the routes. So, that depends.

THANKS FOR THE QUESTIONS, EVERYONE. I HAVE TO RUN NOW AND GET SOME OTHER WORK DONE. HOPE TO DO THIS AGAIN SOON. :)
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

A: I think UM needs someone who wants to be here and who already understands the South Florida culture and market (in particular the University of Miami fanbase and culture) and  is a smart, savvy person who knows about business and economics and the art of schmoozing and raising money and attention (in a good way). I think that person does need experience for sure, but not necessarily at a big-time program. I think that person should be open-minded and try to
Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/umiami/2012/11/ask-your-questions-to-me-here-for-live-um-q-a-susan-miller-degnan-otherwise-known-to-some-as-smd.html#comment-form#storylink=cpy

November 13, 2012

Golden talks USF, suspensions, injuries; McGee has 'heart-to-heart' with Eddie Johnson

The hot topic in Coral Gables -- aside from the NCAA investigation and whether or not UM will be skipping a bowl game -- have been player sideshows, and the discipline coach Al Golden has had to hand out over the last couple weeks.

Tuesday, while two suspended players -- freshman linebacker Gabe Terry and receiver Rashawn Scott -- remained out, second-leading tackler and starting outside linebacker Eddie Johnson was reinstated and back out at practice. All three players were disciplined before last Saturday's game at Virginia.

Golden said Johnson will be allowed to play this Saturday in the Canes' home finale against South Florida (3-6), but he won't start. Asked what he told Johnson upon his return to the team, Golden said: "That there's a responsibility and a level of accountability that we can't move on without."

"It's not do this for me, it's do it because the rest of the team is doing it and because you want to be accountable and responsible and want to be a good teammate," Golden said. "I've been in this situation before and hopefully he'll be stronger, come out of it stronger and respond... As a coach, you can't look the other way when those type of things are going on. Hopefully he learned from it. The rest of it is in-house."

While Scott remains suspended indefinitely, Golden remains hopeful the situation with Terry, who blocked a punt in the win over Virginia Tech, will be resolved.

"I'd love for him to play," Golden said. "But it's in his court - he's got to mature. He's got to see the big picture and how he impacts the team. Right now he has not been reinstated. I don't know if that's going to change."

Cornerback Brandon McGee, one of roughly 15 players on the Hurricanes' leadership/unity council, said Tuesday he had words with Johnson recently and is confident the redshirt freshman will "respond positively."

"I spoke with Eddie and had a heart-to-heart with him, just a real pow-wow session," McGee said. "There's a mutual respect between us both. He's a great athlete. He understands. I think he'll keep moving forward and Coach Golden will continue to support him. Coach Golden supports all of us. There's been many times when guys have been in his office and he's never once turned his back on them. He'll keep developing these guys."

How did Johnson respond to a teammate pulling him to the side for an important talk?

"[Johnson] was receptive to what I was saying," McGee said. "He was very understanding of where I was coming from because I took him to a real place."

As for Scott, McGee said he's doesn't know the true extent of why the sophomore receiver has been suspended indefinitely, but said "it's unfortunate."

Another teammate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: "For Rashawn to get suspended indefinitely, he had to have done some real messed up [bleep]. The rules aren't that hard to follow."

MCGEE TALKS UNITY/LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

> McGee said UM's leadership/unity council meets usually once a month in the Edgerrin James room at the Hecht Center to discuss important issues with Golden. "It's pretty much a connection between the players and coaches," McGee said. "Coach Goldenm he stresses to us what we have to get done and sometimes the players may have requests and it's our responsibility to take it to Coach Golden."

"When you see a guy who may be going down a [troublesome] path, everybody will talk to him and things like that. We'll pull him to the side ourselves and address it then. If coach sees an issue and he feels it needs to be adjusted we'll handle it."

Who is on the council? Every class -- seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen are represented. "[Running back] Mike James, me, [quarterback] Stephen Morris, [receiver] Allen Hurns, [offensive lineman] Brandon Linder, [cornerback] Tracy Howard, [receiver] Malcolm Lewis, [safety] Deon Bush those are some of the guys," McGee said. "It's a big group. We're not necessarily policemen, it's more like a bridge between the coaches and players."

Are there times when players have been proactive to stop a teammate from getting in trouble?

"There definitely has been times," McGee said. "We've also been able to do some other things, too. We talked to coach about bringing music to practice and he was receptive. We impose our own discipline as well. Guys don't sit out games -- that's not our decision. But other discipline measures. It varies."

Golden praised McGee's leadership Tuesday.

"Brandon McGee doesn't get enough credit for being the leader he's become," Golden said. "He's blessed with raw talent to play the corner position. What we're seeing now is he's a guy committed to working on his tools. He's so much tougher now than when he first got here. And he's a leader for us. If you asked when we first got here would he emerge as a team leader, captain, I'd say No. 2, No. 3, that's the chance he'd have. I'm really proud of him."

MORE NEWS AND NOTES FROM TUESDAY

> Golden said he expects receiver Allen Hurns, who cracked his left thumb blocking on Duke Johnson's 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Saturday at Virginia, to play on Saturday versus USF. Hurns, who returned to the field and caught two TD passes after being injured, was at practice with a cast on his left hand Tuesday.

Golden lauded Hurns' toughness. "We're protecting it certainly in practice. We'll see how it evolves on Thursday - we want to protect it through Thursday and see if there can be some kind of soft splint or tape job he can [play] with," Golden said. "He's got a crack if you will, in his thumb, and he's working through it. It's not in the joint or anything thats going to be career threating. But he's been cleared to proceed."

> Golden said "it's a little bit cloudy" whether or not the annual series with USF will continue beyond next season because the ACC could go to a nine-game conference schedule with Notre Dame added to the mix. What does Golden want with his out of conference schedule moving forward?

"We have to construct to have the ability win the Coastal," Golden said. "That's the biggest thing. And we have to make sure when everyone walks through the building the way out is through our division, which we haven't won, and then go to Charlotte.

"I'd like to see us play Kansas State, Notre Dame … let's play them in Charlotte and a BCS game, not week 2 on the road because we're taking ourselves out of the tournament pretty quickly by doing that. Our first priority has to be to get to Charlotte, and let's all travel, go to Charlotte and have a great time. Let's enjoy that and then you go from there in terms of taking the next step. We have a long way to go as a program. I see what you see. We have a long way to go. But I'm dug in, here to fix it. We have a staff that's committed to it. We had 32 young Miami Hurricanes that joined us last year that are really making a difference, part of the solution."

> What is Golden's message to his senior class going into the final two games? 

"That they have an opportunity this week and the next two weeks to right the ship," Golden said. "Their legacy will be that, that they fought through it, that they didn't quit, didn't leave, they dug in and fought through the tumult, adversity when it would have been easier to say `I'm out of here.' They deserve to finish on a great note, a positive note. They have been through a lot, and as a staff we're grateful to them. Hopefully they go off on a positive note here."

> Golden said the reason fifth-year senior defensive tackle Darius Smith hasn't played the past two games is because "other guys are playing better than him right now."

"The emergence of Curtis Porter has kind of taken some of his reps away," Golden said. "[Freshmen] Earl Moore and Dequan Ivery have taken some of his reps away. That's unfortunate, but that happens in college football. The only thing he can control is having a positive attitude and going to work tomorrow and hope he has another opportunity."

Golden said Porter's conditioning is improving, but he probably played "too many plays last week, to be honest with you."

"His attitude has been great," Golden said. "We're really trying to push him to get eight weeks worth of conditioning in two weeks. I think he'll be better this week. He was better last week. We played him too much. He's effective when he's in there. If he can just buy into a process and consistency he can be very, very good, as good as he wants to be."

AUDIO INTERVIEWS FROM TUESDAY

Coach Golden's full press conference

Cornerback Brandon McGee discusses the Canes' unity/leadership council