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D'Onofrio likes fact many Hurricanes having a hand in defense's success

Of all the things Mark D'Onofrio seems to be proud of the most when it comes to UM's vast improvements on defense it's the fact so many different players are having a hand in it.

"That's what's going on with our defense. Not one guy is standing out," said D'Onofrio, whose unit came into Monday ranked seventh in scoring defense, 10th in total defense, fourth in turnover margin and 10th in passing efficiency defense.

"You see 16 sacks, but you see [12] guys in on a sack. You see six interceptions and five guys have interceptions. Seven caused fumbles and seven guys caused the fumble. Seven guys recovered it. There's a lot going on. You spread it around. That's a sign guys are unselfish, trying to do their job in the defense."

During UM's struggles in his first two seasons, D'Onofrio often said players were freelancing too often. That led to players blowing gap assignments and running lanes opening up.

That of course is what the Hurricanes can ill-afford to do this week against Georgia Tech, whose flexbone option offense requires sound assignment football to stop.

Sure, UM's defense is much improved. But Georgia Tech's attack (ranked 51st in total offense, 37th in scoring offense) is superior to any offense the Hurricanes have faced this season. Savannah State is an abysmal Football Championship Subdivision program, and FAU ranks 109th in total offense, 104th in scoring; Florida ranks 70th in total offense; 91st in scoring and South Florida ranks 120th in total offense; 118th in scoring.

The good news for UM is that D'Onofrio and the Hurricanes have a strong track record in stopping Paul Johnson's offense. Although UM gave up 287 yards and five TDs a year ago on the ground to the Yellow Jackets, the Hurricanes have done the second-best job in the ACC's Coastal Division slowing Georgia Tech's running game down since Golden's arrival. Only Virginia Tech (188 yard average) has done better than UM (210.5 yards allowed average). The Hokies are 3-0 against Georgia Tech over the last three seasons including last week's 17-10 win.

The magic number it seems is keeping Georgia Tech under 300 yards on the ground. The Yellow Jackets are 4-11 when they finish under 300 yards rushing since the start of the 2011 season, and 14-2 when they eclipse the 300-yard mark.

"You always run scared. You never sit there and stop [working on it]," said D'Onofrio, who first faced the flexbone option when he was a graduate assistant at Georgia in 2000 when he had to breakdown 20 game films of Johnson's offense at Georgia Southern.

"Obviously you continue to work on it. They do such a good job, find new wrinkles. They do an amazing job. You just run scared and do the best you can.

"I've been part of a lot of staffs that have played it. We played it every year since 2006 when I was at Temple. We played Army, Navy two times a year. Same thing at Rutgers. We played Navy and Army when they were running it. It seems like every year we've had to play it."

D'Onofrio said the returning experience Miami has from last year's win will help.

"Last year the way we were banged up and where we were at -- at that point -- we really had an inexperienced group out there," D'Onofrio said. "[Georgia Tech] had periods where they really did well and we were susceptible to the big play. You definitely hope that the guys coming back, having played that and understanding the scheme and the type of things we want to get done [we are better against it]. We've continued to enhance what we want to do against these guys and have developed a package [for it] because we've got a group of older guys."


> Of UM's 16 sacks this season, D'Onofrio said most have come because of added pressure: "I don't know the number, but there's quite a few of them off the pressure, trying to bring a fifth rusher, a sixth rusher, trying to find an opportunity where you think you can take advantage."

D'Onofrio has said in the past he would prefer to only rush three or four linemen and get to the quarterback.

> Who stood out on game film the most against USF? Backup middle linebacker Raphael Kirby, D'Onofrio said.

"You go back and look at it. He showed up around the ball And he was really physical," D'Onofrio said. "He played with knee bend, base and you saw his explosion. You saw him really play fast."

> A week after looking "rusty" in his first game back from sports hernia surgery, safety Deon Bush had a sack and forced fumble against USF. Is Bush turning the corner?

"I think he is," D'Onofrio said. "Again, he missed so much. He missed a lot of the summer. He missed a lot of training camp. I talked about it last year -- it's the hardest position to play on the defense. It's so demanding. You have to run the show back there. You have to get us in the right call. You have to be able to blitz. You have to be able to cover, play in zone, play man, play in the post. It's a demanding position and you have to see it all. People are hurrying up and they're playing fast and doing different things. You didn't get all those reps everybody else got during the summer or during training camp. It takes time to process it. But he's moving in the right direction."

> Sophomore Tyriq McCord, a pass rusher who has seen an average of 20-25 snaps a game over the last three weeks, has created turnovers in three straight games. But will he have a role Saturday against run-prone Georgia Tech?

"We're still working through everything, but he'll have an opportunity to have a chance to play," D'Onofrio said. "Again, certain guys roles might be different from week-to-week. We have enough depth where you can use different guys in different situations. We'll see how it all plays out.

"He's got a role right now and it's really a third down role. We're looking for him to increase his role and fight for reps on first and second down. Right now he's a third string guy, a flip guy for us. He can play linebacker, can play rush end. So he's doing all those things. He was a recipient of the ball coming to him two times the last two weeks and he caught it, which is good. Obviously he made a great play against Florida, a sack caused fumble late in the game. He's tipped a pass I think. He's been around the ball on the reps that he's gotten. He's limited reps, but good production."


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Lois, you are partially correct. The part you left out is that Harriet and the band who pat each other on the back everytime they post (gallo/calvin/etc) are just trouble makers.

Their faux love for the canes is laughable. The obvious improvements in the team under difficult circumstances is never mentioned. Just regurgitation of trivia from way back when and a general dump on Golden and d no.

Lt. Lois Einhorn, first, your post doesn't represent, fully encompass nor exonerate the things people have said on this blog and why the have said them. U can't qualify or minimize what they've said by reducing it to the Shannon vs. Golden argument.

That argument started with people going overboard with their defamation aand condemnation of a former coach who went 28-22 and was a part of 3 of our 5 NCs and the same people going overboard with the praise and hype of a coach who started the season 13-11 (now 17-11) at UM and is now 44-45 overall as a head coach. White hype has always been a part of sports nostalgia and still exist today. Its definitely connected to Golden's tenure when U look at the numbers that are irrefutable albeit excuses of course.

Golden should be better than RS, he had much more experience as a HC than he had. I also did not and do not think Shannon did a great job--I've said this countless times.

Can U address those that dump on Shannon but neglect and praise Golden's just over .500 record as well?

One thing that U don't understand is institutionalized and covert racism--why, because it doesn't affect your demographic. I know they supported RS in word and Shalala especially did mostly likely also in heart. But that support doesn't pay the bills--Shalala needs the approval of those with the money and they did not support or believe in RS wholeheartedly monetarily. Its more than known that he wasn't given the same budget as Golden or Coker. Golden got a raise and extension after 1 season and hasn't received a performance appraisal yet--due to "the kids were young" and "The NCAA clouds" and what not.

Go try Lt. but your post attempts to minimize an issue that is dynamic and has many variables, that U fail or just aren't privy to. I like Al golden, but that "like" doesn't come with a lack of accountability. I don't indulge in white privilege and hate Shannon or vice versa. I criticized RS interviews just like I do Golden's.

If Golden is worth his mettle and is the savior yall make him out to be--then he doesn't need Shannon (28-22) to be an "idiot", "miserable", "pathetic' and "inept" as yall describe.

Y'all don't have to sacrifice a Legendary Canes back...to save a new coaches face.

Speaking of racism, at the Canes v. USF game Saturday I saw a man with a swastika tattoo and Nazi eagle on his stomach. He was actually helping to diffuse a potential fight. I could not tell if he was a Canes fan or a USF fan, but he was calming down a Canes fan arguing with USF fans and was sitting next to a Canes fan. It was pretty hot out but you would think he would keep on his shirt since he was attending a game where there were a large amount of black, Hispanic, and Jewish fans and where the overwhelming majority of players on the field are black.

I don't mean to fan any flames, just a bizarre incident I thought many would find strange...

In the past, I would expect that Georgia Tech, by being forced to pass, would fall behind quickly. And normally, they are a team that has trouble coming back from a deficit, but they came back from 13 down to beat UNC.

So, even if Miami gets up by two TDs, the Canes team will not be able to relax this time.

I guess that would be the one big difference with GT over USF, SS, UF, and FAU, is their ability to overcome a deficit.

Sunny Dee, some folks put stuff like that on themselves not because they believe in the symbol, but instead because they like to appear tough. Same reason folks get devil tattoos, skulls, or barbed wire on their arm, or heavy metal guys have a cross on their album covers, or the occasional confederate flag you see on a pickup truck. They know that the south will not rise again, but they like controversy, and the fact that folks shy away from them or their truck in traffic.

But yeah, that is a bizarre incident, maybe he is a different person when sober, or he looked at the numbers and saw "his" side was gonna lose, so he helped them back down by being the peacemaker.

"existence of your fairytale opposition. "

Like a little boy with wings visiting an alleged prophet in the 8th century. Is that the fairytale of which you speak?

Zakkee, Zakkee, Zakkee...

Lt. Lois,

As long as I've been on this blog, I don't ever recall Harriet saying Randy was a good coach. You may be referring to the other black guy Calvin (I know they say we all look alike). And even Calvin didn't come out and say Randy was a great coach, he stated time and time again Al hasn't did anything miraculous to separate himself from Randy. And here in year three it's the truth. Calvin has also stated Al seems to have the potential to be a championship coach for the Canes but until he does that he's an outsider, which many other Canes fans agree is true. This FACT was backed up by Al's record which was posted on here on numerous occasions. NOW does it appear the program is headed in the RIGHT direction? Absolutely it does, but until we win a Title it remains to be seen.

Its obvious Al speaks in front of a camera better than Randy, we all have agreed on that several times . But that doesn't make you a better coach, hell Belichek doesn't speak to the media and when he does he gives one word answers just like many other coaches but he's considered the best in the NFL. Tony Dungy never ran up and down the sideline pumping his fist neither did Bill Walsh did that mean they weren't good coaches?

I myself didn't think Randy was a good coach and his inexperience showed up many times. But LET"S NOT GET IT TWISTED this team is having some of those same issues under Al. Penalties are still a problem. Go back and count how many arrest occurred under Randy.

All of this talk about Randy couldn't recruit and was lazy are just lies. Go back and look at where his recruiting classes ranked. What I find idiotic is they jump on here and brag about Al's class ranking and try to dismiss Randy's. When the folks the do the rankings are the same ones who ranked Randy's classes. LOL. And I personally can careless about class rankings by some nerd behind a computer, that's for the guys whom have never played a sport in their life. Because those of us that has, know that stuff is horse crap. One thing that can't be denied is that the best players on this team are ones Randy recruited. So let's not diminish what Randy did for this program. Did Al and his staff do a better job at developing those players, YES without a doubt but you can't make chicken salad out of chicken s**t, the talent was here for him.

That's the points I get when reading Calvin's post on Randy but most of these bigots only hear, "Randy was a great coach because he was black and grew up in the hood."

They can't help themselves it's imbedded in them

GT Beat Elon, which was the equivalent of Savannah State. Beat UNC in a comeback, which is better than FAU and USF, but not better than Florida (yeah I am mentioning them, get over it). And badly beat a Duke team we had a shootout with.

However, that loss to an unranked VT cannot be ignored. It was not as close as the final score implies, just like our final score versus UF was skewed by their late TD.

GT has a right to be confident, based on the DUke result, but they are unranked for a reason. We should not lose to this GT team.

Harriet, please give it a rest!!!! I am sick and tired of the same people acting like babies (you said it...no you said it!!!)Randy Shannon is no longer our coach!!! He will always be a Cane and part of 3 championships!!! I am BLACK and wanted him to be successful, but it didn't work out. Golden is our coach and I support him and our team!!
We are 4-0 and let's support the players and the coaches and show up to game on Saturday. I traveled from Athens, Ga last week and I will be in Miami this week. Let's stop arguing about who is racist, who took my ball, who is not a Christian and get to the game!!!

Randy Shannon is and was a great man who is a true Horatio Alger story. Unfortunately he was not a good head coach at Miami.

He was and is a great recruiter, but players with raw talent did not develop under his leadership and actually regressed.

I for one hope that Randy learned a great deal from his tenure as the Canes head football coach and he corrects his deficiencies and is given another shot to be a head coach.

Any parent would be blessed to have Randy Shannon coach their son from the perspective of wanting him to be a better human being.

Despite the unfortunate head coaching debacle we Miami Hurricane fans owe Randy Shannon a great deal for all he has contributed to the program over the many years.

Biggest mistake we kept making in 2009 was that when the QB and RB were standing together for the zone read, we would ASSUME the RB would get the ball, and then the QB would have an open lane right up the middle, while the RB was laughing as he got tackled instead.

By 2011, that trick stopped working. So since we no longer have the kind of defense that allows 36 straight points by the opposition, they will have to rely on a QB that threw a couple of long INTs in the VT upset at home. I like our chances, and would not expect it to go to OT like last year. Can someone give me a reason I might be overconfident? So far, I have been right on each of these games, (not from a betting standpoint like D, just in comparing our current team with the last one.) so I am expecting a ten point win, 24 to 14.

Well said Zook...Again, Randy is no longer the head coach at da U! Why are we talking about him??? We are not talking about other ex coaches from Miami. We have a team that seems to have turn the corner and our program is on the rise back to prominence. Let's support this team and staff. If you miss Shannon watch Arkansas play!!

Cane88 well said..I read this forum to support and be with others who support my TEAM, the 'U'.

I do not participate on this blog to go through lessons in who is more bigoted than whom, and to discuss social, and political issues.

I am here because we ALL are Cane fans.

If you are a Cane fan, you are a Cane fan. End of story. If not shut the H*** up and move on with your baggage.

Stop this social pc madness, and let us get back to football at the 'U'. This is NOT a SOCIAL column, or Dr. Phil's forum, it is 'CANE FOOTBALL'.

Enough of all this BU******. Let us support our team.
End of story.
Go 'Canes

Vegas has us as 5 1/2 point favorites so they see it as fairly tight. We need to show up ready to play. We haven't played anyone as good as GT in a month so we need to bring it.

Get ahead and make GT try to come back, which isn't there strong suit. They get a lead, it can be painful.

Cane88 is a sell out! He's a modern era Uncle Tom. Cane88 needs to join the NOI to get on the right path! Guide him brother Tubman

I thought they had it at 5 1/2 but then took it off the board. They reset it back on?

However, Miami beat the spread three games in a row, so I would figure that against the GT team they can do it again.

GT fans bragging about their 12.75 points per game defense, against Elon, Duke, UNC, and VT, hardly earth-shaking offenses. Yet they ignore our 12.5 ppg defense, and even that total is skewed by a late TD against backups for USF, an INT for a TD for USF against backups, a late TD for UF while we were in prevent, and a long run gift against our backups for Savannah State.

So that 12.5 average is more like 5.5 outside of those 28 gimme points.

We are the ranked team, the better offensive team, the better defensive team, and the more experienced team, with a four game win streak against GT when they were better and we were worse.

I would have the spread at 8 or 9. However, I am not an expert on these things, just calling the number based on logical conclusions based on recent performance of both teams' starters.

GKC, they usually have trouble coming back from behind, but that are two big exceptions to that. Us last year, up 19-0, to just fall behind 36-19. We came back to win ourselves, but they can do it. And UNC this year, down 13-0 to end up outscoring UNC 28-7 the rest of the way.

I want a big lead of course, just saying it is not game over at that point.

Good points, 5 titles. Never over until over

We're going to cut you're d-line down like a 3rd grader does a fat kid. Vad the Destroyer will throw for 150 and 2 TDs, while the run game goes 3/5 on 4th down, puts up 330 and holds the ball for 37 minutes. You're O will score, undoubtedly, but in the end the Baby Canes just haven't grown up enough. Tech 38, Baby Canes 31. What say you D-bag.


Ok, Gatr Trash. Whatever you say. Never forget, 7 out of 8.

Sad effort. Bragging about 150 yards passing? Morris had 178 and two TDs in the first QUARTER last week, fool.

You are attempting to pump up a QB that went 7-24 for 144 yards, ZERO TDs and TWO INTs last week to a worse defense.

Pretending to be a GT fan, but uses the usual Curse Piggy phrasing of "Baby Canes" and "What say you", and knows NOTHING about the team he is pretending to back this week. Message to your mother, the Baby Canes have grown up, and outgrown you. Move on to the Kentucky sites, troll.

A real shell of his former troll self, or in this case a "Rambling Wreck" of his former self. How about you go back to that "carl" persona, oh that's right, it got exposed, too.

21-16, celebrated in the past, helps us achieve our ranking in the present, and will be reminded to you in the future when you troll here, sicko.

It's not racism, Randy Shannon was a bad hc. I wish he would've been better, who knows where we'd be right now. If Golden werw to leave, I'd go after Charlie Strong.

I'm back baby. Maybe Goldie Locks should take his crew to Southern California and try to build up a real program.

Great post True Cane on every level. Non-refutable from beginning to end!

Cane88, said he was black to give his exclamation points legs, but whether he is or isn't, he's still wrong to only address one side of a debate. You are sick of the same people, but U only call out one of them. Thats weak behavior--whether black or white.

Good post Ron Zook!

This is never an easy game, but UM should win this one at home.

Posted by: rboud | September 30, 2013 at 07:00 PM

This Hurricane loyalist has significant point about Miami vs. Bumbling Bee's.

Even the Sin City touter's still have there doubts about the Canes. hUh Go bloody figures'.

For instance, the game point spread OPENED as a PICK'EM. However, Miami is now a... - 5 point/-4 1/2 point home favorite.

Perhaps it's that SOFT schedule Goldie's squad started out with and what not. Yeah, yeah the Canes did defeat a Top 20 team in the MIGHTY Gators.

Georgia Tech Jamal Golden will have surgery and miss the rest of the season after injuring his shoulder against UNC.

Golden was also GT primary specialist in the return game. Golden was a top 10-kick and punt returner in 2012, and he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

Golden has started three games this season at safety. We should be able to exploit their secondary.

Shannon and some other info as well and I can back up everything I say because I'm nose deep into what has been going on at The U and I always speak to current and former players. I have to go now, but I'll have an interesting piece for all of you guys and I'm always up for a debate, but you better bring your A game because I back up everything I say with valid info. The U!

Posted by: Norman | September 30, 2013 at 07:11 PM

T-Y-P-C-A-L internet SPECULATION of the Cane sort and what not. Nothing more and nothing less.

Chit, I'm thinking that normy is just ANOTHER canespace/EOTH " agent provocateur!! "

FWIW... I-F that normy had INSIDER's info and what not. He would've have POSTED it already and not made the LAME ARSE excuse of... " I'll ( normy BATES )post it later! dUh

True Cane, and who's saying Randy Shannon couldn't recruit? His classes were way better than anything Al Golden has brought in (so far...), problem is he couldn't coach up and develop any of his players once they got here.

The difference between Al Golden and Randy Shannon is that Shannon is a proven failure and Golden is 4-0 having beaten Florida in his third year.

Everyone was just as high on Shannon his first few years, until the long term results came in.

It's absurd to say that Al Golden shouldn't have that same optimism and benefit of the doubt just because he's an "outsider", Howard Schnellenberger was an "outsider" as were Dennis Erickson, Jimmy Johnson, and Butch Davis.

You know who weren't "outsiders"?

Larry Coker and Randy Shannon.

Cane88 is a sell out! He's a modern era Uncle Tom. Cane88 needs to join the NOI to get on the right path! Guide him brother Tubman

Posted by: Louis Farrakhan | October 01, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Literally... LOL

In Hokum, Pokum Possum county. They refer to one of a Darker shade of Pale. As a Clarence TOM-as clone. dUh

I would have the spread at 8 or 9. However, I am not an expert on these things, just calling the number based on logical conclusions based on recent performance of both teams' starters.

Posted by: Five Titles | October 01, 2013 at 12:11 PM

I agree with U 5 titles on point spread affair. I thought Miami would be at least a LOW " double-digit " home chalk. But I'm tend to be a bloody KNOW NOTHING. Eh. What say.

However, these Vegas line makers do have INSIDER information, and what not, and take their point spread business VERY SERIOUSLY$$

Nevertheless, I see the LINE escalating as the week progresses, i.e. 1/2 point/1 point movements.


The true measuring stick of D'Onofrio's defensive unit will take place this week against the Bumbling, Fumbling Bee's.

For instance, Beamer Ball held GA. TECH to " ten points. " And this was a home game for the Bumbling, Fumbling Bee's.

Yeah, yeah I understand Cane loyalists DON'T play the comparison game and what not. Still, Va. Tech has a LEGITIMATE Top 15 defense and they had a very good showing against MIGHTY Roll Tide Roll.

Heck, a major college football fan could ARGUE that Beamer Ball has played a TOUGHER, earlie schedule than Miami.

Nevertheless, Goldie's squad has their MO JO going and is in their GROOVE. And that will be too much for GA. TECH to cope with this Saturday.

Posted by: TK SWANN | October 01, 2013 at 02:10 PM


Perhaps I was mistaken, but I thought U were no longer going to type in CAPS, tkswann.

Nevertheless, it's all cool and what not.

Nah, D, he said he would stop it for the first game. But he has an eyesight issue so it isn't that he is shouting.

Still, if the issue is that pronounced, perhaps loading JAWS or setting the monitor to 800 X 600 might help....

I blame the Canes fans on this. We've let these trolling clowns come on our blog and keep us from talking Hurricane Football. Lets be bigger people and ignore these clowns. the only way they can justify they're lives is by coming on our blog. Ignore them and they'll go away. they'll all go hide under randy's or meyer's skirt. Lets talk Hurricane Football

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