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Hurricanes offensive line looking to rebound after ugly performance; protecting Duke Johnson's body a priority assistant says

The Hurricanes starting offensive line is one of the most experienced and polished in the country, a proud group which has been going by the nickname of The Great Wall of Coral Gables since the sports information staff coined the phrase at the start of the season.

But their weekly film session after the win over Florida nearly two weeks ago was a painful experience, guards Jonathan Feliciano and Brandon Linder admitted earlier this week. Feliciano said it was the ugliest game film to recap from a unit's perspective since he's been here.

"It wasn't like we all messed up on one play. It was like we all took turns messing up," Feliciano said this week of the line's performance. "If I was doing good one play something happened on the backside. And vice-versa.

"Coach Kehoe has his way when he's being loud and making a joke of letting you know he's upset. He just wasn't happy with the landmarks we had [where players were lined up] and the way we were coming off the ball. We saw one of the best defenses in the nation. Now we know how they are and how it feels to play against them. We have to come every week prepared like that."

Miami was held to only 50 yards rushing in the game, a week after rolling up 303 against FAU in the season opener. UM only had fewer yards last season twice: at Kansas State (40 yards on 29 carries) and against Florida State (29 yards on 21 carries).

Kehoe took responsibility for his line's struggles, saying he didn't prepare them well enough for all the shifting the Gators did and the explosion they had off the ball. Kehoe said defensive tackle Dominique Easley was jumping cadence and disrupting the backfield way too often. Easley is rated the third-best defensive tackle prospect in the country according to NFLDraftScout.com.

Linder said Easley was definitely the toughest assignment he and his teammates have faced thus far.

"Looking back in hindsight I wish I had done a better job preparing for No. 2 [Easley]. He was like a human wrecking ball in that game," Kehoe said. "That being said, I think we just had five great practices and are getting better. The guys are starting to figure it out. You either bring it or you lose it."

Savannah State, a 60-point underdog, and the University of South Florida (0-3), who hosts UM in two weeks, will hardly present the same challenge the Gators did.

In fact, Miami may not face another big, fast and dominant defensive front like Florida's until it travels to Tallahassee Nov. 2. The Seminoles have top-notch junior defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (6-2, 298) and senior Demonte McAllister (6-2, 290).

A road trip to North Carolina for a Thursday night showdown with the Tar Heels won't be easy either. Kareem Martin (6-5, 265) is rated the No. 2 defensive end prospect according to NFLDraftScout.com. Senior Tim Jackson (6-4, 285) is rated the 18th best defensive tackle in the country according to the same website.

"The combination of [what happened against Florida] makes you study the film hard and hope you don't repeat it because it can become a blueprint of what teams are going to do against you," Kehoe said. "But I don't know if they got the blueprint to put No. 2 against you. He caused a lot of problems, messed with a lot of our concepts. It was a good learning experience. The good thing is we learned and won. That's the good thing."

MORE NEWS AND NOTES LEFTOVER FROM THIS WEEK

> Running backs coach Hurlie Brown said "it's really important" for the Hurricanes to protect Duke Johnson's body so he stays upright for the length of the season. Johnson said on Hurricanes Hotline this week coming off the Florida game he was "bruised bad and sore."

Through two games, Johnson has carried the ball 40 times for 245 yards and two touchdowns. He's touched it six other times -- three catches for 50 yards and three kick returns for an average of 18.7. A year ago at this time Johnson had 13 carries for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He also had five catches for 28 yards and eight kick returns for an average of 26.3 yards for a grand total of 26 touches, 20 fewer than he has now.

"We just got to be smart about it all," Brown said of the amount of times Johnson (5-9, 196) is asked to do something with the ball. "As coaches, that's what you try to do -- whether it's Duke or anybody else. You try and protect those guys and make sure they can go the distance. Duke's the type of kid that can play a lot, who is a strong kid. We just got to be smart as a staff to make sure he can go the distance."

> By moving Feliciano from right tackle back to left guard after one week it's opened the door for Seantrel Henderson (6-8, 45) to get more playing time and to join the starting rotation. Kehoe said Feliciano is still going to play some tackle, but he's more suited for guard.

"He's been versatile, tenacious and tough," Kehoe said. "The more I look at our guys it becomes kind of fun figuring who can do what where and who is better than other guys. Some guys play tackle better, guard better and some guys are versatile like Jon and Brandon and can play all five.

"Seantrel is in good shape. He's come around in a lot of ways. He knows his time is running out. He's playing hard and getting better and starting to learn from these guys. He's an exceptional player and if he's on, he's hard to deal with. He's got some unbelievable tools he's putting together."

> It's hard to tell exactly what kind of crowd Miami will get for Savannah State Saturday night, but the atmosphere of a sellout against the Gators was one that will stick in the minds of players and coaches for a long time.

"Joe Robbie or Sun Life Stadium is built for baseball and for football. Since I've been back I haven't been in there where I saw a crazy crowd like I saw Saturday," Kehoe said.

"People were dancing and screaming and jumping up and down. Our kids were getting into it and we were in a fist-fight against a really good team. And it was the kind of environment we all wanted to see around here for a long time. The Orange Bowl was more tight, a tighter joint, but that was the first time this place was popping. It was a fun environment and our kids really loved it."

Comments

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I thought the playcalling for Duke Johnson was really bad, not sure how many times they threw it to him (2 catches) but it wasn't nearly enough.

He needs space to operate, it's not maximizing his abilities to have him running through the gut 20 times, Gus Edwards needs to be that guy running up the middle for two yards keeping the defense honest.

Trent Richardson learned about trade from Browns to Colts on the radio

Gus is redshirting.

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The previous blog post is about who's redshirting and who is not.

Gus Edwards is not.

Duke played his typical game, disappearing act against top defenses and "super star" against cupcakes. He will have a great game this Saturday and next one too. he will disappear again come Nov 2nd.
Same thing with the over hyped OL.
By the time the FSU game rolls around all you low information homies will be drinking the kool aid about how good you are and will be overconfident entering your yearly smackdown by your big brother.
Go ahead and start the Heisman campaing after the USF win, only makes you look stoopid.

And obsessing on the internet over a team that beat your team without Duke Johnson and won't play your team for at least five years makes you look...

I like reading these stories then seeing how ignorant people are when I read the comment section, like Canekiller and the other jack that posted, saying Gus was redshirting. Would be a much better look if some of these clowns had something analytical to offer, instead of sounding like the fourth grade punk that sits in a corner while the big boys get the job done.
If you never played ball and don't know anything about the game just don't comment. It only makes you look STOOPID, AZZWIPE. LOL

Calvin,

I think the o-line will be a lot better in about 3 more games. They got to get use to those attacking d-lines. It seems Feliciano agrees they weren't use to the the attacking d-line.

"We saw one of the best defenses in the nation. Now we know how they are and how it feels to play against them. We have to come every week prepared like that."

Remember when we use to get that test everyday in our own practice.

" Kehoe took responsibility for his line's struggles, saying he didn't prepare them well enough for all the shifting the Gators did and the explosion they had off the ball."

We all know why Art.

Most importantly
"It was a good learning experience. The good thing is we learned and won. That's the good thing."

Poor CaneStalker, 21-16 still giving you nightmares? Duke Johnson scoring the gamewinner still haunting you? The fact that Duke LAUGHED in Mushchimps face when he offered Duke a spot still making you cry?

What happened to that truce you promised, CaneStalker?

As For FSU, you said it yourself, it is well over a month away. Right now we are still celebrating beating the former state champ in UF, who beat a better version of that FSU team, so I don't share your fear of the Noles, although after seeing the gatrs not only this week but in Week 1, they might be able to stay close to that ACC team in FSU. Ohhh, but if UF goes 0-2 versus the ACC, that would be WONDERFUL.

Matt Jones played his typical game, disappearing act against top defenses and "super star" against cupcakes. He will have a great game this Saturday and next one too. he will disappear again against LSU.
Same thing with the over hyped OL.
By the time the FSU game rolls around all you low information homies will be drinking the kool aid about how good you are and will be overconfident entering your yearly smackdown by your other big brother.
Go ahead and start the Heisman campaing after the Tenessee win, only makes you look stoopid. Another crappy SEC team.

AT least you can cheer, SEC! SEC! SEC!, right, Gatr maggots?

SCOREBOARD MAGGOTS!!!!!


BWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Duke does need space. Swing passes please. Make that sweeps and reverses too.

Thank you.

Gatr Trash - get a life man.

//youtu.be/sZcdKSz7n_Y?t=1h10m43s

Remember THIS sequence of events?

1. The Heisman destroying Driskel fumble
2. The whining by the gatr coaches
3. The indisputable evidence that it was a fumble
4. The run by Duke at 4:32, which after the play was dead, one after another gatr tries cheapshotting Canes players who were too classy to retaliate,
5. ACC refs choosing not to throw a flag, but in the process, the gatrs lost a precious whole MINUTE from the clock. Easley going into Duke helmet first LONG AFTER THE PLAY WAS OVER, and forgetting to go back to his own huddle was a perfect example of lack of good coaching.
6. Sure touchdown catch ruined by a desperate gatr defender (lock down? more like should be in lock up) but it was so obvious even the refs had to throw the flag on that one.
7. So, you won't let us pass for a TD? Hand off to Duke for the gamewinner, UNTOUCHED.

Yep, when it mattered, in the clutch, your offense failed, your defense failed, your coaching failed, and your fans failed. UFailure, the name fits.

WHERE IS CANETRASH???????

YOU PATHETIC LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

duke johnson is overrated.....he can not handle 250/300 carry season......

gus has to take over a lot of dukes carry responsibilities...

Funny, Jim Gallo said the same thing as me but man, what a miserable negative person this dude is!

Must be a hard way to go through life.

Duke is too small for the inside run after run...we all know that, heck he knows it...but yes..put his butt insome space and let him do his magic...2nd half no starters, except OLINE...they need some work.
God bless, later.

Yes, THE DUKE doesn't have the durability to be a CONSISTENT " down-hill-runner " and what not. That's why it's bloody CRUCIAL that Miami's freshmen RB from Long Island sees heavy duty action against the likes of MORIBUND Savannah St. and LOWLY South Florida. dUh

D, you cap the "big" words, I guess to impress yourself.

Learn some basics about football or geography. long Island ain't Staten Island, you twit.

It is absolutely true though, no running game against good defenses. Morris and the receivers don't really do much either. Look at last year, any good defense stops our offense. UM still has a LONG way to go. Beating a middle of the road turd team was sweet, but the production isn't there. Fau handled us for the most part. Except for some big plays, they were just as strong. Golden better get it straight, UTough needs to be tougher. No way this team will beat GT this year, mark it down, 4-1 after that game.

You homies are too wound up and too sensitive. What I said before is just repeating the obvious that has been written by Manny and Susan on this blog before, so if you want to start the name calling, start with them.
The fact is that Duke disappears against top defenses going back to last year.
The fact is that your O line played poorly last week, so have your own coaches said.
You have me confused with some gator fan, enough of your obsession with that team. You are already overconfident just because you beat a mistake prone team with an inept QB. Famous Jameis is not Jeff Driskell, that is he is not a fumbling, bumbling, int throwing dweeb.
One of you idiots said that since the gators beat a "better FSU team last season" and you beat the gators then you will also beat FSU. That is your stoopid logic. FSU has a better QB than last season and still boasts a top defense. But go ahead and dream on while you keep winning against the slew of weaklings you will play until your date with punishment arrives in Nov. Good for you you don't have to play Clemson, the only other worthy ACC team.
This is our year to get over the hump and it will be so sweet to put you back in your place one more time.
Even though the game is far away I'm calling you out right now. You will go down Nov 2nd. No doubt.

I wish Chris Rix could have 5 more years, canekiller would love that, GO CANES

I've never had a clone before. Thx for investing the time. If it were a bit closer to what I believed it might be more credible though.

"FSU has a better QB than last season"???????

What the?????

Jameis is better than Manuerl? You mean, by YOUR Tallahassee logic ( i know its OK, its an inferior school)- Jameis can start in the NFL now?


You are one dumb redneck.

Look at which team Manuel is starting for. He didn't replace Tom Brady you know. Not that I am a FSU fan, but give the young guy credit, he is playing well. But we will know for sure when they play a decent team. So far, they have the turds old schedule.

C'mon Mountain Man, With all that luv betwixt you and yur cuzins and ants and unkles, some's got to looks alike. Duh

That's better, clone.

And D, ur a moron. UR football picks are a joke and your geography is even worse.

Canekiller,

Worry about your own team. See you months from now.

Thanx M.C.


i think the paucity of of a run game is due to bad play-calling. Coley just started calling games. He needs to keep the defensive teams guessing and run to our advantage. He should play-action pass a lot more when Duke is back there and have him run short patters to open the middle of the field.

Everyone will get better. This team can play more up-tempo and I'm looking forward to Edwards' emergence, he'll add a dimension we really need.

People forget Morris is with a brand new coordinator. That relationship has to gel. I fully expect better deep-ball and overall completion %ages.

The best is yet to come.

Posted by: CaneKiller | September 19, 2013 at 03:54 PM

Is it Duke disappearing in big games or is it the O-line? I have a hard time believing a hole is there that Duke fails to run through. That kid is already one of the toughest players to ever play at the []_[]. He could start for any team in the country.

I think the line shrinks a little and I think the play-call it too predictable. Duke isn't Frank Gore or Willis. He's a more powerful Reggie Bush or Warrick Dunn. His touches need to be in open space and on draws, counters with pulling guards or power sweeps. Slamming him into the line against UF is not utilizing his strength. Use the others for that.

Save Duke to finish games and the season.

CaneKiller,

Last I checked FSU had how many National Titles? When was FSU's last National title? Please don't call urself big brother when you bave less titles than the idiots in GVille. It just makes you look ignorant knowing that Miami has 5 in Football and 4 in Baseball while FSU has 2 in football and ZERO in baseball. Sad sad sad... In fact it makes you look scared. You saw what we did to UF and the fact that we are only getting better must be a scary thought. Oh yeah and flipping a Five Star running back and a stud WR from FSU to Miami must rrally make you think twice. How about this, you try and beat UF first. Last year was a joke. You guys got whooped at home by those same Gators we just beat. I hope FSU is 7-0 when Miami comes calling. We won't be over confident, It's called SWAGGER and we invented it. It's a 'Canes thing and you just wouldn't understand...

With all the media coverage Johnson has received, every team in the country is going to key on him now. To perform as well as he can, he'll need a stronger offensive line performance, a stronger passing game, and . . . hey, coach, how about using a two-back set more often, so defenses at least won't know it's a handoff to Johnson on running downs? I mean, the Gator defense is good, but it's not like they were confused. The whole running game was "hand off to Johnson, hand off to Johnson." No wonder he sore and bruised. They were waiting for him and keying on him on every running down.

DMac09
I saw what you did against the gators and I'm not impressed one bit.
You bring up last year we lost to them, so did you forget that we spanked you last year as well. Again, just like the year before and just like we will again Nov 2nd.
So the recruits you flipped thank Coley for that, you had to overpay to "flip" Coley, so you bought an OC and a couple of recruits, big deal.
FYI FSU and Clemson are the ACC royalty, have been so for years that is why you are the little brother not in our league.
Famous Jamies is not Driskel. He won't throw it to Tracy Howard, he will throw it to Kenny Shaw who will have beat Howard to the corner of the end zone.
Poor overconfident fools.

Cane boy...i mean cane killer, how does it feel gettin trashed by the folks on this website. Were you abused as a child/boy? As a grown boy you come back for mo mo mo. You are a child without a face boy/ but what face you have is a seminole one..prisoner, loser, third place in the state. Gaytors will push you out of Gaysville, enjoy the weekend, Boyd is your daddy and Duke will be yo papa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Open wide.

I find it a little hard to swallow the notion that the O-line wasn't prepared for the Gators attacking front. Other comments about the O-line shrinking in big games unfortunately tends to be accurate recently. It's not like we don't play FSU every year. Our line played against them last year, but now it's like we are supposed to believe that the Gators are the ones that made them realize they need to "bring it" all the time. I know the Gators d-line is good, possibly better than any we will play this year. But it shouldn't have been an eye-opening experience. VTech (most years), UNC, FSU, Kansas State, ND recently.

To Brian: One of the problems was how the O-Line lined up, as Kehoe said. For whatever reason, they were exposing their plays and Fla. figured out if the play would be a run or pass before the ball was snapped. That just can't happen anymore. That does not reflect very well on Kehoe or Coley. Florida has a fine defense, but UM was making their job easier than it should have been.

Coley is not impressive. He was at FSU which meant he coached against the Gaytors every season. He should've known how to scout them and prepare our offense. Golden needs to do a better job with his coaching staff. Mediocre at best....

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