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Golden credits defense for bending, not breaking against UNC

UM coach Al Golden spoke with WQAM broadcaster Don Bailey Jr. after Thursday night's thrilling 27-23 come-from-behind win at North Carolina.

Golden called the victory "a gutsy win" and lamented UM's four turnovers. But he also praised the overall defensive effort, the MVP performance from Dallas Crawford, the blocked field goal by freshman Artie Burns and the guts Miami showed on its game-winning drive late.

The Hurricanes (6-0, 2-0 in ACC play) lost running back Duke Johnson (head), safety Kacy Rodgers (ankle) and receiver Phillip Dorsett (knee) to injuries. Golden told ESPN he thought Johnson would be okay, but didn't discuss the other injuries.

Crawford, Thursday night's hero, said of his game-winning TD run: "Four yards out, I just knew I can't be denied. It's what you work out for, what you live for -- situations like that. I just knew I couldn't be denied."

The Hurricanes won despite a lot of ugliness. This was the third straight game UM turned the ball over four times. Stephen Morris threw four interceptions and simply looked off his game, finishing 19 of 35 for 322 yards, but nearly costing UM the game.

"Again, we got to take care of the football," Golden said. "We have to improve by taking care of the turnovers. But really gutsy by the defense to overcome four turnovers. 23 points on 80 plays and four turnovers. What does that say about the defense? Again, I know we have to fix some things. We let [North Carolina tight end Eric] Ebron get into the secondary too much. I know all that. At the end of the day they only scored 23 points on 80 plays and you give them four turnovers -- it says a lot about how tough they finish drives. Every time they intercepted or held them to a field goal that kept us in the game. If any of those go to 14 or 17 that thing is running away from us."

Golden praised Crawford not only for his running, but his blocked punt as well. Burns had the blocked field goal that led to UM's first touchdown.

"Artie Burns -- what can you say?," Golden said. "He shaved the outside leg, laid up, not out. I'm just proud of him man. We needed that. That takes away one of the interceptions when you score on defense. Just proud of the effort we gave."

As for Crawford, UM's hero with two late touchdowns and a career-high 137 yards on 33 carries, Golden said the team put the game on his back.

"And he wanted it," Golden said. "He never got cautious with the football. He continued to see the same reads, made the same cuts with confidence. I'm real proud of him and real proud of OT [Eduardo Clements], who came in when he got tired there and made a couple big runs."

Miami marched 90 yards on 13 plays for the game-winning drive.

"Are you kidding me? To do that on the road you got something in your bowels, you got a foundation to work off of," Golden said. "I'm proud of those guys."

Miami's defense gave up 500 yards including 395 through the air, but came up with two huge turnovers.

"Is it pretty? Do you want to walk out of here with 500 yards or whatever? No," Golden said. "[But] think of it in terms of possessions because of the turnovers. To end up holding them to 23 [points] says a lot about red zone defense and our stamina and conditioning. To hang in there, not let them in. Look, we'll fix a lot of things when we get back to Coral Gables. But make no mistake this is a big win for the Miami Hurricanes."

Cornerback Tracy Howard came in with one career interception. He had two Thursday including a huge one in the fourth quarter to stop a UNC drive at the UM 10.

"Tracy's got a good sense for football, a good football mind," Golden said. "We're just going to keep coaching him on just making sure he's playing the defense. I know he missed the tackle on Ebron on the big one [71-yard touchdown]. We'll get him coached him up on that. Again, give them credit. They were hyped. They were ready. That was a turkey shoot for awhile there. But you're going to have this during the year. If you want to be a good team you got to maybe not play your best or not execute your best and find a way to win. We found a way to win."

What is Golden most proud of leaving Chapel Hill?

"What I said. We played until four zeroes [showed on the clock] and we had every opportunity along the way to say 'Well, it's not our night' or not have the courage to finish. They chose to deserve victory," Golden said. "That's what they chose. They chose to win, stay together, fight, stand their ground until the end and because of that they gave themselves an opportunity to win the game."

Golden had told the team in Wednesday night's meetings the Hurricanes were going to have to fight until the very end to beat North Carolina (1-5).

"If they weren't believers before I told them just now in the locker room by the time you land you'll be a believer," Golden said. "We knew what we were going to face here tonight. This was a circle the wagons game tonight for them. This was all the energy you can absorb and then try to fight back. So it was a good win for our guys."

Here is what offensive lineman Jonathan Feliciano said after the win on Twitter...

Comments

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Calvin,

What up man, I read the headline of this article and couldn't stop laughing. Doesn't Al know that's what this defense is designed for? I stumbles over a few post here and it's about what I thought. Some pretty amusing.

UNC had some good athletes out there but it's no excuse at how poorly we executed. Morris may have pushed himself up into round 5-7 with that performance. He has been exposed badly. I was reading few post last night where "True Cane" was making great points about how UNC linebackers were playing down hill with no regards of covering the tight end. It did appear UNC was dropping safeties deep and rushing the qb and just hoped they'd stop the run on the way to the qb. That says a great deal on just how dominant the o-line was and how bad Morris was at the same time. It's funny how much blame Coley is getting but what can you call when your qb is making one read and then bail out of the pocket? That's two weeks in a row where we've run the ball at a extremely high level and gotten so little to the tightends off playaction.

And please stop with the ankle is hurt excuses, even before he had the ankle he didn't throw the ball to the tightend.

Another thing I read where some guy is trying to compare last nights game to the 2001 BC game and V.Tech games the biggest difference is
293 yards BC
248 yards V. Tech
and in 1983 East Carolina scored 7 points

last night UNC had 500 after giving up 300 rushing just last week.

I feel bad for McCord because that kid is a monster, just imagine if he played in a scheme where he could play more then 13 or so snaps. Unfortunately he only see the field on 3rd and 6 or more, that's ridiculous.

What had to be the funniest shat from last night game was watching UNC offense trying to run a screen play. I'm like really how are you going to run a screen when our lineman isn't trying to get up field. LMAO. I guarantee you that's the one play this defense have no trouble defending.

Slow down Rick, Since we joined the ACC UNC has been a thorn in our side. It's just something about that matchup. They have our number, they play us hard fought each time. Look at that stat since you seem to know something about stats.

Canes 4ever they give us problems because our QB cant hit intermediate passes, THE ONLY THING HE IS GOOD FOR IS THE DEEP BALL, Duke gets held accountable for fumbles but Morris keeps making mistake after mistake>>>> HE LEFT A PERFECT POCKET AND THREW ANOTHER HORRIBLE PASS..Al Golden will learn U cant hold one guy accountable and not the other>>>>> PLAYERS WILL START TALKING WHY IS HE ANY DIFFERENT

J'ville Cane, I saw the Tar Heels run zone shallow across the middle and safeties high. Although the middle was open at times i feel it was bait. How ever I agree TE usage is needed, Walford caught to big gain passes when used. Morris has become dependant on the deep ball and looking for it all the time rather than going through his progression. This is an error on the coach. Make him do it the right way or let Williams show him how its done. A lot of people seem to think he can't make the throws which is not so, he has all the time in the world, he's freelancing as they call it. Three of the four picks could have been thrown out of bounds

Tom Brady.......(2004 & 2010)..4 single game interceptions
Drew Brees......(2012).........5 single game interceptions
Bret Farve......(2002).........6 single game interceptions
Peytone Manning.(2007).........6 single game interceptions

EPIC COMEBACK!!!

It is ridiculous to jump on the defense after that game. Only giving up 23 points when your offense commits five turnovers is a great performance.

Posted by: JaxCane | October 18, 2013 at 03:27 PM

The D was resilient and hung in there. I give them all the credit in the world for that. However, it was not a good showing overall.

23 points. Yes, commendable because it could have been a lot worse given the 4 INTs. But there is no denying the fact that our front seven was not at all disruptive, and the secondary got burned on too many big plays.

We must improve the D.

Hey Ron Zook when he plays against a team that is horrible>>>> IS WHEN HE DOES GOOD, BUT STILL THROWS INTERCEPTION....U SAY A ROUGH NIGHT, LOOK AT THE SEASON STATS>>>> 8 interceptions and he has not played all year....AND WE HAVE HAD A WEAK SCHEDULE

Posted by: Rick | October 18, 2013 at 03:38 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Poor Ricky...one of the trolls that is so depressed after being so happy for most of last night.

Yo Ricky! Here's a stat... 6 wins-0 losses...undefeated!!

One other stat for ya...21-16!!

Let me throw this out there for all the Gatr maggots:

Would you rather lose pretty or win ugly? The best football minds all answer the question the same way.

Why does the Gatr Trash have a different opinion?

i believe if miami doesn't turn it over 4 times they can beat fsu. vt and a bowl game win. Why not. This team on offense has the ability to score with anyone when they take care of ball. The d is much better then given credit for this year. Yes they gave up 500 yds and lost ebrom a few times. Ebron by the way is a 1st round talent at te. The d though was on the field alot thanks to turnovers and in efficient offense. And only gave up 23 pts. yds is overrated its how many pts u allow taht matter.

Been a Cane for 30 + yrs, I have been the one saying the Canes will go undefeated and play Clemson in ACC championship...I also said that Morris is the weak link to this team, HE NEVER USES THE TE ENOUGH, HE LEAVES A PERFECT POCKET, Al Golden has made a huge Mistake holding Duke accountable for fumbling, and yet let a SR make horrible decisions. Al will learn from this because players will start talking about why Morris is not being held responsible for his freshman MISTAKES....,.FACT

Ok, someone asked earlier why I've never posted here if I'm a Cane Supporter. Actually I have posted here and posting here doesn't necessarily make you a supporter. Some of you are saying we needed this game to wake us up and things of that nature. Hell, the GTECH game should have done that, the final score of GT wasn't indicative of how the game went.

The bottom line is that the team has a lot to work on and Morris has shown absolutely no signs of improvement. Last night's game was no surprise to anyone that has watched Morris this season. At this point why would you think it will improve? If it's his ankle it wont heal without rest and if it's decision making, will that change? We may be better at home with less communication problems, but on the road, problems.

For you experts, tell me what happened on the long TD to their TE(besides Howard missing a tackle). Kelvin Cain got a hand on him off the line and played run vs the play action. Tyrone Cornelius and Rapheal Kirby bit hard on play action and never touched him, particularly Kirby. Now Ebron drags across field with no resistance, when Kirby noticed it, he didn't get on his horse(unless he's that slow) to get into the passing lane. The ball goes by him to Ebron,when Kirby attempts to tackle he cant wrap with his right arm because Howard hits him more than he hits Ebron. Not enough speed left in the secondary and Ebron scores. Being a football guy I noticed that when it happened live.

When someone notices a deficiency it doesn't make them a hater or against the Canes. Some of us just know football and call it as it is. I would love for Morris to take care of the ball, the safeties to play better and to be more aggressive with our fronts and blitz packages. I'm just not naïve and I'm not fooling myself into thinking we're a great team. We're ok. Hopefully we become really good. In 2013 really good is enough to beat everyone we play.

Rick, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I understand team and one for all and everything that goes with it but the bottom line is that you cant continue to preach team and expect everyone to sell out(give great effort) and buy in, when you have a guy hurting the team enormously and not being held accountable.

This can become frustrating to the rest of the team and effect effort, chemistry and everything else.

Get off of Morris and Duke.

They are both great players.
And if Miami had a decent DC who knew something besides a prevent (the win) NO defense, the Canes would be in the BCS NC game.

Now is the time for Miami to turn up the conditioning, teach dumb'o a good defense with big tight ends in a four down def. linemen and our DEs outside the tackle or TE to turn the end runs back into Miami pursuit and go after a QB sprint out.

Lost in all the Morris bashing are the good throws he made in that last drive to waters and Hurns. Say what you want but he did his job in the end and made the plays he needed to. His arm-strength earns him respect like Dorsett's speed. Something you can't teach.

I blame Coley for not having a game plan that utilizes TE and RB on short patters like drags and simple outs to get the ball in the hands of our playmakers.

Coley is holding some of the playbook back and he has to be careful in doing so. That fake reverse to S. Coley off the motion where he ended up in the flat on the left side is a new wrinkle. It was a great play. With all that vertical speed the flats are going to be open. I'd like to see hagens get the ball with a head of steam and just punish people in the flats. And where is Sandland? He can make people miss. A 3 yard pass can be turned into more with that kid.

Overall, any time you come out of a game like this with 4 TO and find a way to win, it's a great thing. You don't normally get this kind of learning and humility in a win. They will grow up this week and be ready to play in front of a big crowd next Saturday. Great Win.

One finger up his own arse? Yeah 6 games into the season and losing most of the game and Coley is holding back the playbook and carefully doing so? One finger up = 2 thumbs down!

Here's the thing...

Miami is finally LEARNING TO WIN again!
It's been a long time.

KAMONRA! I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO SEES THE GAME SOMETIMES HOW IT ACTUALLY GOES.. I TELL MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS THAT COLLEGE,AND PRO FOOTBALL GAMES ARE CONTROLED TO A CERTAIN DEGREE(POINT SPREAD) AND IT MAINLY HAPPENS BASED ON HOW THE OFFICIALS CALL THE GAME.. AN OFFICIAL CAN CALL HOLDING ANY TIME THEY WANT AND THAT IS THE ONE CALL ALONG WITH PASS INTERFERENCE THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON THE PERFORMANCE OF A QB OR OFFENSE/DEFENSE. TO KEEP THE SCORE UNDER THE POINT SPREAD SIMPLY CALL HOLDING WHEN A OFFENSE IS IN THE REDZONE(WHY DO YOU THINK THAT AREA IS SO CRITICAL TO A TEAMS SUCCESS. THEN ALL A QB HAS TO DO IS PLAY BAD AND THE FAVORITE TEAM STRUGGLES TO SCORE. LAST NIGHT WE BASHED,CURSED AND DEMANDED THAT MORRIS BE BENCHED BUT I GUARANTEE U THAT THERE WILL BE A GAME THAT MORRIS WILL WIN FOR US THIS YEAR AGAINST A GOOD OPPONENT THAT NO ONE EXPECTS US TO WIN. IF FLA.ST WINS TOMORROW AND THEN BEATS US THERE WILL BE A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THEM WHEN THEY FACE US AGAIN. AND THEY WILL. IF THERE IS NO NC IMPLECATIONS THE CANES WIN GAME 2.(ACC CHAMPIONSHIP)

the problem is that SM is injured and has resulted in his change of mechanics-RW should start the Wake game and let him be 100% foe FSU. Unless you win the game up front both offense and defense you will not be successful. ? why is SHenderson even on the team. He continues to dog it play after play. You do not win games on potential-performance is the key and his production on the field is second rate and off the field unmentionable. time for coach to step up and right the ship. FSU by 25 unless SM 100%.Play RW.

morris has to get his head out of his rear end, if he's hurt then he's hurt and he cannot help this team and he needs to own up to that. He also needs to learn to look for other receivers if the #1 option is not there, before he leaves the huddle he already knows who he's gonna throw it to and that is where he messes up, he throws it wether they're open or not and thats where the jacory harris' (ints) are coming into play. I do think they need to stop running so much to the outside.

#6 Calvin is obviously Jacory's baby daddy

#7 Calvin is a BIG Al Golden, Coach D and Stephen Morris fan

#8 Calvin cares much more about the Canes winning than proving to everyone how much more he knows than anyone else.

FSU or Clemson even Va Tech would destroy UNC.

Posted by: Rabblerouser | October 18, 2013 at 04:53 AM

--------------------------------------------------------
Va Tech beat UNC 27-17 at home.
Renner didn't play,

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