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Final four-game stretch will show us how much progress Canes have truly made

There was a reason Florida State pushed the Hurricanes around Saturday night like a little brother.

The Seminoles are better, elite in a lot of places: quarterback, running back, receiver, defensive line, secondary. The gap may not have looked that big after two quarters Saturday. But it was on display for the nation to see over the final 30 minutes. Florida State is legit, national championship good. Miami is just getting back into the Top 25 good.

That gap is nothing to be ashamed about if you bleed orange and green. Jimbo Fisher has been building this thing for over five years, since we first heard he would be the guy replacing Bobby Bowden.

Al Golden? He's been trying to rebuild Miami for three years with one arm tied behind his back. It wasn't until two weeks ago tomorrow the 28-month hostage situation with the NCAA really came to an end. Even then, it's been impressive what Golden has been able to accomplish the last couple years.

As fun as it was to see this team start 7-0, climb to No. 7 in the national rankings, ask any talent evaluator and they will tell you these Hurricanes truly were not ready for a Top 10 showdown Saturday. Three recruiting classes into yet another Miami makeover, Golden has restocked the shelves with a few gems (RB Duke Johnson, CB Tracy Howard, DE Tyriq McCord, DE Quan Muhammad, CB Artie Burns, S Deon Bush, OL Ereck Flowers, WR Stacy Coley, LB Jermaine Grace). But really, he's still playing catch-up and only now beginning to fight with both fists free.

I know the thirst has been here for awhile to shout "We're back baby!" But that's really not going to happen until the Hurricanes get to the point where Florida State is. Where you have legit NFL prospects up and down your roster. Fisher had a school-record 11 players taken in last April's NFL Draft. He'll probably have eight more at least this year with half of that taken in the first two rounds.

Miami had two players taken last April (RB Mike James, CB Brandon McGee) and might have four or five this April (LB Denzel Perryman, QB Stephen Morris, OL Brandon Linder, OL Seantrel Henderson) and one of them is a punter. Do the math. Did that sound like a Top 10 matchup Saturday night?

Truth is Golden and his staff over the last three years have taken a bunch of average, leftover talent (DT Curtis Porter, OL Jon Feliciano, S Kacy Rodgers, MLB Jimmy Gaines, WR Allen Hurns, DE Shayon Green, OL Malcolm Bunche, WR Rashawn Scott), coached them up, plugged in a few holes with transfers (DL David Gilbert, DL Justin Renfrow, P Pat O'Donnell) and made this team better year-to-year.

Saturday's game might have been a little closer in the second half had a few guys (LB Eddie Johnson, LB Gionni Paul, CB Thomas Finnie) kept their heads on straight and still been here. But every program has a few knuckleheads who don't seem to get it. Until Saturday, UM hadn't faced a team with superior depth and talent to the them. Florida? The Gators have an elite defense and that's why Miami was in a dog fight. But the Gators are 4-4 now, proof even Will Muschamp (hired at the same time Golden was) isn't having an easy time of it in Gainesville after losing eight draft picks from last year's team.

What the Hurricanes have proven thus far in 2013 is that they are not going to lose games they shouldn't and have the fight in them to rally when they're down. Players are improving. That's what we didn't see enough of during the last regime.

Now, after Saturday's heartbreaking loss (Golden gave the team Sunday off to rest and recover) we'll get to see what this coaching staff and this team is really made of. Duke Johnson is a special talent. But he's not the sole reason Miami is 7-1 and still ranked 14th in the country.

Saturday's opponent, Virginia Tech, a team UM hasn't beaten twice in a row since 2002, is the real benchmark the Hurricanes have to measure themselves against. The Hokies have won the ACC four times since coming over from the Big East with Miami in 2004. Their talent and Miami's talent is and has been much more comparable over the last couple of seasons.

What Golden and his coaches have to prove to us now is that even in the face of adversity (losing his best player) and coming off a humbling defeat against the team you want to catch-up to they can get this football team to re-focus and finish the season strong. As Golden pointed out last year, you can't win the ACC until you win the Coastal Division.

That's really what this season needs to be measured on: Can these Canes continue to beat the teams they are supposed to, win their division and finish the season with momentum for the future?

That's what Randy Shannon's teams couldn't seem to do. UM only had one winning month in November (3-1, 2009) in his four years here. Golden is now 5-4 after Saturday in November. UM finished 3-1 in November last year.

It's going to be challenging without Johnson to finish this November 4-1. But this UM team should be good enough to beat Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2) at home Saturday, Duke (6-2, 2-2 ACC) on the road Nov. 16, Virginia (2-7, 0-5) at home Nov. 23, and win at Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-3 ACC) the day after Thanksgiving.

It's time to finish the mission Canes. 


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When any CARPETBAGGER new head coach STIFLES the " NASTINES IS REQUIRED " to play for Miami, Florida. He automatically takes away the Heart nd' Soul of the University of Miami, Florida football. It's IDENTITY if U will.

No, I'm not bloviating about returning to the 80' and early 90's of Hurricane ATTITUDE style football. Because that ain't going to happen!

Chit, just show some EMOTION and what not! Instead playing like Big 10/M.A.C. robots. hUh

Five Titles, just how many hours a day do you spend away from your computer keyboard and this blog ? If you are so sure that everything you say about the Canes is the Gospel, why is it that you spend more than half your entire day on here arguing and defending it ad nauseam ?

Again, it's tragic situation with Randy THE DUKE Johnson and may he HEAL, strongly and come back like his usual football playing self!

By the way, it's highly possible with THE DUKE being placed on Injured Reserve, that the Hurricanes finish with a 3-1 record or TANK, and finish with a 2-2 record.

Because Foster AIN'T going to have his player's on defense come in to SLS, and play a PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE defense. That I can guarantee. dUh

Nonetheless, Beamer Ball's offense is not Top 30-esque and what not.

Oh, NOTHING AGAINST Crawford, but he just don't have that break-away, speed as THE DUKE and opposing defenses will wanna' see Miami, Florida run the ball.

Why are we playing duke on the road again?

Posted by: Johnny Padron | November 04, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Johnny, they are a conference opponent and we faced them at home last year. It alternates for our division rivals.

Posted by: Five Titles | November 04, 2013 at 01:09 PM

wrong yet again, but hey, why let the truth get in the way.

Manuel, the Hurricanes had a DIFFICULT time defeating MIGHTY Duke last season and what not. And the Blue Devil's did defeat Beamer Ball in Blacksburg.

In other words, Duke is playing with HOUSE MONEY and what not, and probably doesn't fear the Hurricanes no longer. But then again, not too many teams FEAR the Canes any longer. SEE Carolina Blue and Wake Forest, for instance.

Gatr Trash: Zero SEC titles, Zero SEC LEast titles, 5 years and counting.

BWWWHAHHHAHAH. The maggots are on tilt.

Seriously, the ONLY possible, guarantee " victory " for Goldie's squad will be LOWLY Virginia.

Because I can say with absolute confidence, that Beamer Ball and Duke and yes, Pittsburg will be tough, competitive games for the Hurricanes. Especially with THE DUKE on Injured Reserve for the rest of the season.

And dig this y'all Hurricane partisans. Miami, Florida DON'T take to kindly to playing in cold climates and what not. And the city of Pittsburg will be bloody CHILLY and wind that last weekend of November. hUh

Calvin it becomes evident more n more the kind of team you want to field, and that you STILL live in the 80's. You want a team of thugs, and how can you even MENTION Finnie is beyond me, the mf'er STOLE from a teammate and you want it dealt with in house? Well it was, he was kicked off the team and lucky he didn't get his azzz kicked.
Posted by: ColaCane | November 04, 2013 at 02:07 PM

These are the type of fake UM fans we don't need, ou know the ones who want to brag and than criticize the same teams that gave/give you a reason to brag, GTFOH with that hypocrisy.it's clear, we got a lot of tad foote minded want to be UM fans.


Virginia Tech at No. 11 Miami (-7.5)

Virginia Tech's offense has been horrible this season, I'm not even going to try and dispute that fact. But the Virginia Tech defense is still one of the best in the country, and we all saw Miami struggle to move the ball against one of the best defenses in the country in Florida State on Saturday night.

Well, now Miami will be without Duke Johnson for the rest of the season. That's not good for the Miami offense, and against the Hokies defense it's going to make life a lot more difficult.

Virginia Tech can't score a lot of points, but it's not going to have to in order to get a cover here. Take the Hokies +7.5.

1. I can't believe that Miami, Florida is a solid touchdown favorite. Especially with THE DUKE not available for the game.

2. I was guessing the Canes would be a - 4 1/2 point home chalk. That's why I'm a part-time bUm and not in Vegas being the heavy player. LOL

3. Hurricane fan-dom will find out the true LEADERS of the team. Because it's those leaders which the young player's will look up to and what not. And if the Hurricanes have a TICKER still beating. Or a spirit having flown. Goldie's team will come away with a victory.

4. I still SEE-r a tight, close ball game on Saturday night. SEE the Carolina Blue and Wake Forest games as a template. dUh

We want a coach that clearly understands the type of players they get in this area, coach goldie's only method is to kick those players off the team. I get tired of hearing coach goldie tell us how great the recruiting class is that was just signed and how "we recruited to our core values" and than turn-around and kick those same players off the team that he just told us how great and core-valued they are, he wasting recruiting money!

Some of us just want to play football at the level we did, say going back as recently as 2000-2003, the 80's will never be repeated, although Bama is making a strong push.

we got a lot of tad foote minded want to be UM fans.

Posted by: Calvin | November 04, 2013 at 04:02 PM

Seriously LOL!

Yeah Calvin, perhaps the BRAINWASHING technique of Goldie and D'Onofrio has worked on the vast majority of Hurricane fan-dom.

FWIW... y'all Cane zealots will see what both Goldie and Marky Mark are all about come Saturday.

Because both Beamer Ball and the Hurricanes are in precarious situations. For instance, Va.Tech wants to end their 2 game losing streak and Beamer Ball ALWAYS plays Miami, Florida HARD!!

One thing sure nough' is for certain on Saturday night. The college footbal fan-dom whom tune in will see a hard-fought, competitive game from both the Canes and Beamer Ball!

That's why I'm glad it's shown during prime time on ESPN. Albeit I still wanna' view a Miami, Florida win, too.

I say both the Hookies and the Canes are at the edge of the A.C.C. Coastal PRECIPICE, because whichever squad wins on Saturday, that team will have an excellent opportunity to face the MIGHTY Seminoles in Charlotte.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh soooooooooo scary playing them Hokies.
What a formidable opponent them Hokies, just ask Duke and BC how tough they are.
Then we get to play them Blue Devils on the road, another super tough team.
We also have to travel up North to face Pitt, ohhhhhh the cold is un bearable.
Then our nemesis, lowly Virgina, you know how tough they play us.
Wonder why the pollsters don't give us more credit with that gaunlet we face.

Five Titles: An observation: Should Texas A & M and South Carolina be ranked ahead of UM?

Here's why they should: T A & M has a (repeat) Heisman candidate who is mobile, can throw and smart and innovative and when it comes down to the come down pulls that team together and says, "Let's Go. I will show U how it's done." Additionally, Sumlin is light years ahead of every single coach of the UM staff.

Secondly: SC has one of the best offensive minds ever in football in Spurrier. Who on the UM staff can match that?

And, I am still against the fact that Paul, Finnie and Johnson are gone. I thought that academic institutions were supposed to be in the business of teaching...Just sayin.'

Ref even comes over to tell him to stop the celebration after he highsteps and gets ready to do even more, but still no flag.

When they called it the Miami Rule, who knew they would make it mean the ONLY Miami Rule.

Posted by: Five Titles | November 04, 2013 at 02:47 PM

Voila, 5 titles.

And it's been that way the past 16 or so seasons. Chit, I witness plenty of celebration around the nation on Saturday's. Yet, the officials tend to keep their flags in the pocket and give said player a major VERBAL warning and what not. hUh

Posted by: D | November 04, 2013 at 03:26 PM

In the Georgia game, player makes a big play, and then gives the same military salute that was once banned because Canes players did it. I looked for a flag, nothing.

Posted by: jsy | November 04, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Weren't you the guy asking about zone vs man D a couple of weeks ago? Do you think a teenager like you should be offering suggestions to a paid DC?

Come on. Give it a break.

HTC, cry me a river.

21-16, 4-4

Manny, thanks for the positive blog! Outstanding.

1. I can't believe that Miami, Florida is a solid touchdown favorite. Especially with THE DUKE not available for the game.
Posted by: D | November 04, 2013 at 04:06 PM

Well, we were just told by a fellow on his FIRST DAY HERE (yeah, sure) that Vegas knows what they are talking about, so Miami will win this one by a touchdown. After all, since he has never posted here before for five years straight, he has never been wrong. LOL!

Cool Cat, usually record trumps individual performances.

By that logic, Louisville should be above TAMU because Bridgewater has outperformed Manzell this year.

Or how about putting Penn State ahead of South Carolina because Bill O'Brien has been a better coach than Spurrier this year?

Plenty of great players on teams ranked lower, that doesn't justify 2 loss teams being ahead of 1 loss teams, when the 1 loss was on the road to the #2 team in the country while their 2 losses were to worse teams than that.

This has been on the ESPN blog, but just in case no one has seen:

Lamarcus Joyner on facing Miami again in the ACCCG.

“Gotta embrace the challenge,” Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner said after the victory. “We know what kind of football team they are. We know for a fact if we have to play those guys again in the ACC championship, then it won’t be an easy championship game.”

Joyner called Miami “the toughest team we’ve played this season. Despite the scoreboard, that does not determine the way, how physical those guys played us. Those guys played our hearts out, and if we have to see them again in the championship, I can tell you that’s going to be a pretty hard-nosed championship game.”

http://espn.go.com/blog/acc (see Best-case scenario for FSU: Miami rematch).

Our D had the perfect game plan. If our O was able to execute, we would have been close, but we really need more horses on D.

dont forget,,these athletes are still kids,,,who are trying to best to win..

"Football's" typical lamb & Gator thought process:

1) "...at least we did better than Clemson..."

2) "the cloud", "the cards", "the process", "two more years...again", "need horses", and "Randy Shannon effects" LMAO!!! Who's really crying??

3) Anyone who gets paid to do something, is good at what they do. lol!

4) Be complacent at all times and good times will ensue eventually

5) Believe whatever U want to believe or what feels best, not reality.

6) Worship Golden ala Tebow. They're both above reproach.

7) 21-16 is all that matters in Canedom.

8) The #1 initiatives of Cane fandom is hating the Gators, but subconsciously emulating them behavior-wise.

Posted by: HarrietTubmanCane | November 04, 2013 at 05:10 PM

HTC, is that it? You need to cry more. That is only eight drops. LOL.

21-16 and 4-4.

can we talk about potential 4 star and 5 star d-line recruits

Beat VT, nothing else matters. TOO much was made of one game, rivalry or not. Beating VT gives us a great shot at the division. 11-1 is an incredible goal for this team. No one would have predicted this opportunity. GO CANES BEAT VT

d'o was named the MVP for VT with his bend and break, never stop any offense, 3 def. linemen against 6 offensive linemen, and gee, d'o and goldie can not understand why d'o gives up hundreds of yards a game to the other teams.

I had tickets to the VT game. But I do not even like watching Cane games on TV anymore with d'os worthless defense.

Then, he puts in four down linemen, plays man to man.
stops the other guys. But then, the jerk switches to his lovely three down linemen, zone which gives the other team the first down.

You can't make this crap (d'os worthless defense) up.

gave the VT tickets away.
Who wants to watch goldie and d'o give away the games,
and take a premier running back like Duke and run him constantly into the line to break his leg instead of using a speed merchant in the open field as a receiver??

goldie and d'o are dumber than dog poop.

"72, I totally agree with the 3-4 defense not getting it done. The whole college football is changing to who can outscore the other. It seems most are using or going to this defense. I don't really get it either. FSU is headed to that defense next year. The opportunity for players to fit the 3-4 are much harder to find. Without a monster in the middle,(wilfork type), it cannot work. We shall see, always GO CANES.

Posted by: Cane72 | November 04, 2013 at 05:47 PM

You never had the tickets to begin with. Just another "fake UM" (aka "UF") fan.

actually UM played 90% of teh game rushing four down lineman, with 2 deep safeties, not sure which game you were watching '72

"Football" I asked that question bc it was so frustrating watching our garbage defense and the fact we refuse to change our ways so I had to ask u guys to make sure maybe just maybe I was missing something because our defensive scheme is garbage. And btw why do you say Im a teenager? Do you think anyone who doesn't think golden and his staff have huge flaws are teenagers? Regardless I don't know about you but I went to the U for undergrad, medical school and anesthesia residency so 2001-2012 was physically spent on the grounds of the u. So I saw front and center for all the ups and downs but through it all never have I seen this week scared philosophy we play with. And trust me coley is not much better than nix so far in his career and Walton at one point of his career was hated more than dno but his plain basic 43 cover 2 is superior to this dno (to quote cane72) 3man no coverage zone no d. And lets keep this to football discussions no need for personal shots especially when u don't even know who you're talking too

an we talk about potential 4 star and 5 star d-line recruits

Posted by: it's football season! | November 04, 2013 at 05:27 PM

This is a great question for coach goldie, jethro and thee 500 club! What we do know is d-linemen flocked to Fsu and the gaytors in drobes no matter how many they already had in place, nobody is flocking to jethro because he doesn't connect well with the guys from this region and plus, guys from this region do not want to be 2 technique d-linemen, they want to use there speed and get up field. Also when you got guys you recruited and than when they got here, you asking them to move to an already crowded o-line situation what signal does that send out.

We ask our d-linemen now to play the odds, look for the run on 1st and 2nd down, 3rd downs, get up field, and when they turned around, they clearly saw wih "eye discipline" the back of devont'a freeman's jersey.

I gotta give curtis porter credit, he ran all the way down field with em trying to get to em though, that's effort for a guy his size, but i do know this, curtis porter at 325 has put on to much weight which is why he has been ineffective and renfrow has replaced him. curtis played better last year at the weight he was at.

The weight gain mac minions really walk around like they got the key to defense. Eat this, eat that, than they get on the field and can't move. seeing shayon green trying to cover freeman time and time again got old real quick, if anything, try and put tyriq or Alquadin out there to do that, and than if the 500 club was thinking, all he had to do was put one of those guys out there with the other guys, you know jimbo would've called a running play to that players side, so all you had to do was make whatever side they were on the strong side of the defense and than snatch em out.

The 500 club and coach goldie still playing checkers with our defensive players. shayon green played well and strong but putting d-linemen out in space time and time again, and come to think of it, thurston armbrister must be in the dog house, cause no way they gone tell me that any of them other linebackers have played better than him from that spot.

Harriet TUBMAN, True Cane, d, always good read yalls post men. At the end of the day, I know who the real UM playa's are up in here. Canefan72, he knows what's up as well, the funny thing is, it took gumbo fisher 2 years to figure out how to attack our defense, whoever thought it was okay to put aj highsmith in that saturday cost us too, i keep hearing this guy hasn't had any mental errors, that's respectable, but who cares if you're in the right place at the right time, if you don't make the play, none of that matters, deon bush would've either tried to decapitate or broken that pass up, either way, he would've made contact.

That was one of those plays where you blow benjamin up so he knows not to come back out there thinking it's going to be free. While rashard green is good, it's not hard to sit down in a zone defense and catch passes.

the Canes hung tough for a half; the program is improving greatly, the 2014 recruiting class is awesome, Duke's latest injury hurts but on the positive side, may make him stay the entire 4 yrs to prove to Nfl he is durable, Dorsett's return will be huge; let's get out there on Saturday as this game is more important than fsu.

We ask our d-linemen now to play the odds, look for the run on 1st and 2nd down, 3rd downs, get up field, and when they turned around, they clearly saw wih "eye discipline" the back of devont'a freeman's jersey.

I gotta give curtis porter credit, he ran all the way down field with em trying to get to em though, that's effort for a guy his size, but i do know this, curtis porter at 325 has put on to much weight which is why he has been ineffective and renfrow has replaced him. curtis played better last year at the weight he was at.

Posted by: Calvin | November 04, 2013 at 06:17 PM

LMAO!!!!!!!!! "eye discipline" = the back of Freeman's jersey. ROTFL!

All of the jargon and catch phrases, but none of the results when it counts most.


That's all that matters.

Yes FSU is very good. Hats off to them. They've had 5 years of recruiting advantage and coaching stability. So no one should be surprised they are ahead of us.

It's the Gators who should be disappointed. Higher recruiting classes and now they look like a shell of a team destined for a 6-6 season at best.

Good teams move on. The test of the Canes will be how they play against VT.

I think guys felt humiliated by the bullying by FSU and will take their frustrations out on VT.

I predict a 14+ point win by UM.

We are all going to find out just how good and resilent this team this coming Saturday. Yes, they got beat by a superior team, but, they didn't give up. NOW, we're going to see if this team lets fsu beat the twice, this Saturday with Va. Tech? There is nothing to be ashamed about when you simply get beat by a better team, maybe not 27 points, but, certainly better. The task, and here is where I disagree with the writer of the article, it should not be all about getting this team back up, but, each player looking in the mirror and deciding that they are not going to be beaten twice by fsu, and, go out there Saturday and leave it all on the field. They don't need to do it for Duke, the coaches, the school, but, they do need to do it for themselves. That way, next Sunday, they can look back and believe, believe in themselves and each other. Go Canes, just do it for yourselves.

Man Bud Foster always has a good game plan, it's going to be a dog fight. Logan looked like a 1st round lock against us last year, I kept saying to myself this kid played (Logan) TE in high-school?

A question to this team, just how bad do you want to go to a good bowl? Just because you get beat by a better team are you going to let your whole season go down the drain? There are a thousand people out there that would love to have the chance you have, except, for one thing, They know that don't have the talent each of you have. This week is the hard week, this week you prove to your self your not going to stay down, your going to get up and continue to move forward, or, are you going to stay down like some teams in the past and ride out the rest of the season? It really is up to each and everyone of you. What one person lacks, others make up for, that's why you are called a team.

Calvin claims that Andy Reid isn't qualified to coach the Kansas City Chiefs and Lovie Smith should be the guy coaching the Chiefs.

And yes, the Chiefs are undefeated (9 and 0) after last year sharing the same 2-14 record as the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst record of the season, the Chiefs were statistically the worst team overall.

Of course Calvin also claims Al Golden, who was saddled with a 3 year NCAA persecution, is not qualified to coach the 7 and 1 Miami Hurricanes and believes the 4 and 4 Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators is the better coach.

The point being...if you are believing Calvin's War & Peace novels to be factual about who are the best qualified coaches and other football related issues, you may want to rethink who you are getting your advice from.

No worries Ron, nobody believes Calvin's view on coaches or men's weight.


What 3 year persecutions did the NCAA impose on UM besides concluding an investigation that Golden himself admitted he never saw? Zook, please explain the sanctions that the NCAA persecuted Golden with in detail?

SCB, what 5 year recruiting advantage? 5 years ago we had the #1 class in the nation.
What coaching stability disparity? RS was fired a full 3 years ago now. Jimbo has been at FSU for one year longer than Golden. Jimbo and FSU lost the DC and OC/QB coach *this* off-season.

meant: conducting...

TK Swann: Agreed. The funny thing that continuously cracks me up is not the fact we blitzed, but how we blitzed when Freeman took it to the house on the 48 yard play:

We blitz from the left side of our DL, at least 5 deep, maybe 6, leaving the other side, the weak side, naked and wide open and dependent on one on one match ups.

We flat out let a smart team know what we were doing, did not disguise anything.

The entire FSU offensive unit read the defensive play and countered with the RB screen. He got the necessary blocks and the rest is history. When the play unfolded, I think I saw Jimbo smiling, because he knew Freeman and the rest of the FSU good athletes could do damage.

U could have gotten away with that from a Savannah State but not with an FSU. Just plain dumb and not really thinking coaching effort.

Like I've been sayin.' DunnoToday, Didn'tKnow Saturday, JustDunno and ProbablyWon'tEverKnow.

Posted by: jsy | November 04, 2013 at 06:14 PM

I was at the U from 1992-2002 and came out with a doctorate in engineering. I apologize if I came across harsh. But, let me explain my perspective.

If some of your patients bring Medical journal (pick one) papers to surgery and tell you to follow the procedures outlined in the papers, what would you do? Wouldn't you follow your training on diagnosing the patient's condition yourself because you know better than following some publication blindly?

All I am saying is, it is way too early to pass judgement on this coaching staff. Talent will overcome problems in execution, but will need experience. If you don't have talent, you got to execute perfectly to even contend. With the high powered O's of today, I am not sure any D can bottle any one up consistently. The coaches know a lot more about the capabilities of individual players and try to put them in situations that will make them successful. Yes, coaches can be wrong, but they just lost to one of the elite teams with a stud QB and major talent in all positions.

Case in point, 1999 The U vs PSU at the Orange Bowl. One of PSU's receivers beat our CBs and safeties for a TD late in the 4th Q to escape with a 27-24 win. I forget the name of the receiver, but he was gloating when he was interviewed at the airport after the game. Ed Reed was on that 1999 team with Schiano as the DC. Should we have fired Schiano because he chose to use man coverage to cover one of PSU's best receivers? In 2000, after our loss to UW, many people were calling for Coker's (OC) head. I recall the half time score was 21-3 UW. Dorsey's second start at QB.

In 1997 during the WVa game, a banner was flown above the orange bowl with the words "FROM CHAMPS TO CHUMPS, THANKS BUTCH" or something to that effect. Butch did replace his DC after the 1998 season (guess Randy Shannon the LB coach also went to the Dolphins at the same time) with Schiano.

We need to be fair to our coaches. Al has done a lot for the U. He could've left right after he came to know about the Shapiro affair and no one would have blamed him. But, he stuck with us. We are 7-1 and performing beyond expectations. They deserve our support.

And let me add. I expected us to rout UNC and Wake this year. It was disappointing, but we won in the end. A W is always better no matter how ugly it is. We kept losing to ECU during Butch's time before finally breaking out in 2000 after Dorsey took over.

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