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Golden discusses defensive philosophy, other notes from Tuesday (w/video)

With his team on a three-game losing skid and his defense in the midst of one of the worst runs in school history, UM coach Al Golden continued to face questions Tuesday about defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, his scheme and the basic philosophy behind it.

Once again, Golden reiterated he signs off on everything the defense does.

"I'm going to keep saying it, that I'm involved in every aspect of football here at the University of Miami," Golden said. "I'm responsible for it all. Right now we're not playing well enough collectively. Again we had some good performances the other night. I indicated those to you the other night on Sunday. But really collectively it's not good enough and I'm responsible for it."

What exactly is the philosophy behind this 3-4 scheme? And why does it seem like players are reading and reacting instead of being aggressive?

"There's never a day where we ever talk about read and react. That's not even a mention," Golden said. "Depending where you are on a defense you have a key and have to respond. That's defense. We want to be a 3-4 because a 3-4 lets you get more speed at linebacker, get in and out of over and under fronts. It allows you to play with four down or go to an odd front, allows you to have speed, allows you to attack more. Interceptions are up, takeaways are up, sacks are up. All that's up, but it's not good enough. So we have to continue to build it. We have to continue to build our depth, continue to develop kids. Obviously we want to attack, want to be a dynamic defense, a defense that can fly around and disrupt the passer and get tackles for loss. Otherwise you don't want to be in that configuration. Again, it hasn't been good enough. I want to own the fact it hasn't been good enough the last couple of weeks."

Why did Golden choose this style of defense?

"Because we didn't have a million defensive linemen," Golden said. "We didn't have 16 defensive linemen. For the real big guys, the noses, you only needed a couple of those. [Curtis] Porter, Earl Moore, we had to bring [Justin] Renfrow in to have enough to go through the season. We didn't have the depth on the defensive line. We had more linebackers, more guys like [Tyriq] McCord that were a hybrid guy. I think it was the best decision for us coming into this season and we'll continue to personnel it. But we're going to have to continue to improve and continue to build depth and move forward."

How important is scheme in relation to execution?

"At the end of the day you summed up any coordinator or any entity. You lay out what the philosophy is, what you're trying to execute and ultimately it comes down to the execution of it," Golden said. "It comes down to whether or not we're carrying out everything we need to do in those positions. The problem with our defense is you can get exposed if there's nine or 10 guys doing it right one play and one guys is not. No. 2 when you have issues you weaken other areas by trying to fix those. I don't think there's any question in my career I've seen just about every defense, been a part of a staff of any defense that you can have. Ultimately it comes down to the execution of what you're trying to get done on any single play. That's it at the end of the day. There's a million different things we can call. We look at that every day. We're evaluating that, we're evaluating our personnel, making sure we putting guys in position to execute and get their talent in the game."

Have you seen a difference in run defense in the 3-4 compared to the 4-3?

"I think we had more success early in the year by continuing to be multiple, by lining up in both, by pressuring out of both, and we'll continue to do that," Golden said. "We need more tackles for losses, more sacks. And we need more takeaways. All three of those can be tied together. We need that kind of output to return."


> Golden said there will be personnel changes this week, but he didn't want to delve deeper into than what UM released in its depth chart late Sunday night.

He did say senior Justin Renfrow would play more at end so Curtis Porter and Earl Moore see more time at tackle. Golden also said sophomore Tyriq McCord has played well at strongside linebacker the past couple weeks.

"[Freshman] Corn Elder is on the depth chart now. He is going to get more reps," Golden said. "[Freshman] Jamal Carter got a lot of reps today. Some of those guys are earning reps and doing a good job in the roles that we're giving them. We'll see if they can't add spark us or add something to it.

Is Golden going younger on purpose to get those players more experience? He stayed away from saying that -- or upsetting his seniors.

"It has nothing to do with their age," Golden said. "The one thing I want everybody to know -- we're going to support the seniors through this. Because we lost a couple of games I'm not going to turn my back on the seniors that really stood with us through all this tumult. I'm not going to do it.

"But certain kids I mentioned, Jamal [Carter], [Al-Quadin] Muhammad, [Ufomba] Kamalu, Corn Elder, they're earning reps. And they're earning reps because they're producing. It's just like Stacy [Coley]. Stacy is producing on kick and punt returns so now he's going to earn more reps. It's not that were taking any reps from any seniors. Some of these guys have earned reps and we're going to give them an opportunity."

> Golden said if the Hurricanes played Wednesday receiver Phillip Dorsett would be listed as doubtful.

"We have to be careful not to go too fast," Golden said. "If he's not ready to go we're going to have to continue to have Rashawn [Scott] and Stacy [Coley] and Herb [Waters] and those guys step up and chase the rabbit - the rabbit right now is Allen Hurns, he's doing a great job for us."

As for the other players battling injuries: "[Offensive lineman] Danny [Isidora], it's positive he's in yellow. Stacy [Coley] has already been integrated, will be clear. Corn [Elder] is moving forward. Artie we had to protect today. We'll know more about Artie [Wednesday] and Phillip [Thursday]. [Receiver] Herb [Waters] was fine. We were on our seventh returner in the game, lost our returners, needed guys to step up and they did."

> What has Golden seen out of freshman quarterback Kevin Olsen?

"He's starting to understand," he said. "Every opportunity he's in the film room he needs to listen, learn, take notes. Every time we're in a team meeting, go in that environment on the road, he has to learn. He has to learn to give him the best chance to compete with Ryan [Williams]. We have a smart team, know where to go with the football. Ryan and Stephen [Morris], very fortunate they can talk football the way they talk. They watch film, have ideas and reasons why they're doing it. We need Kevin to develop into that as well. Our biggest concern with Kevin was adhering to a process and learning how to do it. Because at the end of the day, playing quarterback, that process has to be second nature."


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Posted by: HarrietTubmanCane | November 19, 2013 at 06:31 PM
So, why do you think the coaches use this approach if its so blatantly obvious? Its not like they have not been successful in the past.
Posted by: Football | November 19, 2013 at 06:42 PM


Successful where?

At temple vs sub .500 squads!

So far their best win is vs a 7-5 NCST team!

Al Groh is their mentor! Nuff said!

If you have a thin line of depth, you have a 3-4 defense, zone defense, that to me my friends shows you how little we have to rotate and so little I fact that one is what we have to play or we will get blown out every play. It is what it is, these are kids and we forget that, look at the rankings of these players an the JuCo's. To me we have done a great job with what we have and we have bent and adjusted the est we could for what we have. I'm not here to bash on any of our players and the fact is we are not back, flat out. I support golden and the gang and unfortunately we want it all right now. Be patient it's coming. This years class is building to be a very good defensive group. Support the Canes man we are a family and a bindis functional one at that. How can these guys play better if everyone wants to bench this guy or fire that guy. Support them and let's just continue to add till the pendulum swings to the side of sufficient depth. Go Canes 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

They lost to Duke! Coker and Shannon NEVER lost to Duke. Stop making excuses for this guy. Randy got roasted for losing to S. Fla, but Goldilocks gets a pass for Duke? GTFOH

P.S. - they lost to Duke!

I remeber when Randy spoke about building depth, nobody listened, and I'm not saying Randy was a great HC, but Goldilocks gets a pass for bringing up depth?

Goldilocks is not a UM guy in the mold of JJ, hell he aint even Erickson

Gallo talent can trump a lot of things, but without coaching talent is just going to get you so far, kids are just full of potential. When you look at the D and truly analyze it there are too many mistakes at all three levels and that's what sticks out to me. The tackling is horrible as well, what's up with that part of the game? Beating Florida doesn't look like such a great win if you have kept up with CFB. Not saying it wasn't a great win, just saying.

Theyre missing a good defensive coordinator ..... Nothing more , nothing less.

Missing a good head coach too, that's why it's time to . . .

You all need to read the article on Butch Davis when he fired Miller and hired Schiano. The press said Miami which ranked 62nd in the Nation in Defense did not have the talent it needed based on the 32 scholarship reduction. However Davis fired Miller in 1998 and the next season the Canes ranked 13th in the Nation in total D. Davis attributed the improvement was made because Schiano changed the mindset of the D and simply game planned each week more effectively. The next season our D was ranked 6th in the Nation and brought us to a BCS. Miami has had 2 top 10 recruiting classes in a row now and we even added to that during the off season. This is the worse D we have had in school history and instead of improving it has gotten worse. If you followed Ron Zook and his career he was always a top recruiter but yet couldn't win the SEC. Urban Meyer takes over and wins a National Title with Zooks same team. Coaching wins championships. Defense wins Titles. We do not have the coaching it takes to win. I am a former Cane player from the 97 98 99 team and I saw the change from 98 to 99.

The reality is the following: The haters have a differing agenda and they will never allow the facts to get in the way of their screwball, whacky, uninformed rants. Further, the haters are made up of a couple people who use countless screen names to post nonsense and then answer or cheer themselves on. The nutcase gator Curse is on this blog daily using various screen names to pose as a Canes fan, thus the constant ridicule of our coaching staff.


Al Golden has stood on his head to get the message across that on the defensive side of the ball there is a massive lack of talent, especially along the defensive line due to what he inherited and the holocaust by the NCAA. He doesn't want to belittle the kids who have worked so hard, but simply don't have the talent to be on a major football college roster.

Further, it was evident that throughout the summer Coach Golden and his staff were searching the country for defensive line help much like NFL teams peruse the waiver wire. They picked up a few kids, but as is plainly evident they have not made a significant difference.

For those who know what they are watching--it is unmistakable that the defensive line is getting blown off the ball on most every play and pushed right back into the faces of the linebackers and not getting to the passer when called upon to do so. Additionally, no matter how many stunts or scheme adjustments fixing that problem is not a possibility without considerably more talent. This is why Coach Golden bristled any time someone would claim the Canes are back as he simply knew from a talent perspective it wasn't even close.

If you don't have a defensive line--you simply don't have a defense--no matter the defensive coordinator.


All I hear are excuses on behalf of Goldilocks. last year we were 116th, this year we have not seen any improvement (those nancy's at the start of thes eason don't count).

At least the new car smell is wearing off of Goldilocks, now we can inspect under the hood for the real problem, like his glaring inability to make adjustements at the half, his inability to teach his concepts or "process" to his players, and his insistence on not changing anything, despite the fact that it's not wokring (the very definition of insanity mind you)

Send this dude back to Temple please

Ron Zook, U weren't sating that after the Florida game where they were at full strength and were supposedly more talented than we were. U were singing the praises of D'No and the defensive talent, but now they suck all of a sudden???

Did we have a Dline against UF? Then where has it gone--I mean it is the same exact players lol.

Thanks Nash, they never even won the MAC conference at Temple.

Football, they continue obvious schemes because they're unintelligent.


Take it easy people, golden has done great for wat miami endure like da ncaa mess for almost 3 yrs!! He couldn't get all the 5 stars everybody want w da ncaa mess!! He has stand by "da u" so be happy he has stayed!!

the Canes will be back 100% by the time Hussein is out of the WH, thank God. Next year's recruit class is awesome, hopefully not too many de-commits.

Rick Sandlin,

Thank you for making my point!!

As to Harriet the troll...you don't want to have an open and honest dialogue--you simply want to hate, rant, rave, lie and insult. You do this day and night on this blog and other Canes blogs using your various screen names. Time and again you misshapen headed comments are refuted to only have you come back and restate the same lie with a word change or two while crying so and so won't give you the answer you've asked for. Your general stupidity and complete lack of football knowledge long ago began to bore me. Now run along and tell everyone for the umpteenth time you are a Muslim and that somehow makes you special and better than everyone else.

Posted by: Nash | November 19, 2013 at 06:50 PM

Have you looked at UVA's defensive stats with Al as DC?

If you need depth to beat Duke you're in trouble. I was at the game and I didn't see any penetration from the Defense. JJ if your out there "HELP"

Ron Zook .....U have no argument, 3 yrs this coaching staff has had to make this team better, we had a top recruiting class last year, and a decent one before that, I have never ever seen a Miami D sit back and just let the other team do what ever they want, they control everything, if U think Duke has more talent then the UUUUUUUUUU, then U are just sticking up for Golden.....MARYLAND BEAT VT BY ATTACKING THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE, I have the Duke game recorded, when the ball was snapped and QB ran, our safeties were still back pedaling.....WHY>>>> ANSEWR THAT, WHY ARE THEY STILL FALLING BACK, DO U UNDERSTAND HOW BAD OF D THAT IS......

What did Kirk Herbstreit say on Saturday, Duke will win because Miami is getting out coached........KIRK KNOWS FOOTBALL

Its about technique just as it is the entire scheme of the defense. If you go back and look at any of the film there is not one defensive lineman in the correct stance!! How are you gonna come off the ball and you're stance looks like your playing oline instead of dline?? As a dlineman you have to put ur hand out in front and your feet should be set up like a sprinter! Their not even prepared to come off the ball when its snapped. And they wonder why we're getting blown off the ball every play! You wonder why we cant get a pass rush! It all starts with your technique! These boys need to be coached up a lil more. I want my dlinemen kicking ass and the way to do that is to come off the ball and whoop whoever is in front of you thats basic football 101

UVA is averaging 17 points per game in there 8 losses. there opponents in the losses averaging 40 points per game.

UVA is 2-8

UVA scored 0 points on Oregon

if UVA puts up 500 yards and win, the bottom is going to fall out fast.

I totally understand how bad our D is, but it starts with our DL, they just aren't that good, and have no penetration, which makes it tougher on the lb's and db's. We need MAJOR help on DL's and DE's and I think our incoming class will help with that. Also a poster above saying Coker or Shannon never lost to Duke, and I say 'Come on Man', Duke hasn't been this good since 94, and remember THEY beat VT we didn't, so I don't think Leapin Larry, or Ragin' Randy could've saves us from that.

@Ron Zook: you're right about some of these posters. No one is happy with the current state of affairs and no one is happy with our DC, but some of these posters are from outer space.


What did Kirk Herbstreit say on Saturday, Duke will win because Miami is getting out coached........KIRK KNOWS FOOTBALL..........WAKE UP ZOOK

C'mon people are you really buying this nonsense about the 3/4 and about not having depth at the DT spot. . Oh boy... No folks it's not that.. Go back to the past defenses that were run at UM. It has to do with an attack philosophy that D'nofrio does not employ. Why is it that D linemen engage and do not shed?? All they try to do is bull their way to the QB.. Its the technic that they are teaching that is a detriment to the players. All the greats in the past would engage and shed the offensive linemen to make a play. Whether it was at D tackle or an End. How ferousious were the linebackers attacking the backs and Tight ends. Look at the lack of blitzes from D'nofrio. Where are the blitzes from the middle linebacker over the center??? None.. You get once or twice a game a blitz from a corner... On the VT game you had one blitz from a corner that started by the weak side linebacker and went around the tigh end.. It could have worked if the guy ran a 2.5 on his 40... Also go back to the game on Thursday night against NC.. Yes Herbie and Pollack tend to be annoying but they were miffed at the fact that there was little or no creativity with the defensive schemes and called for more pressure from the D coordinator.. Go to the VT game against WF and how Bud Foster adjusted and placed a back over the gaps by the center and that caused havoc for the WF offence.. And what did we do?? Nada.. Engage and hope we can bully the other team… At the end we will have 8- 4 seasons and D’nofrio will not get fired and Coach Al will have the Board trust for enduring the NCCA abortion of an investigation..

Cutcliffe is a good coach with more experience than AG and coming from the SEC he perhaps knows a few more tricks of the trade. AG is young and learning, and IMO will become a great HC, and he may have to get rid of his buddy, but make no mistake, we're getting a helluva class coming in, and he's got a lot to do with it.

And yall are from Canespace

What did Kirk Herbstreit say on Saturday, Duke will win because Miami is getting out coached........KIRK KNOWS FOOTBALL..........WAKE UP ZOOK

Virginia Cane, If you are taking up for Golden sticking behind NO COACH D, THEN U DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MIAMI D TRADITION

Porter has always been good at stopping the run. My guess is that he is playing hurt since the second half of FSU. With Duke they didn't have to pass much at all, because they could run. VT did rush quite a bit on us as well.

Its not like this scheme is exculsive to our DC. This coaching staff has shown that they are flexible and not tied down to doing one particular thing. May be the coaches are not able to translate it for the players to execute correctly, but I will have to believe that there is some other reason for this.

Let me drill this in your head....What did Kirk Herbstreit say on Saturday, Duke will win because Miami is getting out coached........KIRK KNOWS FOOTBALL..........WAKE UP ZOOK

Posted by: Ron Zook | November 19, 2013 at 08:01 PM

Whu can't U answer the question posed?

Isn't this the same Dline from the UF game? If so what happened?

U didn't say their was a lack of talent after that game. U were raving about the talent D'No had guided and developed--now you're singing another tune...why?

Why can't U explain your name? How does it make Gator fans upset while U use it on a Canes blog?

I'm not ranting and raving--U as always are deflecting, projecting and attempting to discredit, so U can evade accountability--just like the coaches U worship.

Fellow Caners we're ALL frustrated and tired of losing to teams we shouldn't, but no changes will be made this year, so we may as well support and (pray) we can finish strong. 10-3 with a bowl win would be awesome considering, but UV is FIRST and we owe them big time. It would be nice to pound their asses on Senior Day. GO CANES!!!

Coaches are garbage period. Everyone in college football knows and would love for us to keep these clowns because they love seeing the U get druggggg. Some of you posters ought to be ashamed of trying to put a positive spin on this. Duke and Dorsett know what's up.


It's the whole, 'bring less than nothing to the table,' mode of operation that makes sure he takes that coveted title. Kind of like his favorite golden shower spigot he can't wait to bathe under every day on here, they have a lot in common like you point out. At least the basketball team will be front and center defending their ACC title here soon, as soon as this crap season wraps up looking up at Duke in the division standings in a week from Friday.

Well Tally if you're referring to me I'm just being real, NO changes will be made this season, so you can either keep beetching, which I do to, and it is warranted, or realize that hey we have two stinking games left, against 2 beatable (we think) teams, and finishing 9-3 with a decent bowl, and (possible) 10-3 finish, which is BETTER than we've been in oh lets see, 10 F'ing years, so yeah I'm putting a positive spin, and also some prayers that the (players) respond. I played ball, little league and high school, and it aint all the coaching alright. A freaking kid has a little thing called inner pride, and that's something NO coach can bring out, only the kid can. I'm hoping these kids bring it.

At Disappointed.......DEAD ON

I love Golden he has a lot of determination, but he has to let his best friend GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO The determination Al has, somehow he has to put that into the young men, and laying back and letting team dictate what they wanna do>>>>>>>IS NOT U STYLE AT ALL

Valentine, Moten and Thomas] are going to all be better than what they have or anyone they’re losing,” Fishbein said. “There is not one guy on Miami’s defensive line who will play in the NFL except maybe Chickillo. Valentine and Thomas have first-round talent. Valentine at 6-4, 320, is more physically impressive than anyone Miami has, and he moves like a running back.

It's lack of talent...not coaching!!

Listen to me......U HEARD IT FROM ME FIRST, D COACH HAS ALREADY BEEN LET GO, he is just finishing the season..........CONTRACT HAS BEEN BOUGHT OUT

Let me drill this in your head....What did Kirk Herbstreit say on Saturday, Duke will win because Miami is getting out coached........KIRK KNOWS FOOTBALL..........WAKE UP ZOOK

Posted by: Rick sandlin


Well, there you have it...just a flat-out lie as Herbstriet never said that and has constantly raved about the great and miraculous job Coach Golden has done for the Canes. Time for you to change your screen name bunky!

You and that whack job Harriet should get married. Harriet will read your goof ball responses to his wingnut posts will crying...WHY WON'T YOU ANSWER MY QUESTIONS...YOU KNOW I AM A MUSLIM!!



Valentine is getting cold feet already and thinking about taking money from LSU or Alabama to go there.

Plus, who did Fishbein pick to win the national title in college football this year? Oh he doesn't do that? Another appeal to authority to hide the fact that THE WORST POSTER IN ALL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL RELATED BLOGGING adds nothing but cut and paste propaganda to try and make him feel better about his daily golden shower?


Posted by: Tallycane | November 19, 2013 at 09:00 PM

Tally, these coaches may prove to be extremely good or garbage, but after what we've been through recruiting and otherwise, it is only fair for us to give some more time to Al and his handpicked coordinators.

People were calling for Butch after the fiasco last Saturday, but that guy left us high and dry right before the signing day in 2001. Al has earned my respect by sticking with us through the NCAA mess and I will be glad to give him a couple of more years and the opportunity to fix this and bring us back to prominence. He is the HC and he runs the show. If he thinks his coordinators and other assistants are doing their job well to make us successful, then it is his judgement. He is building a record and he will be judged on that when all things become equal.

We shouldn't have lost to VT or Duke and I am very disappointed like everyone else. There is no sugar coating those losses. As everyone says it feels like 0-48 OB finale for two weeks in a row. But, Al is the HC and I am sure he worries more about his success than we do. I just don't want to be like those who prematurely flew a banner in 1997 asking for Butch to be fired. Al has earned the right to coach here for a couple of more years at least.


Thanks Rick; but I hate the fact that we have to wallow on the negative because I know that we have talent on the team. But that's the way society is now. The blame is the fault of other circumstances and not the fact that that the philosophy being used is flawed.. I respect when former players when they show the support for the current coaching staff but I know that’s just for show. They know the bread and butter is recruiting and they have to show solidarity with the current staff. A good example is Alabama, they run the 3/4 and gap assignment but the coordinator uses pressure from all angles on the field to get the job done. I will not personally degrade D'nofrio because I know that he is a good person but I do realize that he has a bend but not break philosophy that is only good for 8/4 to 7/5 each year and will not work here. We still remember the past defenses that were ferocious and took no prisoners.
My hope is if this coaching staff continues with this system that they make a chance and to please bring in Mark Stoops. I loved him when he was the defensive backs coach here when we won in 2001. I have always loved the way he coaches and it showed when he was the D coordinator for FSU. Look at what he is doing at Kentucky and he really has that team playing with tremendous passion with limited talent. That’s has to do with the system that he uses, attack, attack attack…
Give him another year and you will see the improvement that they will have.

Rick, Al knows that too, don't you think? He has come out and said openly the team only does what he approves. Al clearly thinks D'No is doing the best he can and he is the HC. So, like Randy/ Coker etc. he will sink or swim with his choices. That is why he is the HC.

I still cannot believe Tim Walton our DC of 0-48 OB finale fame is the DC of a NFL team. What does that tell you? None of our guys were within miles of the UVA TE during the game.

The question that needs to be answered is can we win a championship with these coaches? No accountability or adaptation equals no championships acc or otherwise.

And yall are from Canespace

Posted by: HarrietTubmanCane | November 19, 2013 at 08:38 PM

Seriously LOL! Perhaps that SOUP'er/86cane should change their title to " caneBUFFON's "!

Because that's what the bloody lot of CS/eoth dude's be!

Chit, Thee Carpetbagger's gave y'all Hurricane partisan's a PREVIEW of what was to come regarding a ONCE, proud Miami, Florida defensive tradition.

And that PREVIEW was against a 2-10 MIGHTY Maryland squad in 2011. FWIW... the Turtle's 2 wins were against TOWSON ST. and U Know Who. hUh

But last season was the COUP DE GRACE for Miami, Florida's ONCE, noble defensive tradition. It's just too bad the majority of that CS/eoth herd DIDN'T have the common sense to connect the Orange nd' Green dots. dUh

Oh, what happend to y'all's FAVORITE defensive player, DE Chickillo. Seems like that U TOUGH, PROCESS THING has paid mucho DIVIDEND's.

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