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Golden says "Boo me" not Stephen Morris; Howard defends D'Onofrio (w/video)

As much as Al Golden would like to bunker down and ignore the heat coming from the outside after back-to-back losses, it's hard to ignore the criticism being directed at two people in particular these days: quarterback Stephen Morris and defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio.

Golden went to bat for both Tuesday and so did a few players who aren't happy with all of the blame being placed on D'Onofrio's scheme and play-calling or all the boos and chants for backup Ryan Williams that were made Saturday night.

"I'm taking the responsibility for Saturday, not Stephen Morris," Golden said Tuesday during his weekly press conference.

"I'm directly responsible for special teams - that's three turnovers and they happened in succession which compounded each time. Stephen, if he was allotted to have 68 plays, would have had his best game of the year. He had 53 plays, scored 24 points against a team giving up 16 points. He had [more than] 300 yards passing, doubles what they've been giving up. He was 16 of 27 with five drops. He could have been 21 of 27. He averaged 20 yards a completion. He didn't have any turnovers. I just think it's unfair, especially given what he's been playing with, dealing with and playing with [a sprained ankle] for eight weeks now.

"Again, boo me, be frustrated with me. But Stephen Morris? He's done everything, including stand and fight here the last two years. He's our quarterback and he's our leader, and he has my support."

Although Morris and teammates Asante Cleveland and Maurice Hagens said they didn't hear the boos when UM's offense was on the field, cornerback Tracy Howard said he and UM's defense definitely heard them and it bothered them. Howard, who was teammates with Williams at Miramar and won a state championship with him, said the boos for Morris were disrespectful.

"That's disrespectful. That's a sign of unloyal fans," Howard said. "Every player is not going to be perfect. Everybody is going to have their ups and downs -- especially the quarterback. The fans want the team to be good. If the fans want us to produce and be good they can't boo the quarterback. They don't know how he will take it, if it will lower his confidence.

"But the thing with Stephen is he's strong. That don't get to him. He's internally driven. We heard it, but we just blocked it out. I don't know why they did that to Stephen. He's a good quarterback. That's disrespectful."

Howard also had words for those blaming his defensive coordinator for Miami's struggles the last few weeks.

""The fans outside, they see the players messing up so they are automatically going to blame it on the defensive coordinator," he said. "Because sometimes in football as a fan, they don't really know football. So when they see guys being cut loose they think `Oh, it's the defensive coordinator's fault.' Really it's the execution from the players. I think we have to do a better job of having his back in the games. Outside people, they don't really know what's going on, don't know football to be honest."

"I feel like coach D'Onofrio calls great games. It's up to the players to execute."

Howard said D'Onofrio is "a great teacher."

"He knows the game in and out," Howard said. "He's taught me a lot about football since I got here. I think he does a great job telling us what to do and where to be at. And not just him, all the coaches. They relay it to us the best way possible.

"I get mad because I feel like if anything he calls great games. To be honest the fans should be more loyal. When we were 7-0 they were all happy. Now they want him out on his back. But that's the way football goes. I understand it. I'm not mad or anything. But I feel like they're being too hard.

"They're saying all type of crazy things about him. They're acting like we're a .500 team or something. We're not a .500 team. I feel like he calls great games. If they really understood football they might understand that."

Golden said flatly any decisions made on defense, offense or special teams -- from scheme on down -- basically go through him.

"I wasn't listening when people loved him either," Golden said of the critics. "It's always about change. You asked what has changed on defense. It was the discipline in making tough decisions not to change, to stay with it and do all the little things. Do we need to play better on defense than we did last week? There's no question. Absolutely, no question. Did we put them -did we put them in the worst position you have to be in as a defensive coordinator [with the turnovers]? Absolutely we did that.

"If people are upset with a coach or position - because we got them all this week. We heard we've got to catch the ball better. We got every email you can get. At the end of the day it's my responsibility. There's nothing that goes on in this building that I do not approve or sign off on, co-sign. At the end of the day I know that we have to fix a lot of things. I'm as disappointed as anybody in that loss, equally disappointed in the way it transpired. It's important we continue the continuity, and just move forward, keep pushing forward. It hasn't been easy. As a staff and organization let's push forward. And we do have handcuffs off with recruiting. My first recruiting class was six weeks. The next two years were hell [with the NCAA investigation]. It's time to move forward. We got to stop talking about all this other stuff and start focusing on Duke."

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Except for wins over FAU (85th on the power ranking of 125 teams in the BCS), South Florida (99th) and Savannah State (not a BCS team and winless in the MEAC), CANES have struggled to victory. We have played one good game this year. ONE. That's not a benchmark to be proud of. Our coaching staff should be feeling more heat.

Last year, our Duke carried us to a win at Duke in a game where the outcome was in doubt right to the end. This year, Coach Cutcliffe's team believes they are a team of destiny, so our CANES had better play a great game on Saturday.

We'll have to score at least 6 TD's without Duke or Dorsett: Can't have any drops or fumbles.

Got to make enough big plays to win like we did last year.

Every win starts on defense. Got to make tackles: got to hold on 3rd and long.

I hope we keep Coley in to return kickoffs,like Duke did for us last year. That was the key to victory last year.

Great, Tracey Howard defending losing. A guy who won't hit anyone and is afraid of getting hit by those nasty receivers he faces.
Yes we're not a 500 team but we should have blown through wake and ga tech just like fsu did. That would have legitimized our record. If Morris is hurt and not able to make the passes, then Al owes it to the team to put in Williams and see if if things get better.
I'm sorry, but we should be 8-1 or even 9-0 now and ranked. Now we are just a little ol' private school team that tries to do the best we can. Maybe we can get back into the big east or even the ivy league. How quaint!

canes are one dimensional.no offense,sloppy defense and teams can easily figure them out.canes are being out played and out coached.

"The canes are what we knew they were. Same old crappy team that cannot beat a top opponent and manages to lose to an inferior one every year. The 7 - 0 start was a good tease for all the homers but only a product of playing nobody. And struggling against more than one of those nobodys.

So 2013 is coming to a close and still we have no good football in Miami beyond high school.
Another year of crappy Miami football teams.
Go Heat!"

Ditto

Al Golden says, " blah, blah, blah...."

Blame the whole offense if you want, but the games Miami won were in spite of Morris, nor because of Morris.

Welcome to the U. We have been known to eat our young if we are not pounding every team we play and not playing in the National Championship game, period. Get used to it...

Coach Golden wants to shoulder the blame...he says that "the buck stops with him"...so be it! We will BOO you too Coach Golden because you have not addressed the glaring problem with your defensive philosophy and you have accepted your friend's poor performance as a Defensive Coordinator! BOO you Coach Golden for not firing his sorry behind and getting a real Defensive Coordinator to help this team win. I know this program has been through a lot, and the NCAA thing was a huge problem, but all of that does not excuse the last 3 years of a porous defense that can't stop anybody. Heck, starting with the Maryland game in 2010 this has been the worst defense EVER at Miami, and like you said.... "YOU" are responsible for this fiasco. It's embarrassing to watch this team give up over 500 yards to mediocre opposition, even Virginia Tech was ranked one of the worst offenses in college football this year, until they played D'Nofrio's Swiss Cheese bend- but-don't-break defense. I don't know what you guys are looking at when you watch the game film, but we all can see that this defense is horrible, and the philosophy is mostly to blame. Please stop blaming the kids for missing tackles and missing assignments, sure there are some instances when those things happen, but for the most part the poor defense has to do with the scheme that you play - when you line up the DB's 8 to 10 yards off the ball, when your linebackers line up 6 to 8 yards off the ball, when your blitzes are easily picked up before the play because you never disguise them, when you rarely zone blitz, when you only rush 3 on third and long and sit in soft zones, when you blitz and fail to cover the crossing patterns underneath, when you are consistently giving up over 500 yards of offense to bad teams, then it has to be the coaching!!! So once again, BOO you Coach Golden for keeping this philosophy around this program and for not doing the right thing and firing the worst defensive coordinator to ever coach at Miami. Texas fired their DC mid-season this year and now they are back to playing good defense and winning, USC fired their Head Coach mid-season and they are back to playing good football and winning, it's time to fire our Defensive Coordinator and try to save the little that is left of this season before it becomes a total collapse. Once again we will not play in the ACC Championship game, that is unacceptable after the start we had this year. We have been through a lot these past few years and lost some ground on recruiting, but we still have better talent than Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, etc... but all of those teams have beaten us during your tenure and ran up incredible amounts of yardage against D'Nofrio's defenses while doing so... I hate to say it, but if you don't fire your friend soon it will cost you your job here at Miami. Time to wake up before it's too late. By the way, I was one of those people who never cheered for D'Nofrio; I saw how we had to come from behind to win ACC games this year against mediocre teams like Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Wake Forest, so I never drank the Koolaid with this team and I feared a huge let down in anticipation of getting blown out by FSU, but even I never saw VT running up over 500 yards of offense and blowing us out at home, on Homecoming day to boot. Giving up over 1,000 yards the last two games does not bode well for us, specially with Duke out for the year and Morris not playing well. One final thing, I am calling out Coach Kehoe too because the O-line has under-performed since he got here. As I see it, we only have two ways to go from here (i)the U wins the rest of the games and still misses the ACC Championship once again only to go to a second tier Bowl Game and get blown out, or (ii) we lose 2 of the remaining 3 games (maybe all 3), and miss the ACC Championship and go to a third tier Bowl Game and lose. Starting 7-0 only to tank the rest of the year calls for many more BOOOOS! I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

It will be a challenge for Morris to play in the NFL unless he learns how to read defenses and audible on his own. For whatever reason (either his inability or lack of coaching), he has to do too much "checking" to the sideline whenever a defensive scheme adjusts at the line. When he checks, for his five to seven seconds, the defense has already readjusted their formation when the UM sideline re-signals in the play. This is ludicrous and I blame the coaching for not preparing him better. Dorsey, Gino, Erickson, Walsh, Vinnie or Bernie always audibled at the line ON THEIR OWN. If Morris wants to play at the next level he better learn this quickly even if the UM staff is not teaching him.

I think half of the people that criticize Coach D and Stephen Morris have nerver been in the position they are in. Yes the players on defense have to execute better. When was the last time Da U was 7-2. At this point in the past couple of seasons we were .500

To All The Boo Birds
If you were loyal Hurricane alums,and loyal Hurricane fans, and if you ever played sports then you would understand that booing student athletes is unacceptable. They are student athletes, not pro athletes and they do make mistakes, just like everyone else. So, if you are going to JRS to boo the Hurricanes, stay home, that way you don't look like the fool you are to those of us who are loyal Hurricanes fans.
And to Tracy Howard, well said young man, you should be proud of your team as you have exceeded most expectations of those of us who know Hurricane football and the situation the team has been under for the past 3 years. To you and the team, GO CANES!!!

Cane 11: I never said to BOO the players, I said to BOO Golden as he requested. As for your self aggrandizing "loyal Hurricane fan" bs, please spare me! People like you have lowered the bar at Miami and have accepted mediocrity as the norm; I for one will never accept mediocrity and demand a higher standard from the players and the coaches. We should not be giving up over 500 yards to average teams, and we should not lose to the Virginia's and North Carolina's of the world. It started with the Maryland game in 2010, and has continued to fester ever since. Teams just run up and down the field against this bad defense and I am tired of watching it. Florida is ranked 99th in rushing offense and 87th in rushing, yet they put up 413 yards against our defense and but for the 4 turnovers, they may have won that game. The facts speak volumes, e.g., Wake Forest put up 361 yards, Virginia Tech 549, North Carolina 500, Georgia Tech had 335 on the ground agains us and ended up with over 400 yards of offense, FSU 517 yards, need I go on!!! I am not even going into the last 2 years when not only did we give up tremendous amounts of yards, but also lost those games against weaker competition. For your information, I'm an alumnus and I have been a fan probably since before you were even born. I went to games in the 70's when most people didn't even know we had a football team, and have been a true fan of the Canes for over 40 years,so spare me your sanctimonious lecture and accept the fact that the coaching at Miami has been poor ever since Coker took over, and Shannon simply exacerbated the problem with his poor coaching and people skills. Golden is a breath of fresh air after those clowns and has been a model coach when it comes to public speaking and recruiting - he says the right things; but the jury is still out on his game day coaching, and By keeping his best friend as the DC he is digging his own grave. Anyone who understands football (and yes I played football at a high level, something most of you guys here have not done) can see that the results speak for themselves. The fact that most people did not expect us to be 7-2 is irrelevant and secondary to the fact that our defense continues to be porous and there is no excusing the lack of preparation, adjustments and game planning, which is evident with our defensive performing poorly week after week. I have seen enough of D'Nofrio's philosophy and can state unequivocally that it will not work at Miami, it will not work in the ACC, and it will not work anywhere else. That conservative bend-but-don't break crap is obsolete and frankly has never worked - just like socialism it only works on paper, but once you implement it is sure to fail and has failed every time! So it does not make you more of a fan simply because you drink the Koolaid and accept mediocrity - true fans demand and expect more from a Miami team!! And stop it with blaming the players, we have more talent than 90% of the ACC teams, yet we struggle against all of them and that is all on the coaching! PERIOD! End of story! D'Nofrio has to go or we will never be relevant again.

7-0 against a bunch of crap teams and we should be happy with that, everyone knew we were WAY OVERRATED. Please look at the competition we have faced: FAU, Savannah State, USF, WF who we beat with 6 seconds left and who got destroyed by FSU 42-0 at half-time, North Carolina who lost to East Carolina sure all those teams are power houses. Why don't we just schedule all games against Division II opponents and we can go 12-0 and everyone can be happy. What a bunch of crap? Good luck to us this saturday because Duke might beat us this year. We used to face anyone who would play us. These days we are looking for easy competetion, not even wanting to play LSU in Texas. The new just ok U. Since the team wants to pick and chose I will do the same and just show up for some meaningful games next year. I will not pay to go see Division II games at all.

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