Game Nine: NC State 19, Miami 16 (OT)

The body language of Kenny Phillips says it all, doesn’t it?

Head slung low. Dejected. The long, slow walk back to the tunnel after yet another home loss. That field must’ve felt 200 yards long as these Canes trekked back to the locker room moments after a 19-16 OT loss to Wolfpack, who entered the contest 3-5 on the season.

Any notion of winning the ACC is now a pipe dream. Sure, mathematically Miami could still take the next three and hope for a for a few miracles – but if the Canes can’t knock off N.C. State how can wins over Virginia, Virginia Tech and Boston College even be considered logical? Simply put, they can’t. It’ll take an act of God for Miami to get to Jacksonville. Maybe a few.

I said after the North Carolina loss Miami faithful could expect a few more epic wins and a few more embarrassing losses in 2007. We’re seeing just that. Two weeks ago, a big time comeback against Florida State – sandwiched in between inexplicable losses to Georgia Tech and now N.C. State. The result, 5-4 with a brutal three-game stretch to end the season.

I checked out the message boards after the loss, perused my share of online articles and even had a heated debate with my old man regarding the state of the program. Two days later, I’m still sick over all of it.

I’m sick of the product on the field, I’m sick of the flip-flopping regarding fan’s opinions about the coaching staff or players and I’m flat out sick of seeing the Canes lose these types of games. Miami has been on the down cycle for too long now. It’s time to rise from the ashes like the f’n phoenix already.

Let’s start by attacking the obvious – the Canes are quarterback-less. All the Kirby Freeman supporters, where are you now? 1 of 14 for 84 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions? For those keeping score, since entering the game in the second quarter at Florida State, Freeman has gone 5 of 25 for 143 yards, 2 TDs and 5 interceptions over six quarters of football.

Safe to say, The Freeman Era is officially over. God love this kid’s heart, attitude and moxie, but #7 is not Miami QB material. Never was. Never will be. Now we’re hearing that Freeman was nervous, his confidence was shot and that even with all the in game pep talks from teammates, there was no shaking this kid’s fear.

When Freeman hit Dedrick Epps for the game winner and laid on the ground convulsing after being sandwiched by two Noles, a few things ran through my head. First and foremost, the kid’s health. #7 didn’t look that good, writhing on the ground in pain, with hands shaking.

From there, I honestly hoped it was the last down Freeman ever played as a Cane because he’d never top the moment. 3-for-3 and a come from behind game winner in Tallahassee? That’s as good as it’ll ever get for this kid on the football field.

A week later, an all time low in the loss to N.C. State. Kyle Wright playing with an amputated ankle couldn’t have put together a worse performance on Saturday. The Miami Herald’s Manny Navarro asked a current Canes’ recruit if he could do better than Freeman’s 1 of 14. The high school senior laughed and said, “with my eyes closed”.

Call me crazy, but I’ll take the confident true freshman next year before I bank on a senior who seems broken beyond repair. Thanks for the good times, Kirby but an injured Wright is better down the stretch than damaged goods.

Moving on to the play calling. Definitely suspect at times. A few days later I’m still sort of second guessing some moves. I don’t really get the notion of back-to-back jump balls to the barely six foot, on the bench all day, in and out of hot water Sam Shields in the waning moments of regulation.

Instead of wasting the skills and stamina of Darnell Jenkins on two consecutive direct snaps earlier in the game, I’d have preferred to see Miami’s lone proven receiving threat in the end zone fighting for those two last passes, instead of Shields. In fact, it sounds like Sam Sr. might feel the same way.

The elder Shields actually called Shannon to thank him for teaching his son about life on and off the field and laying down the law where need be. Shields Jr. was benched for the Marshall outing, the early part of the loss to North Carolina and the first half of the game against N.C. State due to his practice habits.

Shannon’s ways, beliefs and actions are either going to make or break these kids – and I am fine with that. If a player is too fragile to handle the disappointment of a head coach, that kid lacks what it takes to become a champion on the field.

I’m sick of all the “he’s too hard on the kids” chatter. Those who can’t take it, can leave. Those who can will be joined by more who can come February 2008 on Signing Day. If Shannon is such a hard ass, how come almost two dozen kids are on board to play for Miami next fall? rated the Canes future incoming class No. 1 in the nation.

Recruits are showing up weekly for home games and they’re bringing other potential recruits. Miami Northwestern quarterback Jacory Harris is spends every free moment as an ambassador for The U.

Planning to enroll this December to get a jump start on next year, Harris is in the ear of every recruit he comes in contact with. This past week, offensive line recruit Matt Patchan. The five-star prospect was in tow for N.C. State to watch his old man honored as part of the 1987 National Champs team and returns for the OB finale as his official visit.

The recruits are coming, the recruits are coming. Everyone knows it. Especially the coaches, who told recruits at last week’s game to walk up to current Canes who play the same position and let them know they look forward to taking their jobs next year.

Explain to me why the majority of this fan base oft cries for the return of Jimmy Johnson and the hey day of the 80s – yet when they have a JJ disciple in their presence, running show the same way Johnson did they still can’t see the forest for the trees?

Lest not forget how the Johnson era began in Miami. A second choice head coach with no ties to the program. Miami coaches who were retained led a mutiny against him. Lost to Florida State, 38-3 – at home, no less. Blew a 31-0 halftime lead over Maryland , en route to a 42-40 loss. Had his defense shredded by a gnat in the Hail Flutie debacle a week later. Choked away the Fiesta Bowl to UCLA, making it three straight losses and an 8-5 inaugural season.

Remember, Johnson inherited the National Champions and lost five games. Shannon was given a damaged bunch coming off a 7-6 season with an on the field brawl, a teammate murdered and a bowl game in Idaho on blue turf.

Try to imagine the 1984 season taking place during Internet era. How would Johnson have survived the message boards, radio shows, ESPN segments and more-rabid-by-the-minute fan base? He’d have been absolutely crucified and run out of town.

Johnson loved the scare tactics regarding pulling scholarships and promoting competition. How come when he did it, he was a genius, yet Shannon instills a similar strategy and approach – learned from his former coach and boss – he’s chastised and told he’s being too hard on the kids?

JJ lost five games his first season and dropped two his sophomore year, getting worked 35-7 by Tennessee in the bowl game. Year three, Johnson’s Canes made the title game but were embarrassed by both the Heisman-winning Vinny Testaverde (five interceptions) and Penn State’s no name defense.

Year four, as dominant a performance as any Miami team. The 1987 Canes rattled off wins against Florida (#20), Arkansas (#4), Florida State (#4) the first three games of the season and closed out with Notre Dame (#10), South Carolina (#8) and a 20-14 win over top-ranked Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

I’m not calling Shannon the next JJ. He has to earn that and I have no doubt he’ll bust his ass in the process. What I am saying is he deserves some backing right now – not flip flopping and second guessing. That’s bogus.

Shannon can’t have the program going the right direction and be the right guy after a win over Florida State and then be the goat two weeks later because a quarterback and kicker he didn’t recruit had abysmal games and cost Miami a much needed win.

Patience. It’s a word sports fans loathe, but reality needs to set in regarding this program – presently and in the near future. Miami lacks some talent and depth, but it also lacks the ‘right’ kind of kids this program demands if it’ll be successful again.

KP hanging his head in the above photo. A guy like Derrick Morse still in uniform, staring at the ground in disbelief almost a half hour after the game ended. Since when were players like this few and far between? How about when Larry Coker was in charge and failed to recruit Miami caliber kids.

Can you name the recruiting coordinator last season? I bet you can’t. How do I know? Because Coker never appointed one.

Miami had no recruiting coordinator… which better explains the two verbal commits this time last year compared to the dozen and a half the Canes sport this year. Shannon appointed defensive line coach Clint Hurtt the coordinator and hired a coaching staff full of guys who were in charge of recruiting at their former universities.

The U wants to out-talent the competition. That’s this program’s bread and butter. Talent and harder workers. Miami wants the fast, hard-hitting local kids with some bounce in their step and a winner’s mentality. Guys that bring it on the practice field like other teams do come game time.

Like Johnson, Shannon knows battles are won on the practice field. Hence his no nonsense stand on playing time versus how players practice. That mindset isn’t necessary in the NFL, but at the collegiate level when you’re molding young men as well as football players? It’s crucial.

The day’s of being finesse under Country Club Larry or kids playing scared? No mas. Same to be said for all the big talk and lip service. This program has been talking about the road back to the National Championship since the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. In a few weeks it’ll be four years since Miami has even sniffed the BCS, yet every preseason these kids say all the right stuff and then fail to back it up during the season.

It was pretty embarrassing to hear chants of “New Orleans” by an unranked team who hasn’t even found its way to Jacksonville the past few years. Miami needs to learn how to become winners.

These kids have no clue what it takes to become a championship caliber team, but their coach does. So do the recruits from Northwestern. That’s no accident. Winning breeds winners. Shannon wants kids from winning programs to come to The U. Time to weed out the loser’s mentality which has plagued this program for years.

Give it time, people. Seriously, what choice do you have? The team you see today is light years behind what Miami will field in 2009 or 2010. We’ll start to see more change come 2008, but it is beyond unfair to throw Shannon under the bus nine games into the second largest rebuilding project the University of Miami football program has ever seen.

In other words, Coral Gables won’t be rebuilt in one day.

Pete Carroll went 6-6 year one at Southern Cal. Bob Stoops went 7-5 his first go around with Oklahoma. Jim Tressel went 7-5 his inaugural season at Ohio State, but beat Michigan – much like Shannon beat Florida State.

Urban Meyer was 9-3 year one at Florida, with a full cupboard thanks to Ron Zook, while Miami’s cupboard was ransacked, depleted and bare when Shannon came aboard for Coker last December.

How about Charlie Weis? Back-to-back (underserved) BCS games his first two seasons, yet 1-9 in 2007 and coming off an overtime loss to Navy? I’ve never see a coach go from ‘hero’ to ‘zero’ in a quicker span.

Start judging Shannon come 2009. For now, ride out the final few games and start looking forward to 2008. Yes people, we’re in rebuilding mode and this is what you do.

Now isn’t the time to torch the staff and overanalyze the play calling. News flash, they’re doing all they can with the kids they have. Some there physically but not mentally – and vice versa.

When No. 7 lets a bomb fly on a 3rd and 5 and overthrows his nearest receiver by 20+ yards – Patrick Nix didn’t call that ill-timed deep ball. Freeman simply missed the two receivers on a crossing patter at the first down marker, panicked and chucked the ball way too deep to avoid an interception.

Take this scenario and times it by a few dozen, because we’ve seen it often this season. The right plays are called, but a lineman misses a block, someone gets called for a false start, a player slips during his route, a quarterback never looks past his first option or forces a ball that never should’ve been thrown.

Try to remember these things the final twelve quarters of this regular season. This is a first year project. Give it time and judge accordingly.

One ‘last hurrah’ at the OB this weekend. Get your asses there and represent. It’s about the stadium, not the current state of this team. We’ve all taken so many big nights out of the Orange Bowl. We owe it to the stadium and our history to pay our final respects one last time. No excuses. Hell, I’m coming back 3,000 miles for this one. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.

From there, Virginia Tech and Boston College. Hope we steal one. Live with it if we don’t. Realize things will be better which each new Shannon-style recruit who signs on the dotted line.

We’ll be back. We’ve been here before and it’s in our blood to earn our spot back at the top. Nobody knows the blueprint better than Shannon. Fall in line. Good things are in store. There’s a game plan being implemented here. Be patient and give it time to develop.




34 thoughts on “Game Nine: NC State 19, Miami 16 (OT)

  1. We got our season ticket info last friday, one day before N.C. state.

    This all couldn’t have happened at a worse time as the bad seats and price increases don’t seem to be sitting to well with people in our section ( long time fans , 1981) .

    I agree to give randy time but being soldout about the OB when we
    only get 36,000 for last weeks game doesn’t make sense.

    I know Mr. Dee is leaving at a good time so everybody can blame him but if we get 25,000 in Joe Robbie we are finished. No recruits will be coming after seeing that.

    What was the thinking.

    See you saturday night and take lots of pictures.

  2. Nicely said Chris. This has been a year of ups and downs; that is certain. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around some of the performances this year. Miami has always been a team to play down to its competition, even in the “hay days”. I expect to see a different team in the last three games. With that said if they think playing NC State is a nerve racking game this week should make them turn to dust! Last call at the OB, last call for a lot of fans, who won’t go to DS, and last call to go out as winners in front of the home crowd. Now that’s pressure. If they lose, if they close down the OB down with a loss, that will be this team final legacy, losers; the team that couldn’t get it done for the last hurrah.

    I’m still drinking the Kool Aid; I think Coach Shannon is doing the best he can. I hope he is getting the most he can out of the kids. I hope he can get most if not all the young kids on his list. I always thought that poor performance on the field equaled poor recruiting classes, but it seems to be working in Shannon’s favor and I hope the next couple of months really brings us the kids we need at the U. The kids who bleed orange and green like we the fans do. The kids that “fit the system” and “the mentality” coach demands. It sounds like most of the guys now just can’t take the pressure of playing for the U.

    I will be there this weekend like I have been for the last six years. I know that may not be as long as many of you, but since moving here from Orlando, that has been a top priority for me every year, save and get my tickets. I’m still on the fence concerning next year, but it’s mostly an economical thing. Price vs. seat location and atmosphere, I think the WEZ got shafted and I’m not sure it’s worth the money and gas on my budget. It sucks and I know that many “fans” will call me out on that and say all the mean spirited stuff they like to regurgitate, but facts are facts and I can’t afford 420.00 per seat when I just paid 395.00 for my family pack to sit in the lower bowl. Paying 415.00 to be on the upper deck in the EEZ just doesn’t make sense financially. With all that said, it’s bittersweet this weekend. I’m sad to see her go. I’m sad that this might be my last game for a while. I’m sad that I might never sit next to the group of people who have become an extended weekend family. They have watched my son grow up and have taken him in with them. I have a 5-year-old son who doesn’t even sit next to dear old dad. I’ll miss them too.

    Last hit. God Bless the Pata family and God bless you Chris and your family, I’m happy to know you guys survived the blaze. God Bless the OB, you were wonderful!

  3. Thanks for being a voice of reason in these troubled times. I agree 100%. Shannon needs to be given the opportunity and time to fix the damage done by Coker and it woul be nothing short of a miracle to pull that off in 2 seasons, let alone the first one.

    I’m afraid Shannon will possibly be dealing with yet another blow to the program with the move to Dolphins Stadium next year. Since the announcement I have gone from dissapointment to trying to embrace the move. I don’t like Dolphins Stadium, but was hoping it would bring a wider fan base. Well this weekend I think that got shot down. I received the information for renewing my season tickets with the move to the new stadium. The long and short of it is this, worse seats for double the money. That’s right they are DOUBLING what I paid for season tickets this year. On top of that raise parking to $150 for 5 games, or $10 more a game than I paid for years down around the O.B. The majority of the people that I have in my group, around 20, are seriously debating not renewing their season tickets.

    As unhappy as I am, I can’t bring myself to abandon the team at this crucial point. Between the move and the rebuilding they need the fans support. I will be there same as I have for years. But the University is deluded if they think that already poor attendance won’t take a hit from this increase in prices. I had predicted they would do just this, but had hoped that they would have the common sense to leave prices as close to where they were as possible at least until things get back to normal. I guess greed overcame common sense in this case and I believe the program will suffer for it.

    Anyway, off my soapbox. Thanks again for trying to talk sense into the Canes fans week after week. They are a rabid bunch and as you said sports fans don’t make for patient people.


  4. I agree 100% with your article. Like Irvin said in that pregame speech against FSU ” Pressure bust pipes” and kirby collapsed under that pressure. Wasn’t he the one talking about being the man at the U. He was scared and his performance reflect that. Randy is the right guy for this job. Canes305 keep up the good work with this blog.

  5. It could be worse ‘Cane fans… could be a fan of Nebraska or (God forbid) notre shame …….
    I’ll be in the OB Sat. night wearing my orange PROUDLY !!! A win would be great, but this is about closing the old girl down.
    It’s great…to be…a Miami Hurricane………forever !!!

    big pimpin

  6. I’m not down on Shannon at all. This is year one with as team that is not mentally strong right now. I happen to honestly believe we are just a QB away from competing right now. Even with the WR’s we have right now, if we had a QB who could deliver a good ball, we would be at the top of the ACC. Will Harris be that triggerman? Will Marve? Will the kid from Texas? Who knows, but one of them has to be. I thank Shannon right now for getting some QB’s on campus (assuming they sign – no small feat given the last 3 years). Competition is the key and I believe Shannon will bring this as he brings in new, fresh, hungry talent. Let’s not forget the great job he did in the month he took over the program in getting kids to come here. It’s a shame but I am looking forward to February ’08 and Signing Day. We have to get in quality depth. Think of all the injuries we had to QB, DL, LB, WR. We had big drop offs in talent when our first team guys went down. We need to replentish and get better. This season was a disappointment, given the opportunities we had with a wide open race, but this team wasn’t ready to step up. With this class we will begin taking those steps. I look forward to seeing us turn it around. We just need a couple of playmakers for starters and then begin getting the depth back.

  7. 305, are any of our coaches taking a look at Naples High here in SW Florida? I think they will be playing a team from Greenwich CT that is also undefeated this weekend, possibly on ESPN. They have flat-out MURDERED evry team they’ve played so far.

    Any chance we could pick up a few of these kids?

  8. Thanks for taking the time to write this. This is my first blog of yours that I have read, if you continue this up, it may be the only blog that I read. Thanks.

  9. Thanks for a great article Chris. I look forward to your blog everyday. Sure the program has been down the last fewe years but I can see the signs that the upturn is coming. I am pumped for 2008 and 2009. We will be flying high by then! I will miss the OB as well but i think we are on the verge of a whole new era of CANES legends.

    On a side note, i have 2 sisters that live in SoCal, I am glad you guys made it through the fires. Lets hope this is the last time we have to go through this.

  10. Amen to that! I agree with everything that was said. And don’t forget to show our years of respect and come out to the last game at the Orange Bowl. And don’t forget to wear Orange!

  11. I look foward to going to the game this Saturday for what looks to be the last time for a long time. $420 to sit in the endzone is crazy. I am not paying $199 to seat in the upper deck. The Canes games are going to start looking like Marlins Games. They had a hard time selling tickets in the OB and now they are jacking up the prices and expect people to come flocking for a large tv? I can get gameday and stay at home. UM better rethink their prices or they are going to be really sorry next year.

  12. Okay. I have grown up being a Canes fan my entire life. And I’ve talked shit about other teams just as long. But wait a goddamn second here, I’m a Midshipman now and I don’t appreciate the fact that you call out Charlie Weis as a loser because he lost to Navy. Have you seen Navy play at all in the last 4 years? We’ve made it to four bowl games and we almost beat BC last season — we messed up on our clutch triple option and fumbled so that BC could kick a field goal and go up by one at the end of the game. I encourage you to watch that game, the Mids had the momentum the entire time. Now granted, Notre Dame sucks this year compared to the powerhouses of the country including our very own Hurricanes, but those guys are still better talented, larger, stronger and have a legit chance of playing in the NFL. How about you take a second back and give credit where it’s due. The credit doesn’t belong to Charlie Weis for sucking, but it belongs with the Navy Midshipmen for playing with heart. I’d be surprised to see Canes defense stop Navy’s triple option – no one this year has been able to.

  13. Okay. I have grown up being a Canes fan my entire life. And I’ve talked shit about other teams just as long. But wait a goddamn second here, I’m a Midshipman now and I don’t appreciate the fact that you call out Charlie Weis as a loser because he lost to Navy. Have you seen Navy play at all in the last 4 years? We’ve made it to four bowl games and we almost beat BC last season — we messed up on our clutch triple option and fumbled so that BC could kick a field goal and go up by one at the end of the game. I encourage you to watch that game, the Mids had the momentum the entire time. Now granted, Notre Dame sucks this year compared to the powerhouses of the country including our very own Hurricanes, but those guys are still better talented, larger, stronger and have a legit chance of playing in the NFL. How about you take a second back and give credit where it’s due. The credit doesn’t belong to Charlie Weis for sucking, but it belongs with the Navy Midshipmen for playing with heart. I’d be surprised to see Canes defense stop Navy’s triple option – no one this year has been able to.

    Roly, relax pal.

    Navy lost to Notre Dame consecutively for 44 straight years and the Irish are currently 1-9.

    Credit to Navy for getting the win, but there have been down teams at ND before and Navy still couldn’t beat them. It took the Midshipment three overtimes to do what eight other teams already did this season in regulation.

    Weis has ND in the toilet right now. They are a joke and while Navy isn’t a horrid team, there’s a reason they haven’t beaten the Irish in 44 years. Weis is the x-factor here. He has that program at rock bottom and safe to say most would agree that Navy was one game on the schedule the Irish had a good shot at winning.

    As for the triple option being unstoppable, Navy entered the game 4-4 so SOMEONE was obviously able to stop it.

    Dude, I appreciate your loyalty to your other program, but you’re woofing about a team who lost to Delaware and Ball State. Let’s take it in stride.

  14. Finally some common sense, and logic in an arguement assessing the Canes. I’m tired of all these fools who say “we don’t rebuild, we reload”, and it’s coaching because their’s too much talent on this team? When you have Magahee behind POrtis, and Gore behind him, your reloading. When you have Shockey behind, Franks, and Winslow behind SHockey, your reloading. 1 for 14 with three picks is not coaching or bad play calling, it’s called execution. Freeman couldn’t even throw the ball away. Coker left us with nothing. We don’t have talent on this team. You have guys like Legget who couldn’t catch a cold, or Shields who is too eratic every week in practice to play. People need to wake up and smell the coffee man.

  15. You have no idea about the history between the Navy-Notre Dame game, do you? Check this article out: Those seven heartbreakers don’t even include all the games where Navy was sticking with Notre Dame until the fourth quarter when Navy started to make mistakes and get tired getting run into the ground by 50-lbs heavier linemen. Navy has been close to beating really good Notre Dame teams before. Did you see last year’s game? Hell have you seen any of the Navy-Notre Dame games since ’97? Here’s the difference between the rivalries of FSU-Miami and Navy-Notre Dame: the first has teams equally talented and big, the latter is remarkably uneven. Oh and it was 43 years, not 44 – you could at least do some good research and read a basic ESPN article.

    And as far as stopping the triple option, it’s the defense of Navy that needs help not offense. Ball State, Duke, Rutgers (#15 at the time) and Delaware have all been high scoring games. Had Navy’s defense made a few stops they could’ve won those games. I have grown up seeing good football — let’s remember that Sophomore through Senior year I was at the Orange Bowl more than school (obviously an overexggeration). As a Canes fan you really have never needed to worry about lacking a defense. The games that Canes performed badly on defense are no where near as disappointing as the defensive screw ups I’ve seen here in Annapolis. Put yourself in Navy’s shoes before you start critquing them. Stay in Miami and just believe another Cane fan when he says that Navy plays pretty damn well for guys who are going to be Navy and Marine officers and have no hope of ever making it to the NFL.

  16. College Gameday live from… WILLIAMSTOWN, MA?? What the hell?? They took this bullshit over the last game in the Orange Bowl? Unbelievable…

  17. This is the best blog post I have seen this year in ALL the Hurricanes blogs. Shannon will get the job done – new recruits are coming….

    – Portland Cane

  18. Those seven heartbreakers don’t even include all the games where Navy was sticking with Notre Dame until the fourth quarter when Navy started to make mistakes and get tired getting run into the ground by 50-lbs heavier linemen. Navy has been close to beating really good Notre Dame teams before.

    They still lost 44 years in a row. I’m not one for moral victories. BC came close to beating The U many times since Hail Flutie, but hasn’t . Close doesn’t count. I’m all for heart and Navy being undermanned, but the still lost and FINALLY won.

    You’re arguing my point for me. Navy is undersized but works hard and it took a very down ND team for them to eek out a 2-point win in 3OT.

    Oh and it was 43 years, not 44 – you could at least do some good research and read a basic ESPN article.

    I did my research. Take it up with FOX Sports –

    I do my homework for the Canes. This is a Miami blog. I could give a hell about Navy/ND.

    Stay in Miami and just believe another Cane fan when he says that Navy plays pretty damn well for guys who are going to be Navy and Marine officers and have no hope of ever making it to the NFL.

    Great, so they’re underachievers with a ton of heart. Again, there are no moral victories here. Navy hadn’t beaten ND in almost half a century. The fact they finally did is further proof how far Weis has let things slip amidst possibly the worst ever ND season.

    Again, let me get something straight – you’re entire rant started because I wrote the following?

    How about Charlie Weis? Back-to-back (underserved) BCS games his first two seasons, yet 1-9 in 2007 and coming off an overtime loss to Navy? I’ve never see a coach go from ‘hero’ to ‘zero’ in a quicker span.

    I never even took a friggin shot at Navy. I was referring to how dejected the ND fan base must be with a 1-9 coach losing in 3OT to a team they hadn’t beaten in FORTY THREE years.

    Rory, u need some thicker skin, bro. Also, from here on out, keep the convo about the Canes instead of some service academy and a hated Miami rival. We’ve more than beaten this point into the ground.

    In case you missed it, this was a 2,500 word document on the state of Miami football. I could give two shits about Navy and Notre Shame.

  19. FOX is wrong. Don’t throw the blame on them. Just admit that you didn’t care enough to check your stats. That’s more manly of you.

    If you couldn’t care about Navy/ND then don’t rant about them and say some shit against Navy. If someone were to say something like “Look at Bowden and his FSU, they lost to a sorry Miami Hurricane team,” I guarantee you’d be pissed.

    You underestimate the Midshipmen. You cannot fathom what they go through day in and day out. Navy was once a dynasty too ya know. Oh wait, you don’t. Because you could care less. Back in the day before steroids and convicts playing football the Navy Midshipmen were one of the top teams.

    And calling Midshipmen underachievers??? WTF is wrong with you? Do you know anything about Navy other than the fact that they don’t play Miami? Do you know what the Naval Academy is? Who do you think you are to bash a team and then get pissed off at me for defending them? Sometimes there are more important things in life than winning. I think our Canes season this year proves that.

    And get my name right, it’s Roly not Rory. It says it on top of my comment. Tough skin is something I do have. But the second someone starts ripping on my FAMILY, I’m gonna get pissed. I have every reason to be mad. You didn’t even address the thing I thought was most important on my last comment — defenses. Miami never needs to worry about its defense, it needs to worry about it’s offense performing. The opposite is true with Navy.

    And also, from here on out, don’t bash another team if you want to keep the topic on the Canes. My classmates have worked too hard and done something so great that no one — especially not you — should take away from them. Please don’t downplay the accomplishment. You think the Tenn-Miami at home was disappointing? I was there. In the student section. That’s nothing like seeing Navy lose in the final quarter to teams like Maryland, Stanford, Rutgers, Notre Dame and Boston College. Granted, Navy will probably not be getting a shot at a BCS bowl. But give them the benefit of the doubt, they earned their stripes on the gridiron this weekend.

  20. RoLy – I don’t give two shits about Navy football.

    If I said “underachievers” I obviously meant OVERACHIEVERS. A team of undersized guys playing football against big time programs are obviously OVERachieving.

    That said. this a f’n Miami Hurricanes blog. Talk about The U or scram.

    Notre Dame sucks. Navy pulled a win out against a 1-8 team they hadn’t beaten in 43 years. Great. Glad to see as I hate all things Notre Dame.

    That said, I’m more than done discussing the matter. Save the rhetoric for

  21. These are some of my favorite quotes I’ve seen from ‘Cane “fans” after or during the ‘Cane/NC State game.

    “Anyone who thought that Randy Shannon is the right head coach for this program should take themselves out back and shoot yourself right now.”

    “I predict Randy Shannon will not last long at The U”

    “F*ck these coaches they blow”

    “Never question The Kirby”

    “Freeman sucks but Nix sucks more”

    “Daly looks pretty good on field goals”

    “If Randy Shannon does not improve coaching next year, fans will start turning against him”

    “Why did we redshirt Marve”

    “Let Marve play. We still have three more games after this one. Make it four if we go to a bowl game”

    “Randy is proving to be an obstinate head coach who refuses to play a third string player and refuses to play the best players he has if they don’t give what he deems 100% in practice”

    “That being said, don’t give Shannon any credit for anything until February. This season is over and he can prove nothing. He has really hurt his credit with the fans. I’ve emotionally checked out of the 2007 season. Probably best if the rest of you follow suit”

    “Randy is too stubborn, inflexible, and unable to make adjustments”

    I’m not a myopic ‘Cane fan, I’m a realistic ‘Cane fan with a MENSA level of logical reasoning compared to what exactly I’ve been seeing spouted off the fingertips from others keyboards that are ‘Cane “fans”. I try to give the benefit of the doubt and think that maybe – just maybe – people are completely frustrated at the time and feel they need to vent, however asinine their comment is …. but I think it’s a pipe dream honestly that I actually give that benefit of the doubt. Just as you stated in your blog Chris, imagine if the internet message boards/blogs were available during the Jimmy Johnson era. I understand that people use message boards/blogs to post their Arm Chair ___________ (A. quarterback, B. offensive coordinator, C. defensive coordinator, D. special teams coach, E. head coach, F. all of the above) thoughts of what they would do – but damn, doesn’t mean that you should throw all logic and reasoning out the f*ckin window. One perfect example is this outstanding statement that I’ve seen repeatedly for some reason: “Burn Marve’s redshirt and let him play the remaining games” .. YEA, WHAT A GREAT IDEA. Are you serious? No no no no, let me ask this again … ARE .. YOU .. SERIOUS. I’ve said this a thousand times before and I know I’ll say it a thousand times again – there’s a reason none of us are where Randy Shannon, Patrick Nix, Tim Walton, Joe Pannunzio, etc. are. How many of you out there can honestly look deep down and say – “I can do a better job” .. you’re beyond delusional and straight up lying to yourself as a reasonable thinking human if you think so. I especially love when people drop the “Why didn’t you do ______ ? That’s basic football 101 Coach _______ (insert whoever), everyone knows that.” Really? Does everyone really know that? Is that why you’re a plumber or car salesmen or copy repairman or whatever the hell you do – and not a coach at The University of Miami, much less being a Div. 3 or NAIA coach or ball boy for that matter? Do you really think you could come up with a game plan, go over it in 4 or so days of practice, pound it into your player’s heads and then make the executive decision in the heat of battle on gameday when the opposing coordinator is adjusting to your scheme while the clock is ticking? Do you really think you can do that? It’s a f*ckin joke man and any ‘Cane fan who thinks they can is a joke – you know exactly the type of people I’m talking about Chris. Just because any of you can play coach on your PS3 or Xbox doesn’t mean you can play coach in real life.

    I’m all for second guessing a play – that’s easy, just like the cliche says that hindsight is 20-20 …. but to harp on it and make idiotic statements that the coach should be fired – take a step back and think about what you’re saying. Yea, I found it a little odd that Nix called the jumpball fade into the endzone with Shields twice … but hey, he thought it would work. What if it did work the 1st or 2nd time it was tried? What exactly would the “fans” be saying then? Absolutely nothing. They’d raise their damn arms in the air and yell in celebration. Probably say something to the effect of “if at first you don’t succeed, try again.” if Shields would’ve come down with it. I’m all for second guessing, but I’m also quick to move on from it. They tried. It didn’t work. Move on and try to win someway else. Wonder what the “fans” would’ve said if the fake FG attempt that went for a TD against FSU hadn’t worked out. I can tell you right now. WHAT’S RANDY or PANNUNZIO THINKING? GET THE 3 POINTS. THAT’S FOOTBALL 101. Instead, play works and goes for a TD – now Randy and Pannunzio are geniuses with a sack bigger than the EPCOT Center.

    I also love “fans” that talk of how “no recruits will want to come play for this program.” Yea? You know exactly what the kids are thinking, huh. You can read minds, huh. All of you are Marty McFly with the DeLorean, have gone into the future and have seen that none of the recruits or potential recruits have come to The U b/c of the facilities or record. Please. “Fans” that complain of Miami’s facilities or record or this or that scaring recruits away … just shut your damn yapper. Last I checked, Miami’s weight room was pretty nice. Miami’s facilities have nothing to do with recruiting – if they do, I don’t want that damn kid at my school in the first place. Take your high maintenance prima donna ass somewhere else. If that kid thinks he’s better than any of the other ‘Canes that have come through there and used the same facilities – leave now. The same ‘Canes that come back year after year to train in the same facilities that the current ‘Cane players use .. something must be alright about them, esp. if you have NFL Pro Bowlers, NFL players and MLB players come back to where they worked their ass off to get them to where they are now. If I’m a recruit, that in itself would draw me there. Knowing that all those players used and went through what I have a chance to use and go through so I have a chance to be where they are. You ever see the Rocky movie where Drago is training in his state of the art, spaceship equipment looking facility and Rocky is doing the nasty dirty old school type training? You ever hear about how Ben Wallace forgoes training in some lavish facility and heads back to some metal shack at Virginia Union with old school weights and no a/c – just hardcore nasty work. Does it really matter if your training facility looks like a damn night club with weight machines and flats screens? I can maybe understand if space is cramped in something such as the training room where players get treatment, but that shouldn’t deter the type of player that you want at The U.

    I dunno, I’m just straight up sick and have been sick of reading or hearing the on going crap from impatient “fans”. You know what – they are “fans”, but it doesn’t mean that they’re logical fans. Impulsive and irrational if anything. I believe in Coach Shannon b/c I believe in his philosophy and theories he’s instilling into the program and it’s players. Is that drinking the “kool-aid”? I don’t know if that’s what you call it. I see what he has to work with. He can’t trade or cut the kids. I see former ‘Cane players and head coaches speak of how right the decision was to bring him in. It’s his first damn year – along with the first year for how many other coaches on his staff working together? Patience.

    -S.Woodward, a die hard ‘Cane living in Tampa

  22. Kirby Freeman is the antichrist!! By the way as a former Marine I think the midshipmen are pansies on and off the field!!

  23. i t hink we can get it back.. not a dynasty, but a good team that can compete for the ACC year in and year out..

  24. I think Coach Shannon will bring competition back to Coral Gables. That’s what’s been missing the last few years. Players haven’t been competing against themselves, other teammates at the same position and then the opposition, in the last few years. Shannon will bring in players who are hungry, aren’t afraid to compete and who knows how to win. Players need to know that if they don’t get the job done, the next guy in line could take his spot and never get it back. As I said prior, the attention to recruiting will be the difference. Just look at how many verbals we have at this time compared to the last 5 years at the same period. Not even close. I also believe that Randy will close the deal and we won’t have last monutes decommits because the kids see the direction we are headed. Yes you can be disappointed in the staff and players, but how can you want their heads on a platter already? Hopefully this summer, both coordinators will go back to square one and come up with new and effective gameplans/plays. Lastly, I want to commend the O Line overall. This is the group that has been deadful for the past 4 or 5 years, and honestly we would be in even worse shape if it wasn’t for them. They have gotten us into position to win several games this year which we eneded up losing because we were one dimensional and could not pass the ball when they would put 8 and 9 in the box. I have bashed them in the recent past and just want to give them props this year for actually being our strength overall.
    -Columbus Cane

  25. I wanted to take some time before I posted my thoughts on the game and the future. Your blog is dead on on so many levels. It is not even about reassurances but more than anything else the reality of our program and where it’s headed.
    1. Coach is the right person for the job. Too hard? Get the pussies out of here.
    2. When I look at LSU I see the type of players DA U used to recruit – NFL ready players. We need those recruits back at the program.
    3. After watching the games we lost, you really wonder how we even managed to win ANY games. This coaching group is doing the best with what it has.
    4. THERE WERE NO COACHES LINING UP TO REBUILD THIS PROGRAM! This doesn’t diminish Coach Shannon’s value, but rather it shows how lucky we were. Again, exhibit A – Coach Weis.

    The remainder of the year should be used to evaluate young talent on the field. Any win hereon will be gravy especially since we are looking at the top half of the ACC.


  26. Is it true College Gameday picke Williamstown, MA and the clash between to subpar subdivision nobodies over the OB farewell. If so,………sigh…….thats a bunch of BS. Can you confirm this?

  27. I ageree take away the interceptions in N.C.; G-tech; and N.C.State we are 8-1. Its not Randy or the players fault that Kyle has no senior leadership and Kirby is just garbage. It nakes me sick to my stomach to hear people say Randy needs to go. He is better than Erickson, Davis, and Cooker put togehter give him the talent they had and we would we 8-1 or 9-0. No Miami team has come back from 27-0 at the half. Cooker left him with nothing. We don’t have the talent or depth we need to be successful right now. I agree as a Cane fan since 1985 is does hurt to see us loose i bleed orange and green. Go to the scrimmages, spring game and regular season games before you judge the U. Do you even know what the inside of the lokcer room look like. Sit back and be patient we could be Notre Dame.I DO AGREE Dolphin Stadium sucks but if my pockets let me a will be there. ITS ALWAYS ABOUT THE U.

  28. I know you want to kill this off but I can’t help it …. “I’d be surprised to see Canes defense stop Navy’s triple option – no one this year has been able to” … I’m pretty sure the ‘Canes could take care of it. Miami’s D is 40th in the nation in rush total allowed with 1,200 yards … 45th with 133.3 ypg … but those aren’t the important numbers. What counts is that the ‘Cane D has allowed only allowed 8 TD’s on the ground, tied with 8 other teams for 7th in the nation in that category. 3 of those 8 rushing TD’s allowed came against UNC, 2 against the bumblebees from Atlanta. I don’t think Navy knows what the forward pass is since Staubach left, but Miami would shut them down in that aspect also – even with the numerous busts due to lack of communication this year in games. The ‘Canes have given up a total of 1,713 yards in the air – ranked 17th in the country, with T.Lewis from Duke dropping the most yards in the air on the ‘Canes when he threw for 241. The ‘Canes D has given up an average of 190.3 per game via the air – ranked 20th in the country. The important numbers though – they’ve given up 10 TD’s via the air, 6 of them coming in the Oklahoma game. They’re 20th overall and tied with 9 other schools to be 6th in the nation in that category.

    If you want to break down the teams that Navy has played and just how well their rushing D is – go ahead, b/c I have and it isn’t pretty. You should see the teams that they have remaining and just how great they are at run defense.

    North Texas – 209.4 Y/G given up (105th rank) .. 23 rush TD’s given up (116th rank overall – tied with 5 other schools for 22nd)

    Northern Illinois – 212.7 Y/G given up (108th rank) .. 20 rush TD’s given up (102nd rank overall – tied with 3 other schools for 19th)

    Army – 212.7 Y/G given up (109th rank) .. 17 rush TD’s given up (82nd rank overall – tied with 7 other schools for 16th)

    Navy football first started in 1879 or 1882 – can’t remember so I’m sure I’ll be corrected. Anyway, since they started just a little over a 100 years after our nation was founded, they have a whopping 1 national title from 1926 when they shared that title with two other teams (Stanford and Alabama who tied 7-7 in the Rose Bowl, both teams finished undefeated). Every Midshipman should thank the Boand and Houlgate polls for voting Navy the champ. You know, back in the day (before electricity .. before running water .. when people still thought the world was flat .. before the wheel was invented .. right after you didn’t have to run from a T-Rex to get your food and drag it back to your cave) Princeton and Yale were dominant also in football. You couldn’t hang with big boy on the block Princeton from 1869-1911 and don’t even try and puff your chest out to a Yale Bulldog from 1874-1927 (that was hard to type without laughing) … the important part of what I just typed were a few words – “back in the day” .. “1869-1911” .. “1874-1927”. Get it? You can insert Navy football into that also. Hell, even Army has won 4 titles – Navy only has 1 and “Navy was once a dynasty too ya know” according to Roly .. a dynasty with 1 shared title between 3 teams. It’s pretty easy to dominate the college football world when there are a handful of teams in the nation. You hear similar rumblings about dynasty from ND honks that still grasp onto the years of the 4 horsemen and all that glory that happened back in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s. Seeing how Navy, Army, Notre Dame, Ivy League schools, etc. started playing ball in the late 1800’s – I’d hope you would have a couple of titles.

    I will give the armed forces teams credit, they do play hard .. but also what exactly does that say about your program if you’re beaten by one of the armed forces teams? If you are beaten by a team of guys that aren’t even there on football scholarship then something is wrong.

    As for almost beating Rutgers (ranked #15 at the time) – it was the 2nd game of the year, and you can’t tell me that rankings don’t mean sh*t at the beginning of the year. Please see how high Michigan was ranked when taken down by App. State. They were #5. Michigan has no business being in the top 25 right now as it is. There are ZERO teams in the Big 11 that are ranked besides Ohio St. (who are benefiting from a weak conference and weak out of conference schedule) and for some idiotic reason, Michigan. See how high Louisville was ranked at the beginning of the year – I’ll tell you, it was #10. Even after losing their head coach that made that offense run – along with some key players – they were still ranked #10 for some reason. The rankings are even crap right now and don’t really show who should be where in the polls. I live in Tampa, did anyone outside of Tampa or that wasn’t a USF alum really think that they should be #2 in the nation? Can you honestly tell me that South Carolina was deserving of being #7 in the nation, seven games into their season when they weren’t even ranked in the top 25 at the beginning of the year? They weren’t even ranked in the top 25 until after beating South Carolina State, the 3rd game of the year for Head Visor and his crew. If you take a look at the polls from the beginning of the year, seriously look at where the teams were ranked and you tell me if you can honestly agree with it. All I’m saying is, ya, Navy almost beat a ranked team that didn’t deserve to be there – great. My high school team almost beat Vince Carter and his high school team – then Vince decided to be Vince, along with the rest of his team and hand us our asses similar to what happened at Little Big Horn. Scoreboard, them. Asses kicked, us.

    Before I go, the Army / Navy game is boring. I’m serious man. I haven’t made it through 1 quarter of that game – ever … hell, I couldn’t even make it through the coverage of the two academies marching into the stadium. I tried to watch it for a couple of years for some reason – I just couldn’t do it.

    S.Woodward, a die hard ‘Cane living in Tampa

  29. Caneiac1, there is no such thing as a former Marine. And most of the football team get commissions as your Marine officers.

    By the way, seeing as I have said nothing about the Canes this entire damn blog, I would like to say that Shannon should just throw in one of the other FOUR quarterbacks on the damn depth chart. I know it may sound unorthodox, but give one of the three other juniors or that lowly Freshmen a chance on the field. No more Wright. He’s capput. It’s as you have said, we’re in rebuilding mode. Why don’t we give the ball to one of these never talked about guys and see if they might just spark out as field generals? They’ve been itching to get out on the field, I say throw them in there and see if they can give us three straight wins. I believe in the Canes… they have talent. What they need are leaders to inspire everyone else.

  30. If you haven’t heard yet the OB is coming down. Not much else I can say…….it took my breathe away and reality is sinking in. My two girls will never expeirience what I did as a child and young adult. Check out>Miami officials seek demoltion of OB.


  31. that makes total sense to me. All seniors should play, hell its the last game in the OB open the depth chart and let everyone touch the feild. Its not like it will kill the season to play a green freshman. It may spark a fire undersome a$$e$

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