Game Two : Miami 33, Georgia Tech 17

Where you at, Georgia Tech? A lot of woofing this week, but it sure got quiet real quick.

A lot of preseason hype. A lot of puffed out chests. A lot of chatter about an unstoppable triple option.

Some in the media called the Yellow Jackets an ACC title contender. Tonight Miami called GT their whipping post.

The Atlanta media laughed at Jacory Harris and his claim that the Canes offense was unstoppable. In the end, J12 pulled off a 270-yard, three touchdown performance – 20-of-25 on the night, picking apart the Georgia Tech defense all night.

In the end, Harris was proven wrong on a technicality. The Canes offense can be stopped by one man; Randy Shannon.

With a 33-10 lead early in the fourth, faced with a 4th and goal from the four-yard line, Shannon trumped Mark Whipple with an offensive play call. Whipple wanted to go for six – Shannon played ‘gracious host’ and tried to let GT get out with some pride.

Matt Bosher missed the 26-yard field goal and a run-fueled drve later, Bosher missed a 31-yard attempt when the Canes kicked on a 4th and 3 from the 14.

The Canes left at least six on the field and if up to Whipple, this was a 50-10 beating. Miami showed mercy on Georgia Tech. The demon had been exorcised. A streak was broken and The U had all but secured a 2-0 start in ACC play. Style points didn’t matter to a hard-ass head coach.

Truth be told, by the beginning of the fourth Shannon was probably already thinking Virginia Tech.

After two big wins, what’s up, Nation?

Where you at Florida State and Georgia Tech? Anything to say for yourself sports media; most notably those who picked Miami either third or fourth in the Atlantic? Same to be said for the AP folk who didn’t feel this team was worth of a top 25 vote.

Two weeks down, two ranked teams taken out. The Canes are on a roll, baby. How’s that taste?

Bigger question – what’s up Miami nation? All you big-mouthed Shannon haters, where you at now? You’ve run your mouth for the past few years, some going as far to wish for that 0-4 start so your beloved Tommy Tuberville could swoop in and take over with a full cupboard.

Don’t bet on it. Shannon’s way is working. As I’ve said time and time again, he’s following the blueprint. Anyone that’s spent the better part of two decades around this program knows the formula for success. Aside from recruiting, developing and hiring quality assistants, it starts with razing.

Knock it all down, cut bait, dump dead weight and then rebuild.

2007 was a wash. Larry Coker’s team. Different mindset. A program chock full of players Shannon didn’t recruit or set the tone for. Some players got the boot, while others were sent to the bench. Shannon-style players played and new talent was brought on board two months after Shannon’s hiring.

Most effective out of that inaugural class, Graig Cooper. After a year at Milford Prep, the once-committed Coop was weighing his options. Shannon inked the Memphis product and a few seasons later, the junior tailback is setting the tone for this group of Canes. Hungry. Aggressive. Fired up. Ready to explode.

If Miami isn’t yet “back”, they’re pretty damn close. The ship has been righted and the destination will be known by December.

Add ‘ready to be noticed’ to that list, as well. 2-0 entering Blacksburg, the national media is now paying attention. Miami is ‘the story’ thus far this college football season. Question marks surrounded the once-proud program after a 12-13 Shannon’s first two season. It was statement time and the Canes answered.

This isn’t your father’s Canes team. The Orange Bowl is gone and it’s time for Shannon to make his own history. A new wrinkle in U of M folklore, this marks the first time a UM player has taken the reigns in the post Decade of Dominance era.

Butch Davis was a former defensive coordinator who knew the Canes’ culture before taking over as head coach – but Shannon lived and breathed is as a linebacker (coincidentally, under Davis). He spent his off seasons seeking counsel from former head coach Jimmy Johnson, guru Bill Parcells and So Cal’s Pete Carroll, arguably one of the game’s best.

It’s never been a matter of “if” with Randy Shannon – only a matter of “when”. Anyone who didn’t buy that was either an outsider, or an impatient fan to stubborn to realize rebuilding takes time.

Georgia Tech was overmatched out the gate. After a lengthy drive ended in solid Miami defense and a Tech field goal, the Canes came alive. A ninety second drive resulted in a 40-yard LaRon Byrd touchdown. It was set up by a clutch 3rd-and-11 conversion to Leonard Hankerson, for a drive-changing 36 yards.

A 13-yard pass to Dedrick Epps and a 34-yard Bosher field goal sent Miami into the locker room with a 17-3 lead and there was no looking back. A six-play, 60-yard drive ended with a three-yard Javarris James touchdown. 24-3, Canes and that sound you heard was the Jackets’ hearts being broken. Game over… with just under two quarters to play.

Tech found the endzone on a 60-yard drive midway through the third, but Miami responded with a nine-play, 52-yard drive of their own, ending with a 14-yard strike to tight end Jimmy Graham.

Cooper and James combined for 165 yards on the night. (So much for the Tech belief that the Canes couldn’t run the ball.) Combined, Miami gained 184 yards on the ground and posted 270 through the air. A 454-yard performance for The U.

Thank the mind of Whipple and the arm of Harris for that. Miami has an offense again. Look out, nation.

2-0 and halfway through a schedule that was dubbed “Murderer’s Row” during the preseason. Florida State and Georgia Tech have since been put out to pasture, while Virginia Tech and Oklahoma are still licking some wounds after early season losses.

A stretch of ball that looked like it’d be, well, a stretch? Seemingly very doable right now with two more big ones on deck. The Canes have ten days to prepare for the Hokies, while the Sooners will head to down a top-flight tight end and most likely a Heisman-winning quarterback. (Going on record as saying Sam Bradford doesn’t start against Miami in two weeks. Shoulder injury has him out until meat of Big XII schedule and game-of-season against Texas mid-October.)

While some idiots called for 0-4, those who whispered 4-0 or 3-1 look like full-fledged prophets. Take it one at a time? Sure. But don’t count Miami out. If you’re a fan, you have reason to be excited. This team has officially turned the corner.

Georgia Tech, thanks for coming out. It was a nice 4-0 run, but that triple option doesn’t fly when a team has the talent, speed and depth to bring it. LSU proved that in last year’s Peach Bowl and Miami showed that it’s one step closer to being ‘back’ thanks to an overall influx of talent.

This was a revenge game and the Canes called for a Thursday night, nationally televised outing for this showdown. Miami was a team on a mission and kicked the ass off of Georgia Tech in front of the college football world. How’d that workout for everyone?

Virginia Tech, get ready. Miami brought the thunder a year ago and is coming to play with a full deck next Saturday.

One step closer. The future is now.



30 thoughts on “Game Two : Miami 33, Georgia Tech 17

  1. Nice write up. It is time that everyone stops talking about the 2010 season. We are the real deal THIS season and are playing with confidence, poise, and a Champion's swagger.

    Let's win 'em all boys.

    Go Canes!!!!

  2. letssssssssssssssss gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo….. ITS A CANES THANG… NO ONE UNDERSTANDS

  3. Very good post!!
    Talk about DOMINATION!! Wow. No arm tackling Canes. No we opened up a damn can!! The D played lights out. And if it weren't for that play where B.Harris got that pick we woulda been up some more. The kick off were not that good. But im good with the W any day!! Again J.Harris with a very solid performance!! Him for the next 3 years!! wow!! give Whipple some more money!! nahh!! i was pumped for this game. And that block by futch!! and telemaque with that hit!!!! wow! go canes!!


  4. Yes, baby. It is so fun to watch this team!

    You have been a voice of reason during these tumultuous past few seasons.

    Like a certain recent presidential candidate was fond of saying, sometimes change is slow. You don't just turn a big ocean liner around. First you slow it down before you get it going back in the right direction.

    I think some impatient fans mistook the past couple of seasons as harbingers when they were simply a Coker hangover. Just slowing the big ocean liner down before it could be set in the right direction.

  5. I like the tone. Those who augured disaster and ruin can save a bit of face by coming round to appreciating the talent and effort that has left all fans of the white orange and green so happy after two huge games. Unadulterated haters should just hide themselves.

    Guts and determination in a rivalry game and cold blooded execution in a revenge tilt.

    The Atlanta Witch is dead and all that Techie crowing and bravado has morphed into the soft whimpers of wound licking and excuse making.

    We need to appreciate what we are seeing because the mountain has been high and hurtful at times; the return of a competitive team with heart is a gift not to be undervalued.

    C A N E S !!!

  6. I think of all the Canes blogs I read, yours is the best. You tell it like it is. Thank you.

    PS: I was wearing my allcanes black 305 shirt during the game here at home in Keller Texas.

  7. Well said AllCanes. I called a 3-1 start, but had no prescience regarding Bradford going down for the count. Best part of the GATech game prep is that it instantiated discipline and assignment football as a methodology for the Canes defense. Once upon a time they only *required* a Cover 2 Man on defense by way of simply winning each and every individual match-up with the likes of Sean Taylor, Vince Wilfork et al. Assignment football will go a long way to emphasizing Miami's disciplined talent in that regard.

  8. The canes are back. We finally have an offense. The defense will only get better through the season. A win at VA TECH and we should be in the top 5 headed into the Oklahoma game.

    Go CANES!!!!!!!

  9. Great write up, and glad you brought up the last 2 field goals. I am one of those that wants to show noone mercy, I would have gone for the TD both times. Me and some other canes fans have gotten alot of flak for it on one of the canes forums. Some people are saying running out the clock is smart football, thats fine i can understand that. Others are saying Shannon is being a class act, and not trying to sound like a hypocrite after last years Florida game. But the way I see it we were up 16, that may be fine for the like of Georgia Tech. But against a healthy OU team that isn't nearly enough points to feel safe. What i am worried about is the offense just running out the clock, and the defense sitting back and relaxing thinking the other team is out of it. I like Whipple more and more, DONT LET HIM LEAVE! The man wanted to go for 6 when shannon was fine with going for 3, and look at how that turned out. Now im not bashing Shannon, I will say he is definetly turning this team around. Even though in the past I have been one of the many people that didn't have that much faith. Im just saying i don't want the team getting accustomed to just thinking the other team is out for the count, then realizing the other team has come back and taken the lead.

    Great game CANES! It was fun for the fans, and I'm sure fun for the players. Can't wait for next week.

  10. I'm here to eat crow. I'm one of the guys who lambasted Lovett for a blitz-deficient, vanilla gameplan against FSU. I thought Paul Johnson would have GT's offense running circles around our D.

    Well, holy crap. It sure feels good to be wrong. Now if we can just get someone to fix our special teams (kick coverage included) and convince Randy stay aggressive on offense until the game is out of reach (we were only up by 2 scores with plenty of time left when Randy called off the dogs), then we would look like legit contenders. But as of right now, we look like we're one game away from being the best team in the ACC.

    Oh, and one more thing: that's 2 games in a row where Sean Spence was a liability on D. I don't understand how a guy with that much talent continues to be out of position to make plays or gets taken out by a single blocker on a consistent basis. Of course, it's hard to tell when the rest of the D plays to well, but look closely: Spence was hardly a factor again.

  11. And it could've been so much worse. SO MUCH WORSE!

    The kickoff team, though, was embarrassingly bad. VPI has a good returner Miami has to look out for.

    Can you believe the division title is virtually within reach, with a win in game #3? Getting to the conference championship game was the minimum requirement for a respectable season this year, and they're getting that out of the way early.

    Good times…

  12. GT didn't have a chance last night! What happened to all the GT fans who said we didn't have a chance?

    Shout out to John Lovett!!!!! All the attention has gone to Whip, but John deserves alot of credit for the gameplan he put in place! Great job!

    The U is back, rather the college football world likes it or not!

    Next up VT!!!

    1 game at a time! It's all about the U baby!

    Hopefully, I'll see some of you at Landshark for the OU game!

  13. Awesome showing last night. Upsetting that we only got an estimated 45,000 out there. That being said, do you agree with Shannon's "mercy" and not scoring more points? I know we should've had six more on the board (what in the world is up with Bosher?), so the score should've been 39-17, but I think it would've made more of a statement if we had gone for it on that 4th down just to break GT's back. Thoughts?

  14. Great post, Chris! Shannon definitely has a plan and a blueprint. We are starting to see things fall into place. The season is a long one though, and I'm not yet ready to declare that "We're back" yet. Knowing that such declaration refers the highest standard in college football. But Man! I like what I see, and we are definitely on the path to being "back".

    J12 is unbelievable and will be able to wear his pink, diamond studded suit to the Heisman ceremony very soon. 20-25 and 3 TDs with more poise and accuracy than we have seen in some time on national television.

    Keep up the great work on the posts!

  15. All you doubters calling for Shannon's head, the train has left the station and guess what you aren't on it. You know what else we don't want you on it. There is no room for you on this band wagon. We don't want you and we don't need you.

    Everyone else… you all feel that… it is the drivers seat it feels nice…. We haven't bought the car yet but with a win in Blacksburg we can almost start signing the papers for it. UNC and Clemson are our toughest remaining ACC games after that. You have to thing a win against VT and baring a key injury we should be able to walk to Jacksonville. But we must stay the course. Can we handle the national spotlight on us? Can we finish games? (the kids got a little soft in the end of the game)Can Bosher run the laps and do the push-ups I am sure randy has him doing right now? We will see.

    New shirt idea…
    Picture of Randy on the side line in his arms folded one hand on his lip pose (you know the one) with the text "I'm bringing Swagger back"

    Cane in Tally

    P.S. FSU fans are calling us a possible top 10 team.

  16. Great game last night. Finally something to really be excited about.

    Shannon made the right call not going for it, there was no need to do that. The Canes were up by 2 possessions with the clock ticking away. Classy move by one of the classiest guys in college football. Now Bosher, you gotta make those kicks man. Im sure you dont want that Shannon stare down again! I mean did you guys see the look he gave Bosher as he was coming off the field after that 2nd miss?? Haha it was awesome.

    Again, a fantastic game by this Canes team. This is what you are supposed to do to lowly opponents, beat the tar outt em.

    Go Canes, bring on VT!

  17. Where's Chris Boggs now after spewing all that BS? Last night was a statement gave a redemption of sorts. A phoneix rising from Cokers ashes. Nobody was giving the Canes a shot this preseason. Randy Shannon has this team headed in the right direction. The Canes need to take it one game at a time. Forget about looking ahead. Just take things one game at a time and keep a level head. If they can do that the skys the limit.

    GO CANES!!!!!!

  18. OK…I admit it. I thought the Jackets would dominate last night and obviously, I was way off.

    Incredible what an Offensive Coordinator with clue can do, huh?

    It was nice to finally watch a Canes game where they just outright dominated…

    (I still think run ends next week in Blacksburg, though…)

  19. Just found out there is a "Jacory for Heisman" website, says it's coming soon. He's definitely going to win it before he graduates. GO CANES!!!!!

  20. Awesome game, lots to feel good about…but someone that has been receiving too little of the fanfare lately is Cooper. He's a different beast this year!

    He's always had a good motor, but now he has the strength to plow through would-be tacklers and gain key yards, both on returns and runs from the backfield. What used to be 4-5 yard gains are turning into 10 or 12.
    There was one play late, on 3rd and long, where he was given a draw and proceeded to fight and knock his way to the first down. There was evidence of this too in the FSU game, particularly on one kick-off return. Very impressive, and it didn't happen in previous years.

    Obviously the weight and training have paid off for him, and I'm glad we have him for one more year.

  21. Guys remember to open the checkbooks and donate to the department. Remember we are a small school…

  22. Nice write up. I am so glad to see the Canes this close to being back.

    I am in ACC Country and for the most part, be fore the season started, they showed the Canes zero love. That's ok, we're reloaded and may plow through a few teams provided we can get past the VT and OU.

    Go Canes!

  23. Just win, Baby! Yes! What a dominating performance to end such a confounding losing streak to Tech. Funny all the woofin Tech fans did this week. I don't understand what brought that on, but ok. You're still not one of our rivals, so maybe next year. Great offense, great defense. Just need to get special teams in order. Whipple and Lovett did a hell of a job.

    Once again, I love the guys that have battled back from injury over the years and were out their giving their hearts: Holmes, Joseph, Moncour, Johnson…and one of the unsung heroes on this team: FB Patrick Hill. That guy does the dirty work, opening nice holes for the TB's and making key blocks. I loved the play where Jacory found him open on the wheel route and he made a nice catch, showing soft hands. That guy is a human bowling ball, knocking people down and I appreciate the work he does in the trenches (all these guys).

    I don't see why we can't easily beat VTech in Blacksburgh either. Stop the run (Ryan Williams, and keep Taylor in the pocket) and we win easily. Score more than 24 points and we win. They just don't have the offense, and don't come from behind well. Taylor's accuracy is very suspect in Year 3. Shore up the kick-off coverage and we win in all three phases of the game.
    Just win, Baby!
    -Columbus Cane

  24. While I agree with your comment below it makes me sad at the same time. Nice writing, please keep it up. Canes invented swagger.

    "This isn't your father's Canes team. The Orange Bowl is gone and it's time for Shannon to make his own history. "

  25. Ga tech= clowns

    I love how these young men are responding to the challenges and responding to the coaches. You can see the confidence coming back and these young men play hard and understanding the game. I keep hearing not only what great coaches whipple and lovett are but also how great they are at teaching and that is what its all about. Teaching these young men how to play the game of football. I have been a shannon supporter since day one and i dont think you can find a better MAN to take this miami challenge and win the was he has and chaged the culture of this program. Lets remember all you shannon haters, that no one wanted this miami job when he took it. Give this man his credit and this team. Va tech is a very winable game for us, as i think we will win and should win. Our key players are getting healthy and we should almost be full strength for this game especially on defense. Lets go CANES!!!

    also, this goes out to anyone who reads this blog, i need some help getting tickets to the Va tech game, just need 2 if anyone knows anyone trying to get rid of a couple. I am a member of the hurricane club and donate regulary, but some how they messed up my order from this summer and are now sold out. So as of right now living in virginia and not getting to see the canes live that often, i may be out of luck. So if someone in the Cane family could help me out i would greatly appreciate it. Thanks

    I can be reached at my email at:

    if someone can help

    GO CANES!!!



  27. With this game, I knew they were ranked too high. Vt is handing Miami their heads on a platter. They looked hungover from last weeks game. it is a shame too.

  28. Last week on the radio many of our delerious fans already had us playing for the national championship. The team is much
    improved and the future is bright.
    however 9-3 or 10-2 would be a very good season .The schedule next year and the experience factors might facilitate a title run.

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