Every week or so, we’ve added 2010 Miami Hurricanes football highlights to the allCanes iPhone app. Most recently, footage from last November’s come-from-behind win over Maryland was uploaded and for those who haven’t seen the clip (put together by the folks at Accord Productions), we’ve included it below.
As the 2010 season wound down, morale obviously bottomed out – and rightfully so. At 5-2 with six games remaining, the Canes were still in the hunt to win the ACC Coastal but went 2-4 down the stretch, finished 7-6 and saw head coach Randy Shannon fired hours after the final regular season loss to South Florida – and rightfully so.
With so much failure surrounding the program the final two months of 2010, wins against Maryland and Georgia Tech proved “meaningless”, even though both games showed promise and something to build on going into next season.
Not exactly comforting in the moment, but in hindsight and after watching this highlight reel from the Terps game, the Canes proved they had some grit – they just lacked consistency and focus.
Filling in for the injured Jacory Harris, freshman quarterback Stephen Morris got his first start, threw a few bone-headed pics, but when the pressure was on also got his first of many signature moments.
Leading 18-17 early in the fourth quarter, the Canes blitzed on a 3rd-and-5 from the Miami thirty-five, planting Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien in the Sun Life grass. Marcus Robinson recovered the fumble, rumbled to the end zone and moments later, Sean Spence is hit with a bogus facemask penalty.
Instead of a two score lead, it’s 1st-and-10 from the Miami twenty for Maryland – automatic field goal territory after a three-and-out and a 20-18 lead with just over nine to play.
Anyone who watched Miami between 2006 and 2009 would’ve chalked this up to ‘fold’ time. The blow of the bad call would’ve been too much to overcome and the Canes would’ve crumbled … yet behind a true freshman under center, found a way to persevere.
An eleven-play, 29-yard drive stalled after four minutes (a ten-yard holding penalty and six-yard sack on 3rd-and-10 didn’t help), but Miami forced another three-and-out and with just over three minutes remaining, started the would-be game-winning drive.
A couple quick passes to Aldarius Johnson and LaRon Byrd helped keep the chains moving, but the most heads up moment came on 3rd-and-11 after a Maryland timeout. With the ball on the Miami forty-nine, Morris used his legs for a 16-yard pick up and a play later unloaded the game-winner to Leonard Hankerson, while getting tattooed by a Terp defender.
Miami picked up the two-point conversion, led 26-20 and stopped Maryland on the game’s final play, with safety Vaughn Telemaque knocking down an O’Brien pass in the end zone.
First-year head coach doesn’t have too many moments to build on from last year’s 7-6 campaign, but the comeback against Maryland is one of them. Miami had a total of 504 yards, with Morris throwing for 286, while Lamar Miller put up 125 yards on the ground with 22 carries. Mike James got his 51 and Graig Cooper got his 40, with the Canes racking up 218 total rushing yards.
Travis Benjamin was Morris’ favorite target, catching five passes for 127 yards, while Hankerson reeled in four passes for 66 yards – including the game-winner. Byrd caught five passes for 61 yards, rounding out a solid day for UM’s wideouts.
Two turnovers and ten penalties for a hundred yards were the biggest blemishes on the day, but when it came time to get it done, Miami did.
Most frustrating about the above clip; seeing the inconsistency first-hand – as well as Shannon’s theatrics coming too little, too late.
Weeks before Shannon and his Canes were animated in a convincing 33-10 primetime win over North Carolina, yet clammed up and froze in an ugly upset at Virginia, where Harris was injured – but still no excuse for a 24-0 deficit to an ACC bottom dweller.
Earlier in the year a similar situation as Miami thumped Pitt, 31-3 on the road and followed up with an impressive 30-21 win at Clemson, only to get railroaded by Florida State – at home – 45-17, in a lackluster, lifeless performance.
Shannon’s Canes proved they could hang when the kids were ‘on’ and the staff was prepared, but as the year rolled on, fans never knew which Miami team would show up — the Carolina killers or a winded bunch that faded down the stretch against Virginia Tech.
If head coach Al Golden can tap into what made last year’s Canes tick here and there, things could be exciting come fall.
Let the button-pushing and Psychology : 101 begin.