Glimmers of hope in last year’s Maryland win

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.



4 thoughts on “Glimmers of hope in last year’s Maryland win

  1. so that's who you think the starter should be. can't disagree with you on that one.

    we just need a time machine to get jacory of 2009. the confident j12.

  2. sounds like to me this blog wants it to be morris. thats just what i am a getting. i could be wrong but its just what i'm gettin
    i believe it will be and should be j12. he may throw some picks this spring but even the great ken dorsey did against his secondary and linebacking crew in practice. and i thnk everyone has this team underrated for this up coming season. golden has lit the fire that shannon couldn't keep burning for whatever reason.
    go canes
    idaho cane

  3. dscott – I want the best man for the job. Period. Whoever the coaches feel it is, it is.

    Morris looked really good against Maryland and Georgia Tech and even Virginia Tech, until the defense folded, Miami went down two scores and the Hokies knew that he was throwing the rest of the game to play catch up.

    Harris looked good in 2009, even with all the picks – and seemed to regress in 2010.

    Beast touched on it in a recent blog, but sometimes you have to wonder about Jacory's fun-loving personality. All the social networking … talk about his brand … clowning around and having fun.

    While he's a kid and has every right to joke around, he's entering his senior season in what's all in all been somewhat of a disappointing career.

    This is the time to ratchet things up a notch and the fact that a true sophomore is on pace (if not excelling in some areas) with a senior — you'd just like to see more out of Jacory Harris.

    If No. 12 looks like the kid who lit up Florida State in 2009, start him any day of the week. If he looks like the interception machine he has in other games, making bad reads and what not (re: Ohio State) – then someone else needs to be 'the guy'.

    Every quarterback has their bad moments, but the Ken Dorsey picks-in-practice comparison is off. While No. 11 had tremendous talent, he also had the head, attitude, moxie and leadership. Dorsey made great decisions, rarely forced it and would be just as happy with a two-yard dump off to a running back (that went for 50 yards) than airing it out downfield into triple coverage, trying to hit the home run.

    Harris had 14 touchdowns to 16 interceptions in 2010. Not exactly the numbers you want to see from your starting quarterback.

    "J12" has four months to get his head and game right as he enters the final season of his collegiate career. I for one hope he does.

  4. i'm not tryin to argue just stating my opinion.
    I believe coach whipple stopped coaching jacory mid way through his sophmore season. i've been able thanks to dvr awesomeness to go back and watch and at the begining of 09 he was reading the defense and his head was moving from target to target. about mid way that all stopped and it was tunnel vision on one receiver. in 2010 you could tell it was force it to hank first and then some more and why not get your best receiver a ton of catches but you have to be smart about it. and if coach whipple forgot the randy ratio doesn't work. but you could tell he just stopped coaching the kid thinking he could just do it on his own. no one can not even the great tom brady or peyton manning can. you need to be coached from day one til day end.
    I believe this coaching staff will have the j12 heisman guy out of jacory. not the pick monster we saw.
    Yes i will agree that morris looked good at the end of the virginia game and the maryland game and the gt game but he was completely confused by bud fosters defense so no i don't agree he looked good against them. i would have pulled him at the half. but thats just me.
    As far as jacorys fun loving ways i like them to an extent and i agree when its game time which includes practice and film he needs to tighten his belt and be serious. i don't mind little hand movements and a little fun after tds but as soon as its done its time to look at pictures and talked to coaches and get ready for the next series
    i think we will see that this year. Morris will be great for two seasons but this year will be the seniors job to lose and i don't think he is gonna let that happen again.
    thanks for the repsonse hope to get your opinions on these things too. keep up the good work we have a few months of down time so any news will be awesome on the football front and if this fan could get a little more baseball it will be much thanked.

Comments are closed.