It’s been 2 years since I have written anything on this blog. I have even had a few reports on twitter ask me the same question the last few years. Being a father takes up so much of my free time. I have never watch less football then last season. Anyway, such if life with a kid. I may put something up later today. Enjoy your morning.
It’s the second to last game of the year today, and the season has more questions than answers for me personally. What started off with a trip to the ACC Championship Game has turned into a fight for self-respect for the Hurricane football program. The fan base and some radio talk show host are blaming Mark D’Onofrio the defensive coordinator for the 2nd half collapse. I am a believer in studying history and looking for patterns and trends. Yesterday while my daughter was taking a nap I looked my old Phil Steele preview magazines. Coach Golden always talks about what he did as head coach at Temple. So I looked the defensive statics of his 5 year coaching tenor. D’Onofrio was defensive coordinator with Golden at Temple.
I’m going to focus on the last two years of Golden as head coach of Temple. In 2009 they gave up 1399 rushing yards and 2943 yards passing. Temple had four teams run for over 150 yards on them. In 2010 they gave up 1674 yards rushing and 2138 yards passing. Temple had six teams rush for over 200 yards on them. Temple’s last game of the season, the defense gave up 253 yards against Miami of Ohio. The loss cost the Owls a chance to play in the MAC championship
In 2013, Miami has already given up 1725 yards rushing with two games left in the season. I have heard the reasons; the defense is young, they don’t have talent, the NCAA instigation has hurt recruiting. I understand that it does have an impact, but that doesn’t excuse the poor tackling I saw against Duke and Va. Tech. That is a coaching problem from all the way back to coaching at Temple. The defense was regressing at Temple and it is regressing at Miami. When D’Onofrio was at Temple they did not have the NCAA cloud on top of the program. I know Temple is not Miami, but the MAC isn’t the ACC either. Also keep in mind that nine of the defensive starters were either junior or seniors in 2010 D’Onofrio’s last year at Temple.
Jimmy Johnson said we may not have the best players but we will win with the players we have. I’m not hearing that from Golden, I’m hearing blame me I am the head coach. Then Coach Golden, fix the defense starting today against an UVa team that isn’t a strong running team. If UVa runs for over 200 yards rushing, it may be time to replace D’Onofrio. It is know that Golden and D’Onofrio are friends, and he will not fire him. Golden also wasn’t going to bring in defensive transfers from Junior College or 5th years seniors, but he did. For Golden to get this program to the next level, changes will have to be made.
It’s been 24 hours since Miami upset GT yesterday. I am still shocked, pleased, and more excited about the future for this team. I am not going to write about the game plan, key plays, or other things about the game. I just saw a team that would not quit. I had club level seats from a friend of mine and they were behind the Miami bench. The team never got down, and the coaches never stopped working or teaching this young team. When Miami got within 10 I knew they were going to win this game. The GT fans around me knew it too. GT defense was beaten up all day long, and they quit by the 4th quarter. GT season is over now, and Miami may just shock college football with their season.
Now Miami moves on to NC State, and Coach Tom O’Brian who I have great deal of respect for. NC State has a very good QB too. The game will be at noon on Saturday on ESPN U.
Well Ray Ray has finally broke the camels back. Al Golden cut him and gave him permission to transfer to another school. The rumor is he was taking benefits from booster and then tweet about them. What a waste of talent and what a major blow to the hurricanes secondary. He was the best defensive back Miami had. Now a younger defense is going to get younger.
Well the 2nd scrimmage was last night and from what I have read it mostly a defensive game. With the injuries at the offensive line and Morris out for spring, I don’t we are to see the real Miami offense.
I’m going to right after the 300 lb elephant in the room, the flyer looking for men to try out at offensive line for Miami. Woody Paige is one of the many douche bags that work for the 4 letter, try to be funny and say all the quarterbacks should transfer out of Miami. Woody is your basic 4 letter talking head, which never faces the players or coaches he criticized. Unless they are brought into the studio in a format to protect the talking heads. I miss the days when Jim Everett physically challenged Jim Rome after Rome called him Chris Everett. Everett tossed the table, and Rome scurried like little mouse in the corner. Unfortunately, the Jim Rome show was a foreshadow of what sports media was going to be. The link is below to watch it again.
Basically Miami needs more practice players, especially on the offensive line. They have three true freshmen coming in this summer. Art going to get this offensive line improved before the Boston College game. I wrote before I thought it was a mistake to bring him back and I think Golden should have fired him after the season. There were a number of false starts that cost Miami victories last year. There was reason Art was sitting in Mississippi without a coaching job.
The NCAA has ruled on UNC’s football program, three years probation, 15 scholarships, and a one year bowl ban. UNC made a major mistake excepting a bowl bid this year. The other issue was the assistant coach John Blake lied to UNC and the NCAA about what he did. The NCAA banned him from coaching for three years.
What does this mean for Miami? Before the Yahoo story came out, the university was already working with the NCAA. They suspended players and removed a few as well. They gave up a bowl bid last year too. The person, who will not be named on this blog, was shown as a liar and con man who stole almost a billion dollars from investors on CNBC. While he did some money to some players, but nothing like he claims he did. The Yahoo story was changed at least ten times after it was first release. Shannon banned him from being near the football program. The question will be is what did the assistant Miami do or know? Miami has been fully cooperative during the NCAA investigation.
The bottom line is Miami will get a few years probation and lose about 9 scholarships. My hope is the former assistant coaches that were involved are banned from coaching for 3 years.
Offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson has been suspended for the first few days of practice. This is the second time the junior has been suspended. He was suspended last spring for the first game of the 2011 season before he had the back surgery. The rumor was him and former ‘cane and current UCF Knight; Storm Johnson were caught smoking pot by campus police.
Coach Golden made an interesting comment in his post practice press conference. He talked about pulling weeds when he should be watering his garden. The he made a comment sometime you get tired of pulling weeds and you have to get the shovel.
I think Henderson is on his last chances before being kicked out the program. I don’t know what changed with him between his freshman and sophomore year? He looked like he was on his way to being a key member of this team. I honestly believe Shannon was given the extension to sign Henderson and few other key recruits. Now it looks like he may go down as one of the biggest disappointments in the last 10 years.
In about an hour the 2012 University of Miami football team will step on the field for the first time this year. It has been over three months since they stepped on the practice field. Before I begin there is going to be a new twitter account for this blog. It will be @gacanefanblog, it will be open to all and tied to a new email address too.
Several writers have said Miami has a very difficult schedule with the three of the five first games on the road. Miami plays several tough teams next year, but they only have one tough back to back game. That being Vtech on Thursday and then going to Uva. They open with BC, and then go to K-State the following week. After that they don’t play a tough game till Notre Dame. Georgia Tech may be the worse team in the ACC next year next to Duke. Paul Johnson has put himself on the hot seat with his weak defense, lack of a real passing game, and acting like an ass about commitments. He was high school kids to keep their commitments to Georgia Tech and not visit other schools. The he turns around and try to change kids minds about their commitments to other schools. He was worn out his stay in Atlanta and will be fired by next December. The AD for GT may be fired as well after the basketballs teams’ poor year. I also don’t think NC State will be much of a challenge next year, even though I respect O’Brian as a head coach. UNC is also going to be down because of the transition of a new head coach and losing several key defensive players. Miami will have key breaks before playing FSU and Virginia Tech in conference games. I am not going to say Miami will win all their games, but the schedule is not as bad as being reported.
Coach Al Golden came out with the depth chart which he ranks who had the best of-season workouts. There wasn’t that amount of surprises as there were last year when he wanted to send a message to the team. Ray-Ray Armstrong was the only person who made the starting lineup that started last year. After last season I expect several changed on the secondary. When new incoming freshmen start practice in August, many of them will press the veterans for their starting positions. The other position to watch for is linebacker with Spence moving on to the NFL. The two linebackers for the state of Georgia will be interesting to watch; Kirby and Johnson. UGA and GT fans were not thrilled when they left the state.
The major battle for spring was going to be Morris and Williams for the starting quarterback job. With Morris limited in spring practice, that will not happen until summer practice. James has been listed at the starting running back, but Clements had a far better 2011. Miller seemed to burn out at the end of games, and Clements picked up the tempo when he got the ball. Unless something changes I think by the end of spring camp Clements will be the starting running back. The battle for receiver real will not start till summer ball. I expect Dorsett and Hurns to be the starters and the end of the year. The offensive line will be a battle this season. They have to stop making stupid false starts penalties. I still have a feeling that bringing back Art, could back fire on Golden.
I am going to try to write when I can this spring. I really have as much access as the Miami newspaper writers. They are only allowed to interview players and coaches before practice. The university records all of them and puts them on the internet. The spring game will be April 14th, on CSS. Which means it will not be live here in Georgia or the Carolina’s.
It has been a few months since I have posted anything on my blog. Between work, and family I have been very busy. All I can say for now if 2012 is starting to look like a real good year for me.
Now back to Miami football, which I can’t wait for spring ball to start. Spring football practice will start in early March, with the spring game at JRS on April 14th. I have a feeling it will be live on ESPN U at noon. The marketing department at the University of Miami has been doing an incredible job with their videos. With them being viewed on ESPN and UTube, it is putting Miami in a great light. I feel ESPN will reward the access Miami has given them by showing the spring game live on TV.
Golden has brought in a great recruiting class this year with many of them all ready enrolled. He has taken care of some major holes especially at defense back. With the signing of cornerback Trace Howard, Miami have a great shut down corner ready to start next year. I’m excited to see Randy Johnson get some carries next season too. He looked great in the state title games. The quarterbacks Miami has signed will be interesting to watch. They are both going to play spring ball, and have great expectations. Grey Crow is from the area I grew up in. I have to talk to people in the area that he tried to transfer to Clearwater Central Catholic, but the head coach did not want him. So he ended up at Countryside High School. Preston Dewey is getting a lot of praise of being the next great Miami quarterback. I’m looking forward to see them play in the spring game.
Paul Johnson had Trace Howard committed to Georgia Tech, but his threat to pull the offer for visiting Miami turned him off. A local radio host in Atlanta said it best about Paul Johnson. Johnson wants his kids to keep their commitment to Georgia Tech and not take any other visits. Yet Johnson has no issues going after other team recruits who have committed to other schools and takes visits to Georgia Tech. I expect another 6 win season for Johnson, and for him to be fired by this January. The NCAA has already started looking into his contacts of recruits during blackout periods.
Miami’s schedule should come out next week. The ACC did announce that Pitt will be joining the Coastal division and Syracuse will be in the Atlantic division. There will also be 9 conference football games. I was hoping Syracuse would be in the Coastal division because of all the former Big East schools in the division. I am not sure what Miami is going to do for their out of conference schedule. I expect Florida A&M or Bethune Cookman to play Miami every year. Then a team from the Sun Belt or C-USA, then some school from a major BCS conference. It’s starting to look like their will be five major conference with the Big shutting down football if and when they lose Notre Dame. From there, they could be a four or six team playoff.
With Streeter, Forston, and now Miller leaving is that a good thing for Miami? Other then Miller none of these the players are ready for the NFL. Streeter needs one more year, and honestly I thought he could be an All-American next season. Forston just never worked out, not every player coming out of high school turns into a great player. I also don’t blame Drew Rosenhaus, the final decision to leave for the NFL draft is the players. I think both players are dealing with seeing their friends they played with a Miami NW and Miami for eight years moving on. So they feel they are being left behind, so there are moving on. Miller is going to be the second best back in the 2012 draft. He should be picked in the second round. Miami has plenty of back to replace him. I really like Clements to be the main back in 2012
I think this may be a good thing for Miami, because all of the Miami NW class of ’08 is gone. Golden is brining is kind of player with the work ethic he wants. The players he brought in were young this past season, but they play better then the upper classmen. This will free up two more scholarships Golden can use to replace them.