Football

No excuse to drop the ball this season

Fourth-year head coach Randy Shannon said it would be a “process” to turn this program around to national prominence ever since he was named head coach Dec. 8, 2006. Each year, Shannon has improved UM’s win total by two games. The time is now for UM to take an even bigger step. There is no excuse for UM not to be playing in Glendale, Ariz. on Jan. 8 for the BCS national title game. Below are the top-five reasons the U has no more excuses. The time to win is simply now.

5) All tough ACC games for UM are at home.

Miami plays Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech at Sun Life Stadium this year. Miami has yet to beat North Carolina in the Randy Shannon era and the Canes avoid traveling to Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va. It is one of the most hostile stadiums in the country. Miami needs to rely on the fans to be the 12th man because these are crucial games if Miami wants to win the first ACC title in program history.

4) Shannon is in his fourth year.

Shannon received a four-year contract extension in the offseason so he knows his future is secure. Miami has only had one arrest in his three years, and Shannon preaches academics as a focal point to these student-athletes. Shannon has produced a great Academic Progress Rate during his tenure. But it’s time to do big things on the football field. He has more than enough experience as head coach now. Clock management, in-game adjustments and finishing the season should be better. Miami has faded in the late months.

3) Lots of depth if injuries occur.

With the exception of linebackers and tight ends, Miami is deep at every position. Every team sustains injuries throughout the four-month grind. Miami has a strong scout team to prepare them for upcoming opponents. They have lots of depth to keep bodies fresh and coaches will continue to rotate players to give opposing teams different looks. Being “nicked up” is no longer a valid excuse.

2) Same offensive and defensive coordinators.

For the first time in the Randy Shannon era, Miami returns its same pairing of offensive and defensive coordinators from the previous season. No new playbook to learn for either side of the ball. Players should be comfortable and familiar with all the terminology now. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple’s pro-style offense is very aggressive and defensive coordinator John Lovett’s 4-3 defense has good schemes.

1) Not young anymore.

The core of the team is juniors and seniors. Allen Bailey, Leonard Hankerson and Orlando Franklin passed on the NFL and came back for their senior seasons for a reason. They knew something special was brewing. Shannon’s heralded top-ranked recruiting class in 2008 has now matured and is at junior status. The chemistry is there between the players. They have the experience and now they need to make proper adjustments to get better. The margin of error is a lot slimmer in college and these veterans need to execute, communicate and win ball games.

Justin Antweil may be contacted at jantweil@themiamihurricane.com.

August 29, 2010

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Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer


3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “No excuse to drop the ball this season”

  1. Kendra says:

    Hi, I was wondering if someone could help me I’m trying to find a complete 2011-2012 fb schedule I’m interested in surprising my boyfriend by taking him to a Miami game he is the biggest fan EVER and I want to take him when the Hurricanes play against Florida State; this will be our honeymoon were getting married in June next year but I’m wanting to give him this for a wedding gift.if you could please help me with the date of this game.
    Thank you
    Kendra

  2. Jacory's pink suit says:

    There will be a new set of excuses in 2011. No more Berry, Franklin, Figs, Bailey, Hank, maybe Benji/Byrd, McCarthy, maybe B Harris, Bosher, etc. This is the best senior class we’ve had in a long time, so why are they exempt from National Title being the goal?

    And it’s not like the 2011 schedule is any easier than 2010…FSU, UNC, VT are all ROAD games, while this year those are HOME games.

  3. Nate S. says:

    Justin, it’s obvious that you just don’t understand college football. Yes, it’s possible for Miami to win the national title, just like it’s possible for almost anyone in the top 15 of the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The problem is that by setting up an unrealistic expectations, you’re also setting the student body up for the kind of fall that blinds us to what truly would make this year a fairly successful one. Considering our schedule, what we have coming back, and what should be worried about, if we can get at least 10 wins, win the ACC, and win a BCS game, that is a successful season.

    Anything beyond that is gravy. I know a lot of our fellow ‘Canes know little to nothing about the history of the program but this year is pretty similar to the 2000 season. We were coming off a solid season, in which we showed flashes of brilliance, but we weren’t all the way back from the probation era . We had some solid talent across the board, but we had some question marks. We also had some serious road games to worry about(Washington). That season turned out to be fairly good, going into bowl season with 1 loss, a Big East Conference Championship. We won the Sugar Bowl against UF, and that set us up for the 2001 season. That’s how this season should really work out. With what we should have returning for the 2011 season, this year should be major, but 2011 should be “Title or Bust”. Pushing that forward just leads to people getting their hopes up, and not looking at the big picture. The big picture is that the odds are against us going undefeated, and unless something odd happens, I don’t see us being able to jump the teams ahead of us, even if we have only one loss.

    If Boise beats VT, they will most likely finish out undefeated, assuring themselves a spot in the BCS Title Game(Whether they should be there is another story), and odds are a team like Texas, Bama or even OU as a darkhorse will get that second spot. We are stuck in a similar spot to 2004 Auburn. They were good, and went undefeated in the SEC, but was left out of the title picture, just because they started the season ranked in the teens. If a SEC team, an SEC team that was dominant couldn’t jump into the race, odds are even us, with a better OOC schedule than Auburn, couldn’t make the jump too, unless we went undefeated.

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