Football, Sports

Inconsistency plagues mediocre Canes

Allen Hums, wide receiver originally from Miami, scores during the first half of the game on Thursday against Virginia University. Zach Beeker// The Miami Hurricane

At 4-4 and 2-3 in the ACC, Miami could easily be considered mediocre, the victim of unrealistic preseason expectations for a program that struggled with many harsh realities.

But the road the Hurricanes took to this average record was anything but mundane, with countless swings and swoons along the way.

The new week breeds new hope.

Against Duke (3-5, 1-3 ACC), currently the only team behind the Hurricanes in the Coastal Division, there again exists an opportunity for Miami to get back on track for the remaining few games this season.

In every major team statistical category, the Blue Devils rank in the bottom third of the ACC.

The one area in which Duke has shown productivity is through the air, where junior quarterback Sean Renfree ranks third in passing yards per game,  even though he’s thrown just six touchdowns.

“There’s so many catch-and-run plays with Duke, and Renfree does a great job of making the ball catchable, so there is a lot of yards after catch,” head coach Al Golden said. “I think that is a credit to Coach Cutcliffe. They get the ball out quickly, which also puts you in a bind. Are you going to rush four and only have seven in coverage?”

That question – what this defense must do to improve against the pass – has yet to be answered this season. Even with the addition of Ray-Ray Armstrong, whose production has not truly reflected his talent or ability, Miami has allowed offenses an average of 207 yards in the air per game.

The Canes are also third-to-last in rush defense in the ACC, leaving serious holes that one strong player or scheme could not possibly fill. That being said, linebacker Sean Spence has given it his best shot.

While Miami stands in the middle of the pack in terms of yards surrendered through the air, they have intercepted the ball less than every other ACC team – just four times all season.

“[McGee] needs to challenge the guy a little more and trust his technique, his talent,” Golden said of starting cornerback Brandon McGee. “He made a physical play against Georgia Tech and didn’t quite return. I’d like to see him make that physical play and return – have the confidence to return and fight through it. Have the confidence to be a little more aggressive, not reckless, but be a little more aggressive and assertive.”

At times this season, all aspects of this team have looked to be above average. Some playmakers , such as quarterback Jacory Harris and running back Lamar Millar, have teetered on the edge of elite status.

But just as the bright spots shine brighter, a bad game, an uncharacteristic mental lapse or demons of the past show themselves again. However, a bit of patience could be worthwhile in the end, as all of these problems  – some of which persist all the way up through the coaching staff – are correctable.

Saturday’s game against Duke could be the next shred of disappointment this season, or could renew optimism for the end of this year and the future. At this point, it is anyone’s guess.

November 2, 2011


Austen Gregerson

Staff Columnist

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.