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Props Slaps
 9 years ago '04        #4021
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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Young team man, this was expected from a 90% freshmen team.. but the future is bright. I know personally some of dem boys at the U and they put this behind them already, and they finna take it on fsu next week. They ain't finna slide like they did against these fu*king baby blue powder colored motherfu*kers.
 09-28-2008, 09:08 PM         #4022
feardafoot  OP
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 Cap Peeler said:
Young team man, this was expected from a 90% freshmen team.. but the future is bright. I know personally some of dem boys at the U and they put this behind them already, and they finna take it on fsu next week. They ain't finna slide like they did against these fu*king baby blue powder colored motherfu*kers.
Slide? I feel you man. Dont give Carolina no credit just put it on youth even though we are just as young as yall.

Anyway yall were favored by 9 and it should have been more the way yall smacked A n M.... You gotta hate Carolina i feel you.. We coming up too so don't ever take Carolina litely...
 9 years ago '04        #4023
booie4 
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Jason Fox

On the emotions he feels after losing the game...
"We lost. I am not excited and we all hurt. We can take positives from this right now later when we watch the film and try to improve on things, but this is a game we should have won and we didn't handle business."

On what the locker room was like after the loss...
"It was almost like dead silence. We were close, but we didn't finish. After Coach Shannon talked to us, a couple of the guys were just saying to keep your head up and encouraging each other. That loss definitely hurt."

On if he was confident the team would come back to win after UNC took the lead...
"Absolutely, we were talking to each other saying if they score here, we can come back and win this. We were one play away and we were going on the football field and it was in every one of our mindsets to march it down the field and score. We are on the right track, but it didn't happen for us."

On if this team has what it takes to bounce back from a tough loss...
"No team wants to give up now and pack it in and give up. We know how good we are and how good we can be if we improve, so that is in everybody's mindsets and that is our job now."

Colin McCarthy

On what he feels like was the one thing that allowed for UNC to win the game...
"We just didn't finish. That has been kind of a problem since last year going into last year and we need to get it corrected soon."

On the big scoring plays the defense allowed...
"Our main goal was to stop the run and they got big plays. Two or three of the touchdowns were huge pass plays. We need to get that corrected obviously because it is going to hurt us the rest of the season if we give up long deep balls."

On what UNC was doing offensively that was challenging for the defense
"We had them in third and long opportunities and they converted them, which hurt us. That was our main goal. Their starting quarterback was hurt and going into the game we wanted to get pressure and force them into third and long which we did and they converted. When they did that they got some momentum and they hit the big plays which k!lled us."

On the play of the secondary...
"On the plays where they got beat, they went for the interception instead of just going for the sure tackle. If they make a tackle it is a 15 or 20-yard gain and we line up and play. Basically we are trying to limit the big plays by making tackles and lining up and playing again. Obviously they went for the interceptions, they didn't get them and they scored."

Travis Benjamin

On the Florida State rivalry...
"I am excited because this is my first time playing in it and I look forward to doing good in the game."

On finishing the game out...
"The coaches talk about finishing every play and I feel like we are finishing, but it is not the right way. Our offense did good and our defense did good. It was like a crack in the window and they just slipped in there."

On his role in the game...
"The coaches wanted to get the playmaker the ball and they had put me on some reverses and running routes so they could get me the ball. In high school I did a lot of that. I pretty much did everything for my team."

Xavier Shannon

On finishing the game out...
"Basically what it boils down to is that we just have to finish. That is what is stopping us from being a great team. We are not finishing together on offense, defense, and special teams."

On if the offense eased up with a 10 point lead...
"We played Charleston Southern and we had a big lead and we noticed people were laxing up, but at the end of the game you have to finis. At Florida we were up 9-3 in the fourth quarter and we didn't win that quarter and we didn't finish. At Texas A&M we were up 41-10, but we didn't score more points and we didn't finish. The same thing happened today."

On his thoughts going into the final offensive drive...
"I am thinking in my head the entire drive that this is a drive that will define this program. This is a great moment in this program's history and we just didn't finish."

Dedrick Epps

On the loss...
"Like Marve said earlier, it was very difficult because we know we should have won that game. All week we just talked about finishing in the fourth quarter and we didn't finish in the fourth quarter. That's what it boiled down to."

On playing Florida State next week...
"Florida State is a big rivalry so coming off this loss, that's big motivation to go out there and win next week."

On his performance...
"Even though I had a couple of catches, I think I had more drops. I don't want to dwell on the good, just work on the bad."

Chavez Grant

On the inconsistencies...
"I don't even know. The defense played great at times. The offense played great some times. Some times they didn't, but you can't put it on one side of the ball or one phase of the game."

On his pass interference call late in the game...
"I had a pass interference on a play. I thought it wasn't. The ref thought it was."

On the missed opportunities and mistakes...
"Everybody had a chance to make plays and everyone made mistakes. That's part of the game."

Aldarius Johnson

On his first touchdown catch at UM...
"I just seen Marve rolling so I had to roll with him. He threw me the ball and I came down with the catch."

On getting ready for FSU...
"Come in tomorrow, practice hard, do what we got to do, finish every play."

On losing twice after never losing at Northwestern...
"It's sad losing. It just hurts. It's a nasty taste in your mouth. I ain't lose in two years. I don't know how it feels to lose so it hurts me to the heart to come out and lose."
 9 years ago '04        #4024
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Randy Shannon met with reporters on Sunday morning following the 28-24 loss to North Carolina on Saturday afternoon.

Shannon has watched the game and talked about various topics.

"We wish we had--not wish--we got good players," Shannon said. "We just have to coach them up to get it done."

************************************************** *

NEWS & NOTES

? WR Thearon Collier went to the hospital yesterday after being carted off in the fourth quarter. Shannon said he did not know what the injury was, but did say Collier is no longer in the hospital. WR Jermaine McKenzie, who has not played this season, will "probably" get a chance to fill in for Collier if he is unable to play this week against Florida State.

? OL Reggie Youngblood was on crutches today. His status is unknown.

? Shannon was not happy with the veterans' late-game performance including the blown coverage by senior CB Bruce Johnson, pass interference call on junior CB Chavez Grant, late holding calls on senior OL Xavier Shannon and junior OL Jason Fox.

"I think those are things that are frustrating," Shannon said. "You have seen this team change so much from last year. Just the mentality, how much we've grown, how the quarterback play has developed, how the offense has gone on, and defensively how we have shut down the run game."

Shannon did say some players called him after the game to say that their actions were unacceptable.

"That makes you feel good as a coach, but that don't change anything. A loss is a loss."

? The secondary continues to be an area of concern. Adding to the concern is depth as S Randy Phillips will be out five more weeks, S Vaughn Telemaque will be "out for a while", CB Carlos Armour has "been nicked" as well as S Joe Wylie. CB Chavez Grant was a bit banged up last game which leaves CBs Bruce Johnson, DeMarcus Van Dke, and Brandon Harris as the only healthy ones. At safety, Anthony Redd*ck, JoJo Nicolas, and Ryan Hill are the only three that are healthy as Lovon Ponder is still limited to special teams duties.

"We just have to keep going and coaching them," Shannon said. "We have to get our numbers up at that position during recruiting and coach the guys up that we have on the team to get a whole lot better. The defensive staff will do a great job of that and challenge them because there are too many deep balls."

? On the controversial kickoff return by Brandon Tate that was looked like he stepped out of bounds: "I couldn't see his feet," Shannon said. "I don't know if he was in or not. We couldn't get a good view on it. It was just one of those calls. If I couldn't see it on film, then you have to give it to the officials."

? WR Travis Benjamin will continue to be the team's primary returner as he provided a "spark" yesterday. This season, Benjamin is averaging 17.7 yards on seven punt returns.

? Shannon praised his team on kickoff coverage and punt coverage in holding down Brandon Tate. However, he would like to see Matt Bosher continue to improve on his kickoffs. Ideally, Shannon would like the kickoffs about three yards from the sideline, with hangtime, and around the 10-15 yard line. Bosher will continue to be the guy because freshman Jake Wieclaw is not ready.

"Jake is still learning how to place the football," Shannon said. "He'll go out there and hit five, but there won't be any hang time, it will be line drives. If they catch the ball with no hangtime they will be out at the 40 or 50. But he's getting there. We just have to keep working with him. I'm not saying he won't get there this year. If he gets better at it, maybe two games down the line, then alright Jake you are in charge of kickoffs."

? The offense had 309 yards and scored three touchdowns on 66 plays.

"Offensively we did a lot great things. Cooper had his second straight 100-yard game, Marve threw the ball well and spreaded the ball around."

? Shannon continues to refrain from voting in the coaches' poll by choice.

? C Xavier Shannon is having a trouble with high snaps during shotgun formations, but QB Robert Marve is doing a great job of catching the ball with one hand and staying composed.
 9 years ago '04        #4025
booie4 
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MIAMI, Fla. -- It's another painful loss adding to a list of painful losses that the University of Miami has suffered since 2006. In those past seasons, the team couldn't respond continuing to lose more and more close games. How does a team respond from such a painful loss? Can they respond from such a painful loss?

The pain wasn't only felt by the older players who will finish their careers with back-to-back losses to a mediocre North Carolina team. The younger players felt the pain of losing to the Tar Heels Saturday afternoon.

One older player in particular who felt the pain of the loss was senior defensive tackle Antonio Dixon. He had to be helped off the field by staff members because of the emotional pain he was going through putting his hands to his face mask as he left the field.

"Last year I got hurt against them. I tore my MCL and my PCL against them last year. Then it's an ACC game. We put our goals to beating every team in the ACC and I think we still can. We just have to finish," senior defensive tackle Antonio Dixon said.

The younger players also feel the losses especially since they don't know what it feels like to lose. However, it's something that pained them even more following the game as they saw their older teammates in the locker room crying over the loss.

"They seen what happened last year so it really hurt them a lot cause they beat them and the seniors was really crying and it's their last year and they might be their last chance playing against North Carolina so it really hurt them the most. It hurt me too cause I seen what they did last year. I felt like I was a senior today after the game, crying," freshman wide receiver Aldarius Johnson said.

The Hurricanes demonstrated last year that they were mentally weak losing a number of games that they could have won late in the game. The list is long. It includes basically the entire season of losses, but the ones that stand out are losses to Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Boston College and these same Tar Heels in 2007. All four games were theirs for the taking in the fourth quarter.

The slew of heartbreak stretches back to 2006 as the 'Canes lost games Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Virginia, all games that were winnable.

The difference between being a contender and a champion and being an also-ran is the ability to win games that are close in the fourth quarter, and unfortunately for the University of Miami football team, the 'Canes has fallen into the realm of also-rans.

Excuses are made that the team is young, that the 'Canes play a lot of freshmen. But that excuse is not entirely true. And the fact is, it's just another excuse to excuse the fact that this team simply loses games it should win.

A majority of the starters on the defense right now are juniors and seniors. The only first team players on defense who are not a junior or senior are sophomores Allen Bailey and Joseph Nicolas.

And players like freshmen Sean Spence and Brandon Harris who get a lot of playing time off the bench are extremely advanced in comparison to the normal freshman, i.e. they don't play like freshmen.

So how will this team respond when it's virtually the same team that was on the field last year sans a few players?

Time will only tell, but if you ask Johnson or Dixon, they both feel that FSU is the perfect opponent to respond against because it's not an opponent that they need any motivation to get up for because of the long standing rivalry.

"We are ready. I mean inside the locker room, coach Shannon told us don't hang our heads down. We got Florida State, an ACC game, we got to beat, got to find some way to win and finish," Dixon said.

Said Johnson, "It means a lot to me cause I always dreaming of playing Florida State for Miami. It's a big game so we got to come ready to practice and stay focused."
 9 years ago '05        #4026
booker20 
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it dont even feel like we play this weekend... I remember when this game meant something, but right now i just want my team to play football... I just want Ponder to go a game without throwin a terrible pick... should be a good game tho
 09-29-2008, 11:13 AM         #4027
The Lefty  OP
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at least the Gators got beat..
 9 years ago '07        #4028
ttime236 38 heat pts38
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Im tired of this sh*t...Marve better play the whole fu*king game this week and I honestly cant wait for new recruits in the secondary. Repeatedly kept tryin to make a play and end up getting beat

bruce and chavez just arent playmakers
 09-29-2008, 05:16 PM         #4029
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Yeah Jacory is my n*gga but that sh*t just fu*ked up the offensive flow. They need to go to AJ more down the field, guy is UNREAL. we need to get a sick pass rush cause like everyone is saying our secondary is getting roasted
 9 years ago '05        #4030
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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that sh*t funny as fu*k....Miami & FSU are too damn alike....because of qb play I give ya'll the advantage

118 other teams> FSU's secondary
 09-29-2008, 06:09 PM         #4031
Hurricane Ra  OP
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 P. Dedos said:
co sign everything u said


add that epps needs to get the rock more.. hes a beast running muthafu*kas over look at YPC average but the only problem we give him only 3 catches... throw the rock to him

Nix refuses to spread the field with deep passes


we got unbelieve speed with TB, collier and Kane!!



We need to run that Patriots offense from last year.. Always in shotgun, lots of motion and a lot of wideouts. Kane playing the slot like Welk and AJ like Moss and Collier playing that Stallworth role.. Lets GET IT!


I think the Canes will win against FSU.. I just want a shoot out so at least I can see some got damn offense.
 9 years ago '05        #4032
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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^^^^ I'm willin to take an L if we can score atleast 30...I wanna see some offense against a legit D, I thought we had play makers but it hasn't looked like it that much. Ponder will be benched by halftime and D'Vo will come in....<--- I know that sh*t is gonna happen
 9 years ago '07        #4033
ttime236 38 heat pts38
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Well be contending for that ACC title again next year with all the freshman getting experience. Marve, Johnson, Benjamin, Fortson, Spence, harris will all be stars
 9 years ago '04        #4034
madness 12 heat pts12
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kent
mcgee
reid
webster

plus b. harris, holton, telemaque, cookie buchanon

our secondary is lookin LOVELY for the future:applause:
 09-30-2008, 08:16 AM         #4035
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Brandon Washington the number 2 prep player in the country has committed to Miami (Remember he was committed before but didn't make the grades)
 9 years ago '04        #4036
booie4 
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UM players were upset after a crushing loss to North Carolina, and many of them got on the phone with coach Randy Shannon to talk about playing better.
Randy Shannon knew, but there was nothing he could do. His players were upset about their last-minute loss to North Carolina, and they wanted to share their anguish. So the University of Miami football coach's phone kept ringing Saturday night.

With Florida State on the horizon, the Hurricanes needed to discuss all kinds of things before they could move on to the Seminoles.

''I had phone calls last night from players stressing that what they did in the game was unacceptable,'' Shannon said Sunday. ``That makes you feel good as a coach, but it doesn't change anything. A loss is a loss.

``They're trying so hard to get it done when they just need to relax and play. We demand so much out of those guys, and everyone is entitled to make mistakes, but we don't need those guys to make mistakes in key situations. And they know it, and they talked about it last night.''

Shannon said he doubted he would have to drive home his point about not finishing games after this week. By now his players should know.

JUST `KEEP TRYING'

''All we can do is keep trying,'' he said. ``We're coming along [better] than we've ever been, but we're k!lling ourselves on one or two plays every game.

``That fourth quarter, we've got to turn the light on. They're not tired. That's what's amazing. Mentally, they've got to snap into the game.''

After the 28-24 loss, the Hurricanes (2-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) said they couldn't believe they fell short, and they vowed to rebound against FSU (3-1, 0-1). That game, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Dolphin Stadium, will be televised by ABC.

''A game like [UNC] doesn't have to motivate you for Florida State,'' said Kayne Farquharson, who couldn't get a grasp on what would have been the game-winning touchdown reception on the last play in the end zone. ``It's Florida State.''

Center Xavier Shannon, whose errant snaps have been sailing high and wide right to quarterback Robert Marve, was asked if he felt for Farquharson.

''No. I feel for everyone,'' he said. ``Everyone on this team hurts. That one play [did not] decide the game.''

Left tackle Jason Fox vowed not to go in the tank. The Hurricanes, he insisted, will bounce back.

''No team wants to give up now, pack it in and call it quits,'' Fox said. ``We know how good we are and know how good we can be.''

STILL IN THE RACE

The ACC is up for grabs, and UM still is in the race. Maryland beat Clemson on Saturday. Duke beat Virginia. Navy beat Wake Forest. Four teams in UM's Coastal Division of the ACC have one conference loss each. Only two teams in the Coastal -- Virginia Tech and Duke -- have no conference losses.

''I said at the beginning of the season it's a wide-open conference,'' Randy Shannon said. ``One thing we do in this conference is beat each other up.''

The defensive backs are struggling, and injuries are making it worse. Some of the injured: safety Vaughn Telemaque (unspecified), safety Carlos Armour (unspecified), safety Joe Wylie (unspecified) and cornerback Chavez Grant (ankle).

Also injured: tackle Reggie Youngblood (leg or foot) and running back Damien Berry (unspecified).

''He got hurt on a kickoff,'' Randy Shannon said of Berry.

Wide receiver Thearon Collier was taken to the hospital Saturday night but was released later. Shannon said Collier was ''banged up'' and might not be able to play against Florida State.

`NOTHING MAJOR'

''Everything we're getting, it's nothing major,'' Randy Shannon said. ``Most of it is lower body, legs, a lot of high-ankle sprains.''
 9 years ago '04        #4037
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES -- Saturday's game against rival Florida State is coming at a perfect time, according to University of Miami coach Randy Shannon.

The Hurricanes (2-2, 0-1 ACC) are coming off an emotionally bruising 28-24 defeat to North Carolina that saw UM blow a 10-point lead in the final nine minutes of the game.

Shannon believes squaring off against the Seminoles will sober up his team quickly.

"Oh yeah, that's a good thing," Shannon said. "We don't have time to think and dwell. We have to snap back and play. I think those guys will respond real quick."

Shannon generally praised the performance of his players against North Carolina except for some breakdowns - primarily by veterans - down the stretch.

Senior cornerback Bruce Johnson missed a tackle that turned into a 74-yard touchdown pass. Senior center Xavier Shannon and junior offensive tackle Jason Fox were flagged for critical penalties. Junior cornerback Chavez Grant was called for pass interference on Carolina's game-winning drive.

"Everyone's entitled to make mistakes, but we don't need these guys to make mistakes in key situations," Shannon said.

Several players called Shannon on Saturday night lamenting that their efforts against the Tar Heels were "unacceptable."

"That makes you feel good as a coach, but it doesn't change anything," Shannon said. "That loss is a loss."


Some other items of interest from Shannon's news conference on Sunday:


Shannon wasn't providing much information about injuries, but freshman receiver Thearon Collier was hurt seriously enough against the Tar Heels that he was taken to the hospital on Saturday night. Shannon said Collier was released, but did not detail what sent the 5-foot-8, 180-pounder to the hospital in the first place. If Collier can't play against Florida State, redshirt freshman Jermaine McKenzie "will get a chance to show what he can do..." McKenzie, a highly-touted receiver coming out of Bradenton, has yet to play for the Hurricanes.


Junior A.J. Trump started at left guard over sophomore Orlando Franklin against North Carolina. Franklin, an Atlantic High graduate, had started three of the final four games in 2007 and the first three games this season. "We're getting the more-experienced guy in there," Shannon said. "Orlando is just a true sophomore. He did play a lot last year, but he is still young. We started Trump to give us more knowledge inside. Bringing Orlando off the bench helped him a whole lot."


The Hurricanes have outscored opponents in every quarter, but the fourth where UM has given up 20 more points (37-17) than it's scored. But Shannon scuffs at the notion that his team may not be conditioned properly. "They're not tired," Shannon said. "Mentally they have to snap into the game, say 'Okay, it's the fourth quarter. Let's go. Let's make a play to finish this game out.'"(b) UM is ranked 78th nationally in pass defense (218 yards per game) and it's interception percentage (.88) is better only than that of Central Michigan (.61) and Kent State (.74).


Former Glades Central standout Travis Benjamin ranks 14th nationally with a punt return average of 17.71. "You know that return guy we've been talking about to give us field position change?" Shannon said. "He's that guy. ... If he gets it on kickoffs, he can get it to the 40 or 50. On a punt return, he can take it at the 30 and (take it) to the other side."


Shannon on the crowd of 35,830 that showed up for Saturday's game: "Miami has always been Miami. Even my years playing, we'd grab about 40,000 in the Orange Bowl except when you play Florida State, Virginia Tech, Penn State. The true loyal fans will be the 35,000 every game. That's just the way Miami is."


Senior safety Randy Phillips, who is expected to be out six weeks after undergoing knee surgery, may redshirt. "It's up to Randy," Shannon said. "It may be a subject when he comes back. He may come back and feel real good (and) want to finish the season."


Matt Bosher may not remain UM's kickoff specialist if he continues to struggle in that role. Shannon said freshman Jake Wieclaw isn't ready to a.ssume those duties just yet. "If (Wieclaw) gets better, maybe two games down the line, it's 'Okay, you're on kickoffs,'" Shannon said.
 9 years ago '04        #4038
booie4 
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With FSU next, fourth-quarter collapses concern 'Canes' Randy Shannon
By Shandel Richardson | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
September 29, 2008
CORAL GABLES - University of Miami coach Randy Shannon has yet to figure out why his team struggles so much in the fourth quarter.

After blowing a 10-point lead against North Carolina, closing out games continues to be a glaring weakness for the Hurricanes. They have outscored the opposition in every quarter this season, except for the fourth.

"They're not tired," Shannon said Sunday. "Mentally, they have to snap into the game and say, 'OK, it's the fourth quarter, let's go, let's make a play to finish this game out.'"

The problem dates to last season. They failed to make plays in the last quarter in close losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina. Then with a bowl berth on the line, they allowed two touchdowns in a 28-14 defeat at Boston College.



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UM can't get past UNC

Those struggles continued in losses to Florida and North Carolina this year. The Hurricanes trailed the Gators by six points in the second half before letting things fall apart in the fourth. They held a comfortable 24-14 lead against Tar Heels with less than 10 minutes remaining only to allow 14 unanswered points.

"We're trying," Shannon said. "Offensively, we're doing a lot of great things. Defensively, we're doing great things. But we're k!lling ourselves on one or two big plays a game."

Shannon addressed the issue with the team during Sunday's film session but said this will be the last time it is mentioned. He hopes the players now understand.

They have little time to dwell on the defeat with Florida State next on the schedule. The Seminoles are back at full strength after the return of several players from suspension.

They rolled to a 39-21 victory against Colorado and are eager to face Miami on Saturday after last year's outcome. FSU seemed to have the game in hand before the Hurricanes erupted for 13 fourth-quarter points in a 37-29 win.

It was one of the few times UM has finished strong during Shannon's two-year tenure.

"That's the good thing," Shannon said. "We don't have time to think and dwell. We have to snap back and play."

Three injuredShannon had no updates on tackle Reggie Youngblood, running back Damien Berry and receiver Thearon Collier, who were injured Saturday. Youngblood and Berry left in the first half with minor leg injuries. Collier was carted off in the third quarter and was taken to the hospital. Shannon said he's been released and "doing fine."

Thin secondaryWith injuries to Randy Phillips (knee) and Vaughn Telemaque (arm), the secondary has become thin. Shannon said there is a possibility of having only a three-man rotation at safety and cornerback.
 9 years ago '04        #4039
booie4 
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MIAMI, Fla. -- The Miami offense found new ways to get the ball to one of their most electrifying playmakers Travis Benjamin Saturday against North Carolina.

For the first time all season, Benjamin was the only punt returner used in the game and also was given the ball on two carries.

Benjamin returned three punts with an 18.6-yard average per return and carried the ball twice for 11 yards--both times gaining a first down.

The offensive stats aren't overly impressive, but what was impressive about Benjamin's performance was the different ways Miami was trying to get him the ball.

Benjamin is widely regarded as the fastest player on the Miami roster this year after blazing a 4.26 in the 40 during summer workouts.

Since then, getting the ball in Benjamin's hands became a priority.

"The coaches wanted to get the playmaker the ball and they had put me on some reverses and running routes so they could get me the ball," Benjamin said. "In high school I did a lot of that. I pretty much did everything for my team in high school."

Miami knows if they want to spark some big plays this season they will have to ask Benjamin to do a little bit of everything this season as well--whether it receiving passes, taking handoffs from the quarterback, or returning punts and kicks.

Head Coach Randy Shannon said part of the reason why Benjamin was given the ball in rushing situations is because he is still developing and learning as a receiver, so getting the ball to him in running situations is more of a sure thing.

"We are using his speed and trying to give a freshman some confidence real quick," Shannon said. "Every freshman learns differently and only certain ones can take in a lot and certain ones can't and we still have to be patient with him. We have to gradually bring him along."

One area Benjamin has made an impact on already this season is as a punt returner. Benjamin was given total punt return responsibilities against North Carolina and he responded with a 37-yard return in the first quarter. At Texas A&M, Benjamin had a 44-yard return that set up a touchdown going into halftime.

For the season Benjamin is averaging 17 yards per punt. Last year Graig Cooper was Miami's primary punt returner and averaged 4.8 yards per return.

"He is that return guy that can get the field position change that we have now," Shannon said. "He can change the field real quick for us. If he gets it on a kickoff he can get it to the 40 or 50. If he gets it on a punt return and he catches it on the 30 he can get it to the other side. We have gradually worked him in and he has a role in doing that."
 9 years ago '04        #4040
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MIAMI, Fla. -- Graig Cooper is taking full advantage of the additional carries with the injury to Javarris James.

After a 128-yard effort last week, Cooper turned in his second straight 100-yard game with 110 yards on 19 carries in Saturday's 28-24 loss to North Carolina. He also caught three passes for 29 yards and a touchdown.

"I still can't believe we lost," Cooper said. "We should have finished like Coach Shannon has been preaching. That's what we have to focus on this week."

His 19 carries and 22 touches on offense were both career-highs, which is something that should be expected with James out. With the additional workload, Cooper said he felt "good" after the game.

Cooper got off to a hot start rushing for 70 yards on seven carries in the first quarter as Miami jumped out to a 14-0 lead after his 11-yard touchdown reception.

Then, Cooper was limited to just three carries over the next two quarters.

Cooper insists that didn't bother him although North Carolina cut into Miami's lead trailing just 17-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

"I aint noticed it. That's how much of a team player I am," Cooper said. "I aint noticed it. I just wanted to win, that's all I wanted to do."

Cooper got the ball more in the fourth quarter as he had nine carries for 36 yards and helped build Miami's lead to 24-14 with 10 minutes left in the game.

However, two touchdown passes by Cameron s3xton gave North Carolina the come-from behind win, which was sealed by an interception by Trimane Goddard in the endzone as Kayne Farquharson was unable to come down with the reception.

"I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe it," Cooper said. "I seen that Kayne had the ball in his hand, but the other guy came down with it. At first I thought it was out of bounds, but it was an interception and I just walked off the field."

Quarterback Robert Marve completed 18-of-27 passes for 135 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

"Marve is a good player. I aint never lost confidence in him and still aint lost confidence in him," Cooper said. "I still have a whole lot of confidence in Marve."

Through four games, Cooper has rushed 291 yards and three touchdowns on 54 carries (5.4 avg.). He also has a receiving touchdown and punt return for a touchdown.

Miami (2-2, 0-1) will face rival Florida State (3-1, 0-1) in a battle of unranked ACC teams on Saturday at Dolphin Stadium.

"It's still the same (rivalry)," Cooper said. "We are better than what we showed, we are way better than what we showed. We just have to concentrate and focus in practice this week for Florida State."
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