| 3 years ago||
just more of what we already know
WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN The Hurricanes have been playing football since 1926, and never before --- in terms of margin of defeat --- have they been engulfed in a tailspin quite like the one they’re mired in now: Five losses in their past seven games, all five by 18 points or more.
Oh, there have been a lot of blowout losses before but never this many stretched over so few games, and it's pretty staggering when you consider the lofty company this proud program used to keep when it ranked among college football's elite. For perspective, UM once went 10 seasons without five blowout losses (1984-93). Larry Coker had only three in six years before he was fired.
And there’s this: Against teams from major FBS conferences (even including the Big East), UM is 18-16 in Al Golden’s three-plus seasons, and seven of those 16 losses have been by margins of 18 or more. His ACC record is 13-12.
So how do former Canes standouts feel today?
“I’m fed up,” said former Canes and NFL defensive back Duane Starks, now a WQAM analyst. “Maybe I have to get over there and [give] them some pointers. [Louisville] is a mediocre team. What does it say about us?”
Starks isn’t alone; other former Hurricanes reacted angrily on Twitter and elsewhere after Monday’s loss in Louisville.
Ex-cornerback Phillip Buchanon has nicknamed Golden “Folden” and tweeted: “Folden is not getting the job done as a head coach or special teams coach. Folden’s leadership was always a major issue here…. “So he brings in a few good a.ssistant coaches, but the changes should have come at the coordinator positions. When you have a lot of time to prepare for a game and your approach and adjustments suck, that’s a major problem.”
Former Canes defensive lineman Allen Bailey added: “Has to be some major changes done.”
Several ex-players took issue with the conservative offensive approach. Packers executive Alonzo Highsmith tweeted: “Gotta play faster on offense and turn the QB loose. You gotta throw the ball downfield!”
Clinton Portis: “We have too many open playmakers to not open up the field. We have to open it up.”
Gino Torretta, on The Ticket: “I would have lined up in three, four wides and then run the ball. You have to do something to shake their defense.” Torretta said there were several things UM could have done, but did not do, to make it easier for Brad Kaaya. Among those he mentioned: Screen passes for Duke Johnson.
Michael Irvin bemoaned: “They know you are afraid to throw the ball!” --- which allowed Louisville to stack the box.
At least Golden had the sense to admit today that UM played too conservatively Monday. Some former players also questioned defensive decisions. “No re-routing in this weak 3-4 defense,” Buchanon said on a Twitter rant. “We need to be more aggressive with strong zone blitzes with clearly defined zone responsibilities. The secondary is playing like robots with soft coverage and weak technique. Go back to the 4-3 defense.... The defensive linemen are in offensive linemen stance. We are not fundamentally sound on counters.”
Starks said: “If you are going to have a fourth guy standing up, send him! Don’t have him stand there in limbo.”
Warren Sapp mused, during the game, that a 3-4 defense “is covering grass if you can’t run or blitz.”
As usual, emotional Dan Sileo erupted on Twitter. “Congrats, Al Golden,” Sileo said. “Canes are now the Temple Owls.” Sileo, now a San Diego radio host who often goes overboard in his criticism, added: "Golden used the Shapiro card for three years. Team is awful."