A Fixed Point In Time Part III: The 2006 Season

A Fixed Point In Time Part III: The 2006 Season

Dan E. Dangerously
Miami and Louisville have a weird history. The two programs are oddly linked together despite having barely played each other over the past 80 years. There was a ton of back story to this bowl game that I wanted to include in my The More You Know post. I started going off on 2 separate tangents so I had to cut most of it out. I still liked those tangents, so I made this so I could expound on it a bit. This is the third and final part, which deals with the 2006 season and how the game against Louisville helped shape the direction it went.



Man...by this time we were already dead as a program. Most were still in denial about it, save for a very vocal minority. After getting curb-stomped by LSU in the Peach Bowl to close out 2005, Larry Coker was forced to shake up his staff. He fired assistants Art Kehoe (OL/TE), Dan Werner (OC/QB), Don Soldinger (RB/ST), and Vernon Hargreaves (LB). They were replaced by Rich Olson (OC), Todd Berry (QB), Joe Pannunzio (ST/TE), and Mario Cristobal (OL). He also had to replace Curtis Johnson (WR) and Greg Mark (DL) who each left on their own for separate reasons. They were replaced by Marques Mosley (WR), John Palermo (DL), and Clint Hurtt (Asst. DL). The shakeup didn't help much. If anything it made things worse.



2006:

The offense in the Kyle Wright era was just a disaster. The coaching wasn't any better. Miami opened the 2006 season against FSU for the 3rd year in a row. Both offenses were putrid but FSU capitalized on more opportunities to win another sloppy, low scoring affair 13-10. The biggest problem with those FSU games on Labor Day wasn't how awful the games were, it was that it gave both teams a false sense of where they were at. "Only scored 13 points against UM? Must be because their defense is top notch." And vice versa. The fact was that both teams had become shells of their former selves and neither fanbase was willing to admit it. Miami managed to beat up on FAMU 51-10 the week afterwards to notch their 1st victory of the season.

Louisville 31 - Miami 7

Miami walked into the week of the Louisville game as underdogs to the hometown Cardinals. Former Miami-Edison star Nate Harris (a one-time Miami commit until he was arrested for his role in an armed robbery) was making sure UM knew it too. Harris decided he was going to chirp the Hurricanes in the media all week. He was blasting UM for dropping him in the wake of his arrest and brought up how hypocritical it was that they still took Willie Williams. He was also talking trash...alluding to the fact that UM had fallen off from what they once were. Kyle Wright got pist off and went on Dan LeBatard's radio show to respond by saying:

Kyle Wright said:
...We're not gonna let some kid from Louisville - who couldn't get into Miami; determine how we're gonna go out and play. Of course it gets you fired up, but it has no effect on me. we want to go out and kick their ass...
That's tough talk, but it didn't end there. The team, in an attempt to show how they relished the underdog role, decided to rock the stormtrooper look. After all, it worked against Virginia Tech the year before so it must work this year too, right? Ya know, just show up to the game with a U on the side of your helmet and walk out with the victory. That sort of thing. Just in case the team didn't show you just how fake-tough they were already, they decided to do something Louisville fans and players alike tell every visiting opponent not to do. "Don't stomp on our bird".

Back in 2004, the week before they played Miami, Louisville hosted East Carolina. ECU decided they were going to try and get inside Louisville's head, so they jumped up and down on the Cardinal logo before the game. Louisville responded by stomping them 59-7. A few weeks later, Cincinnati saw what ECU did and thought stomping on the logo was a great idea, so they did it too. Louisville crushed them 70-7. Mark Dantonio was still the Bearcats' coach back then and tried to claim after the fact that he didn't tell them to do it, but he did. Three more schools tried the same stupid act...all three got smoked for their actions. So naturally, Miami felt they needed to poke this bear because nobody tells Miami what to do. SMFH. So when Miami got done with their warmups, they gathered at the logo and started stomping on that stupid bird right in front of the entire Louisville team that was still warming up.



If you're gonna do something like that you better back it up. Things looked good early. Already up 7-0, Miami was driving and inside Louisville's 10 yard line in the first quarter. Then on 1st and goal Charlie Jones fumbled, and Nate Harris (yea, same guy) was there to recover it. Late in the 2nd quarter Miami was still leading 7-3. Louisville started having some success in the running game and got near midfield. Eventually they went play action which caused Kenny Phillips to bite hard. Brian Brohm lofted a pretty ball deep to Mario Urrutia. Glenn Sharpe dove to break the pass up but failed to do so, and it was off to the races for Louisville. Lovon Ponder came over from the other safety spot but Urrutia's stiff arm kept him at bay for the final 15 yards on the way to a touchdown.



It was a huge momentum play for the Cardinals right before halftime, and gave them a lead that they never relinquished. Even though the game was close it felt like we were being dominated. The defense had held them all game except for the one big play right before halftime. The problem was our offense hadn't done much of anything either. It was only a matter of time before the walls caved in on themselves.

When Louisville got the ball back in the 3rd quarter they quickly moved to midfield. Once Louisville crossed over to Miami territory they noticed Miami was stuck in an unfavorable personnel package. Upon noticing that the Cardinals went into a no-huddle offense, something they hadn't done all game long. They ended up scoring another touchdown so fast it only took negative seconds for it to happen. Brian Brohm got injured early in the 3rd quarter as well. It didn't matter because back up Hunter Cantwell came off the bench and led them to a few touchdown drives of his own. They were already missing they're Heisman candidate running back Michael Bush, and when Brohm went down their offense didn't miss a beat.

After building a commanding 31-7 lead Louisville just drained the clock to put the game to a merciful end. In the closing seconds their whole team ran onto the field to show Miami how to properly jump up and down on their logo. Then it happened.



Check out the guy behind #85's left shoulder. That is the first documented footage of an opponent mocking the U hand gesture on record. History had just been made. They'll probably make a 30 for 30 film about it someday. I can hear the tag line voice over right now, "What if I told you...the University of Miami used to be good in football?" Pretty embarrassing to do what we did in the pre-game and then get waxed like that. We looked like complete schmucks. It also continued a narrative that the national media had been slowly trying prop up since the 7th Floor Crew stuff became public in 2005. The LSU shoving match after the Peach Bowl combined with the fact that Brandon Meriweather and Willie Cooper were involved in a shooting at their home, the narrative that was building was that the Miami program was out of control.

There were two interesting things that happened as a result of this game, the first of which is hilarious. You may or may not already know, but in the 2nd half a certain poster on this board jumped over the rails from the stands and verbally assaulted Paul Dee as he was trying to leave the field. It almost makes me wish I went to this game just so I could have witnessed it. Almost. Hopefully the poster in question is reading this so he can retell his side of the story. I don't want to put his username out there if he doesn't want to be remembered for it all these years later. I instantly giggle whenever the image pops up in my head. The thought of an angry fan chasing down the late Paul Dee and his futile attempt to escape him is just funny to me.

The second thing that happened was that the tide started to turn against Larry Coker amongst the fanbase. It moved beyond just petty message board squabbles and angry talk radio callers. It went to what mattered most; alums, administrators and what few boosters we have. People had been bitching about the man for several years by this point. With fan unrest at it's zenith they wanted to do something about it to show their displeasure.



With the Coker hate reaching new heights in the post game meltdown thread at CanesOverHere.com, the topic of the Butch Davis banners came up. Someone quipped, "So...how much does a banner cost anyway?" That's what kicked off the whole thing. UM had a bye week, so the group at COH pulled the money together in that time. Those banners were flown over the Orange Bowl for the game against Houston. A game we barely won 14-13. This thread and this thread are all that remains from the banner exploits. They're still good reads with some names of posters you'll recognize, others you won't. I recommend reading them, if anything for posterity's sake. There's also this one, where some guy tried to berate them and got owned in a major way. The lulz were plentiful.

There was of course some pushback. Someone funded a "counter banner" (is that even a thing?) that said something to the effect of "real fans support our coach" or some such other nonsense. I'm not suggesting these banners got Coker fired, but they brought the debate about Coker's job into the national media. They were even discussed on College Gameday that week.

One of the bigger talking points in Coker's defense was how well behaved the team was in his tenure. The classic Miami persecution complex kicked in and had brushed aside the 7th Floor Crew rap song, the Peach Bowl dust up, the Cooper/Meriweather incident, and the Louisville stomp as media hype. There were also some people that looked at our remaining schedule and realized the season wasn't completely lost yet. Our next three games were against UNC, FIU, and Duke. Should we win all of them, we'd be 5-2 going into our matchup with Georgia Tech, which figured to be the deciding game in the Coastal race. We won easily against UNC and figured to do the same against FIU.

The FIU game was one of the dirtier contests I had seen in a while (even before the brawl). Greg Olsen was knocked out of the game with a direct hit to the head while he was trying to reach for an overthrown pass from Wright. Later FIU was hoping to take a 1st quarter lead until Kenny Phillips came up with a big interception in the endzone. While sitting on the ground he got cheap-shotted by some guy like 30 seconds after he caught it.



The cheap-shots continued and there was something going on after almost every whistle. The referees did nothing to get the game under control. In the second half with Miami up just 7-0, Freshman Colin McCarthy blocked a punt and Miami got the ball in FIU territory. FIU committed 3 consecutive face-mask penalties to put Miami inside the 10 yard line. Two plays later James Bryant scored and bowed towards the crowd, which drew a flag. With a 2 possession lead FIU knew the game was basically over (that's how bad they were). They hadn't been interested in playing football all night and were looking to start a fight all game long. They got one.

[video=youtube;FNypDGoC_8M]www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNypDGoC_8M[/video]



As far as I'm concerned Derrick Morse deserves induction into the UM sports hall of fame for his textbook body slam of that hapless FIU choad. The media killed us, practically blaming the entire incident on UM. They seemed to focus only on the actions of Reddick and Meriweather, mainly because nobody knew FIU even existed. Whatever. Nobody knows they exist to this day. What's important is that the last line of defense, that Larry Coker was leading a classy program, was now ripped to shreds. Comments made by Cane legend Lamar Thomas during and after the brawl didn't help matters.

Miami had to suspend 13 players (including 4 DB's in the 2 deep) for the Duke game. They still found a way to hold on for a 20-15 victory. With that public relations nightmare lingering for weeks, Miami had two big Coastal matchups coming up that would decide their ACC fate. The first was at Georgia Tech which Miami lost 30-23. That was followed by a tough loss to Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl 17-10, in which Kyle Wright suffered a season ending injury. After the embarrassment of the Louisville beat down, the banners, the brawl, and now being all but eliminated from another ACC title, it didn't seem that the season could get any worse. But it did.

[video=youtube;32-ALDp0pO0]www.youtube.com/watch?v=32-ALDp0pO0[/video]

Bryan Pata was murdered after arriving home from practice during the week of the Maryland game. It was another horrible incident, but this one put everything that had happened earlier in the season (and sports in general) into proper perspective for everyone. Everyone except for Jon Saunders and Mike Wise that is. Saunders chuckled on air when the news broke and remarked, "when will they ever learn". Wise wrote some awful article criticizing the school for still playing the game against Maryland a few days later.



The Maryland game was as frustrating as the whole season had been, ending in a 14-13 loss. Ryan Hill dropped a sure touchdown in the 4th quarter that would have given UM the lead. Ordinarily you wouldn't blame a loss on a freshman DB who was recently converted to wide receiver. But with Kirby Freeman making his 1st career start we needed everyone else to play perfectly to have a chance. Another loss to UVA in Charlottesville by a score of 17-7 wrapped up an awful 4 game stretch which left Miami with a 5-6 record. It meant the Canes needed a win against Boston College in the final game of the season just to become bowl eligible. Miami managed to win an ugly game against Matt Ryan and the Eagles 17-14. After the game the players grabbed a banner from the stands that a fan had made and dragged it out onto the field.


Are anyone else's allergies acting up?

Following the game a reporter asked Larry Coker if he felt confident in his job security. He said yes and remarked how all of his coaches were going out on the road the next day to help sign another great recruiting class. The school had other plans. Coker was fired the next day and those assistant coaches were told to stay on campus. An awkward joint press conference followed where it was revealed Larry would remain in place for the MPC Computer Bowl in Boise, ID. The school began a search for his replacement under the advice of coaching head-hunter Chuck Neinas.

Everyone assumed that Greg Schiano would be the guy they would go after. After all he had UM ties, and just wrapped up an amazing season where he turned Rutgers into a winner. It wasn't to be, and a few weeks later Schiano told Paul Dee he wasn't interested in the job. As a result, Miami ended up turning to Defensive Coordinator, and former player, Randy Shannon. Keeping a coach from a failed staff to replace the old one?



Seems legit. I guess they assumed Randy had all the answers to what Coker was doing wrong, but he just felt like keeping those answers to himself all those years. The fanbase was mixed on the hire initially, but fans were willing to give the man a chance. Mostly because he was a former player. With the coaching decision out of the way UM turned it's attention to the bowl game with Nevada.

This was before Boise State became Boise State. So the blue turf was still cute back then even though it made your eyes hurt. Nevada was coached by Chris Ault who had some gimmicky offensive formation he created and ran called "The Pistol". It calls for the QB to be lined up closer to the line of scrimmage than he would in the shotgun. Yea, something like that will never work. Lucky for us somebody named Colin Kaepernick was redshirting that year. Chavez Grant made a game clinching interception to help Miami escape with a 21-20 victory. Kirby Freeman won MVP for the game because of his two fluky touchdown bombs to Ryan Moore and Sam Shields. It allowed Larry Coker to end his tenure as Miami's coach "a winner". It's also currently the last bowl win on record for Miami.



With the Coker era ending, thus began the Shannon era. During the game Erin Andrews leaked that Randy was trying reel in recently fired Arizona State head coach Dirk Koetter to be his offensive coordinator. He ended up turning it down and became the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Eventually Georgia Tech's Patrick Nix was hired for the position. Randy remarked how his offenses gave him fits saying:

Randy Shannon said:
...You always judge a coach on what they present...Patrick Nix did a great job against us last year adjusting to what we did as a defense. And, as we adjusted on defense, he adjusted on offense again to keep us off-balance. Imagine what he’ll do against other defenses...
This was after Randy announced that some members of Coker's staff would be staying on, most notably Clint Hurtt and Joe Pannunzio. Mario Cristobal wouldn't be staying and Randy hired Jeff Stoutland to replace him. Hurtt, Pannunzio, and Stoutland...interesting names. The Shannon regime was in full effect and this t-shirt was made, with links all over Canesport for people to buy it.


Yes, this was a real thing too

LOL. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Comments (35)

Please don't do part 4! It just keeps on getting worse.
 
That was a depressing read.
 
Please don't do part 4! It just keeps on getting worse.
Part IV will be the recap of the RAB. I'm hopeful it won't be as depresing.
Do as many parts as you want!! You already know but your posts are extremely well done and entertaining. Very thorough and well-paced reviews (WITH PICTURES!!!).

However, I must say I'm a little disappointed there was no mention of A'Mod Ned (and no awesome photoshops). Such as:
 
...There were two interesting things that happened as a result of this game, the first of which is hilarious. You may or may not already know, but in the 2nd half a certain poster on this board jumped over the rails from the stands and verbally assaulted Paul Dee as he was trying to leave the field. It almost makes me wish I went to this game just so I could have witnessed it. Almost. Hopefully the poster in question is reading this so he can retell his side of the story. I don't want to put his username out there if he doesn't want to be remembered for it all these years later. I instantly giggle whenever the image pops up in my head. The thought of an angry fan chasing down the late Paul Dee and his futile attempt to escape him is just funny to me...
Highlighting this portion in case he doesn't read the whole thing.
 
...There were two interesting things that happened as a result of this game, the first of which is hilarious. You may or may not already know, but in the 2nd half a certain poster on this board jumped over the rails from the stands and verbally assaulted Paul Dee as he was trying to leave the field. It almost makes me wish I went to this game just so I could have witnessed it. Almost. Hopefully the poster in question is reading this so he can retell his side of the story. I don't want to put his username out there if he doesn't want to be remembered for it all these years later. I instantly giggle whenever the image pops up in my head. The thought of an angry fan chasing down the late Paul Dee and his futile attempt to escape him is just funny to me...
Highlighting this portion in case he doesn't read the whole thing.
Is he very well known on here?
 
...There were two interesting things that happened as a result of this game, the first of which is hilarious. You may or may not already know, but in the 2nd half a certain poster on this board jumped over the rails from the stands and verbally assaulted Paul Dee as he was trying to leave the field. It almost makes me wish I went to this game just so I could have witnessed it. Almost. Hopefully the poster in question is reading this so he can retell his side of the story. I don't want to put his username out there if he doesn't want to be remembered for it all these years later. I instantly giggle whenever the image pops up in my head. The thought of an angry fan chasing down the late Paul Dee and his futile attempt to escape him is just funny to me...
Highlighting this portion in case he doesn't read the whole thing.
Is he very well known on here?
Not really, but some older posters probably already know who I'm talking about.
 
Thanks for bringing up what I burried years ago. Good stuff tho anyway.

These past decade is why we are the way we are..

We are all aching for this **** to be turned around. We need this win against UL bad!!!!
 
...There were two interesting things that happened as a result of this game, the first of which is hilarious. You may or may not already know, but in the 2nd half a certain poster on this board jumped over the rails from the stands and verbally assaulted Paul Dee as he was trying to leave the field. It almost makes me wish I went to this game just so I could have witnessed it. Almost. Hopefully the poster in question is reading this so he can retell his side of the story. I don't want to put his username out there if he doesn't want to be remembered for it all these years later. I instantly giggle whenever the image pops up in my head. The thought of an angry fan chasing down the late Paul Dee and his futile attempt to escape him is just funny to me...
Highlighting this portion in case he doesn't read the whole thing.
Is he very well known on here?
Not really, but some older posters probably already know who I'm talking about.
I remember him bragging about it when it happened. I was supposed to drive down from Chicago (where I was living at the time) to go to that game too. I'm glad I didn't or I might have been on the field with him.

Oh, and dammit, Dan, I'm depressed again.
 
This is an awesome chain article keep it up, learning some many things I wasn't aware, thank you for this
 
It's been a horrible decade to be a fan...

Really weeds out the band wagoners from true fans though
 
It's been a horrible decade to be a fan...

Really weeds out the band wagoners from true fans though
They'll be back as soon as we're back, and as much as they annoy me, I really don't care. They're no worse than some of the dumbass fans we have on here.
 
Damn! Schiano turned the job down! Because the administration had fucked the program up and Schiano knew Rutgers was a better program than the U. Yea until last year rutgers was preferred over the U. As much as we beat up the previous coaches the decline of any program can be directly attributed to Administrators whose responsibility is to make all entities at the U top notch. They failed at that miserably!!
 
Not on topic with this thread but just saw on a website that devonta freeman posted a pic with cook and treon Harris and basically said both of his lil brothers were noles. I think we know where he's headed.
 
the media was so out of control after the FiU fight. As Dan said, FIU was cheap shoting the entire night and final,y got what they were looking for....but lf course Miami took the heat.
 
I have that Got Randy shirt. Needless to say it hasn't been worn in years.
 

2021 Commits

OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
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6'4"
290
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
WR
5'11"
160
Fort Lauderdale, FL
OT
6'7"
255
Pompano Beach, FL
CB
5'10"
145
Miami, FL
TE
6'2"
205
Miami, FL
CB
5'11"
160
Fort Myers, FL

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