K9Cane's Korner - Canes Play 8-Ball in Blacksburg

K9Cane's Korner - Canes Play 8-Ball in Blacksburg

k9cane
The Hurricanes improved to 5-3( and 2-2 in ACC play) with a resounding 30-6 bludgeoning of the Virginia Tech Hokies. It's Miami's first victory in Blacksburg since 2005( which is perhaps the last year that UM could be considered an elite program). The story of the game was one Randy 'Duke' Johnson who gashed the Hokies for 249 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown. Johnson and the offensive line were the story of this game, they dominated upfront all night long. James Coley made his intentions very clear from the very first drive by giving it to his franchise back three times. And even though that initial offensive foray resulted in a three-and-out, this offense just kept body-punching the Hokies and by the second quarter, they were shoving the Hokies around.

But the question again is(again): how much do we take out of this victory? Yeah, beating Vatech in their backyard is never an easy task, they haven't done it often the past two decades but this Hokies team is a far cry from the one that upset the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Horseshoe.(Or perhaps Ohio State and JT Barrett are a far cry from that September match-up.) But a win is a win, and it's Miami's first road victory of the 2014 season.( We are allowed to be happy about that, right?)

Some thoughts on this game...

- Duke was Duke. It seemed out of the first dozen or so plays, Johnson was involved in almost every single one. They even busted out the 'Duke-cat' which was effective. But as much his performance will be talked about, just as big a story is why was he still in the game in the later half of the 4th quarter when the game was well out of reach? That's maddening and it's all on Al Golden and the staff. Bottom line, it was dumb and ill-advised and it nearly became disastrous as Duke got dinged late. It's very simple, without 8, this offense loses it's heartbeat. No matter how good Kaaya is or will be, Duke is the nucleus of this offense. Why even risk an unnecessary injury?

Up 24-0 late, everyone - except it seemed the Miami staff - thought it was time to pull him outta there. Don't want to put too much of a damper on this win but this was mind-boggling on many levels.

- OK, time to eat some crow, Gus 'the Bus' Edwards played a very nice game. He ran decisively, showed off a new jump-cut, actually ran with a nice lean and moved the pile. When he made his catch downfield in the first quarter, I thought my slanted eyes were deceiving me. I still think at times he's too slow to get started and not a very good short yardage runner but tonight he played the best game of his Miami career.

- Kaaya, didn't put up big numbers, in fact, they were downright pedestrian( 7 for 16, 92 yards and a TD). But he played winning football. The throws he hit were key. Especially the big 3rd down throw to Duke on the wheel route with a guy coming right on his chest. IIRC, that kept a drive going and eventually led to a 10-0 lead. He protected the ball well and played within the game plan and did the little things like never taking a sack. Sometimes stats don't tell the story and for Kaaya to lead this team to their first road victory is pretty big.

- More crow to eat, here, Arthur Francis Kehoe's unit has really come on in recent weeks and despite some injuries but they have played well and Nick Linder has been a revelation. The word was that this kid was a bit light in the ass and not ready to play major snaps but Linder has been rock solid. Now, the caveat is that this isn't a very good Vatech team but I thought the unit played well. I don't recall any false starts or really big hits on Kaaya tonight.

- Defensively, I'll let the guru's talk more about this, but it did seem like a more aggressive defensive unit upfront. But I found Vatech's offensive attack puzzling. Not until late in the game did they even try to really throw downfield, for much of the contest it was a series of bubble screens and short stuff that UM was able to sit down on. I thought the Miami defense played down hill more than at anytime during the Golden era - but again, maybe that has a lot to do with the offensive ineptitude of the Gobblers.

- I've always felt that Raphael Kirby looked better than he played but I thought tonight he was actually decisive in his play and was a disruptive force who actually got into the backfield a few times. Jermaine Grace just continues to develop and shows why guys like LuCane were so high on him. He just has a natural fluidity and range to him. And Denzel Perryman was his usual self. I think he's the best pure hitter at LB that Miami has had since Nate Webster.

- Artie Burns, I think he continues to play up to his physical abilities. He really struggled vs. Nebraska but the past few weeks he has steadily come on and playing much more aggressively and fast.

- Another guy who's stock is rising is Justin Vogel our punter. He may not be Pat O'Donnell in terms of leg strength but his directional/coffin corner kicks have been getting better and better. One other special team note, once again UM gave up another long KO return. From opening night in Louisville this particular unit has been hit or miss and it hurts not having a guy who can boot it half-way into the endzone on a consistent basis.

- Looking at this schedule, outside of FSU, who shouldn't Miami be favored to beat? And while tonight was a solid victory, it's also an indictment on the staff. Seriously, outside of the Noles, who has more raw material than Miami? Yeah, I'll say it again, this is not a vintage Vatech club( and Frank Beamer might be the Mack Brown 2010-2013 stage of his tenure) but I just see this Miami team and I can't help but think that they should be better than 5-3. Print out this roster and in 3 to 4 years compare how many NFL'ers Miami has versus every team on this years schedule. I'd be willing to bet that UM would be no worse than second in that department to the Seminoles.

But hey, it's a prime time, Thursday night, road win. Here, here...( or hear, hear, as AUCane pointed out to me!!!)
 

Comments (41)

Great take, k9.

"hear hear"
 
Outstanding article..

Agree on all fronts..

I want to see Dobard get worked into the offense more and announcers said JY had a hamstring injury. I'm excited to see where this run game can go.
 
Duke definitely should not have been in there in the 4th quarter and I'm sure he wouldn't have if yearby was able to go. Still he should have not been in there. Give tucker a few carries if you have to. We dodged a bullet for sure. I am definitely going to enjoy watching Duke play his final few games with the Canes. An absolute joy to watch and he is a great kid too.
 
Good article. Nice win. Worst VaTech team I've seen in perhaps over 20 years.
 
Always look forward to k9cane and Dan E. Dangerously's summaries. Even though it was against a seemingly bad VT team, it was at their home and against a team that beat the Bucknuts earlier this year. Duke was great to watch, it was inspiring to see Carter there with the team again, and maddening to see Golden keep putting Duke out there until Duke was almost injured. The game gave me hope for the rest of the season but it also did not give me hope that the coaching would be better.
 
Good win, happy for Duke, he really showed out on national TV, hope he made some money for himself. I agree that it is maddening to watch us play like that last night, particularly in the 1st half, and realize we are 5-3 against this crappy schedule in this crappy conference. I hate Golden.
 
At Lville at night first game of the year, at Nebraska on a Saturday night, at GA Tech at night after they have a week off to prepare and we don't, Duke at home and At VA tech at night (even though they are down) is not a crappy schedule. Should we better than 5-3, yes but most likely 6-2 not 7-1 or 8-0. Keep being miserable Scuba after a very nice win. Not sure why you even bother to watch the games.
 
Thanks for the post OP. This season:

2-0 in conference play when the DBs are in press, LBs are close to the line and our blitz launch points aren't 5 yards away from the LOS.

0-2 in conference play when we revert back to the 7 yard cushiony Temple BS we have seen too much of.

Go Canes!!!
 
I may be wrong, but I could've sworn I saw Golden on the sidelines mouthing to Coley to "take him out" (Duke I assume) in the 4th. Glad it didn't bite us.
 
CT, These fools are not happy unless bitching. They know a true freshman started at QB against Louisville an Nebraska on the road and they expected to win those games. They will tell you the defense is terrible,poorly coached and Al has brought in jag talent and yet they are outraged win the team loses the road games. They want to play on both sides the fence,that way their view is never wrong. They think because they have 9,000 posts they are message board kings and think of their selves as such. Really it is sad because it really means they have no life. They want their beloved Canes to lose because they hate their selves for never doing enough with their life to get into coaching at the college level. They are not qualified to even post a resume at the U but yet they have all the answers. They are right about one thing,the players deserve better,better fans!
 
At Lville at night first game of the year, at Nebraska on a Saturday night, at GA Tech at night after they have a week off to prepare and we don't, Duke at home and At VA tech at night (even though they are down) is not a crappy schedule. Should we better than 5-3, yes but most likely 6-2 not 7-1 or 8-0. Keep being miserable Scuba after a very nice win. Not sure why you even bother to watch the games.
thank you for being a voice of reason. The negativity is so hard to deal with at times.
 
Even though it was a sub-standard VT team, that was fun to watch. Say what you will about the defense, they were tagging people. Nice to see some aggression and attitude on that side of the ball. I hope they can carry that against the higher caliber offenses. Good going D!!
 
I may be wrong, but I could've sworn I saw Golden on the sidelines mouthing to Coley to "take him out" (Duke I assume) in the 4th. Glad it didn't bite us.
Golden ran his hand and wipe his brow virtually freaking out realizing that his season may have down the the tubes with Duke injured; he freaked out knowing he had dodged a bullet!
 
- More crow to eat, here, Arthur Francis Kehoe's unit has really come on in recent weeks and despite some injuries but they have played well and Nick Linder has been a revelation. The word was that this kid was a bit light in the ass and not ready to play major snaps but Linder has been rock solid. Now, the caveat is that this isn't a very good Vatech team but I thought the unit played well. I don't recall any false starts or really big hits on Kaaya tonight.
Nothing like concerns about job security to help you find your focus.
 
I may be wrong, but I could've sworn I saw Golden on the sidelines mouthing to Coley to "take him out" (Duke I assume) in the 4th. Glad it didn't bite us.
Golden ran his hand and wipe his brow virtually freaking out realizing that his season may have down the the tubes with Duke injured; he freaked out knowing he had dodged a bullet!
I saw that too. He looked like he just had a minor heart attack. Bottom line; it was his decision to leave Duke in and that decision/non-decision nearly ended our season. My approval rating on Golden took another huge hit last night just for that.
 
CT, These fools are not happy unless ****ing. They know a true freshman started at QB against Louisville an Nebraska on the road and they expected to win those games. They will tell you the defense is terrible,poorly coached and Al has brought in jag talent and yet they are outraged win the team loses the road games. They want to play on both sides the fence,that way their view is never wrong. They think because they have 9,000 posts they are message board kings and think of their selves as such. Really it is sad because it really means they have no life. They want their beloved Canes to lose because they hate their selves for never doing enough with their life to get into coaching at the college level. They are not qualified to even post a resume at the U but yet they have all the answers. They are right about one thing,the players deserve better,better fans!
Ok, but with that being said, can you say that the Nebraska loss was because UM had a freshman QB? Kaaya played awfully well that night in Lincoln did he not? He wasn't a liability either vs Gatech. IMO, the coaches hand-cuffed the offense opening night.

Not trying to start a pissing contest( there enough of those on here) but our freshman qb has been one of the best facets of this team in 2014, has he not?
 
I think Brad has been as good as we could hope for being a true freshman. I did not expect to win the Nebraska game or the Louisville game coming into the season. G.T. game is where we **** the bed.
 
We lost the Nebraska and ga tech game because of bad scheme and execution on defense. Kaaya has really played well and equally as important smart the whole season.
 
Great write up. Duke earned NFL $$$ on Thursday. Kaaya is what we have been missing for so long. He is a Miami QB. Reminds me of Bernie, only a little less awkward. He can take us to NC and win Heisman. Beating the crap out of VT is one of the better feelings in Cane football. If we can just get one more wide right loss out of the criminoles it can take some of the nasty taste of the rest of this year. I'll pass on any comment about staff so as to not ruin the good feelings.
 

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140
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200
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