OL Resurgence

The Miami Hurricanes defense has given up 1,492 yards and 100 points over the past three games, so clearly if any finger pointing is going on, it has to be at the defense. Right?

Not according to members of the offensive line who are disgusted with their play and put the loss against North Carolina last Saturday squarely on their shoulders.

The everyday person would probably say those offensive linemen have lost their minds, but football players know it all starts up front on the line and UM's line didn't pave the holes necessary for Frank Gore and Tyrone Moss to run through against the Tar Heels.

Entering the UNC game, the Canes were averaging 146.5 yards per game on the ground, but couldn't get any rushing attack going against North Carolina. The Canes were held to a season-low 77 yards rushing on 23 carries by one of the worst rushing defenses in the nation. That amounts to a 3.3 yard average per carry, something that is unacceptable to this offensive line.

Even worse was who it came against because it's hard to explain how Miami can run for 151 yards against the top-ranked defense in the nation at N.C. State and then get smothered by the one of the worst.

"Guys didn't play to their technique and responsibilities," guard Chris Myers said. "We lost the game on the offensive line because we didn't run the ball."

Most people would argue that if the defense hadn't surrendered 545 yards to North Carolina and let the Tar Heels run the ball up and down the field all day the story might have been different, but the offensive line takes this personal.

They note that the defense saved them against Florida State and was the key to wins against Houston, Louisiana Tech and Georgia Tech while the offense was still struggling to get its act together.

"When we played FSU, the offense did nothing for most of the game," center Joel Rodriguez said. "If the defense had just one slip up, we wouldn't have won that game. But when we needed to run the ball, we couldn't do it."

The players don't know why they blocked so poorly when attempting to run the ball, but said they had to correct it.

"We have to be more physical," Rodriguez said. "We have to stay on our guys longer. We didn't do that against UNC. The will has to be there to run the ball. As an offense, we feel we let our defense down. We had a chance to bail them out, but we just didn't run the ball."

With Clemson's 73rd ranked rushing defense awaiting the Canes in the Orange Bowl Saturday night, there is no time better than the present for the Canes offensive line to take out its frustrations.

"You have to focus on the team at hand," Myers said. "Run blocking is an effort deal. We simply have to stay on our man until the whistle blows."

While the Canes run blocking has slipped, their pass blocking has improved and Brock Berlin's phenomenal numbers over the past four games are a testament to that as he's thrown for 1,111 yards, 13 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions while completing 57.3% of his passes.

What the Canes need though is to put one game together where everything clicks something that Coker says still hasn't happened.

"There is no better remedy than taking out your disappointment on the team you are playing the next week," Rodriguez said.

So those Clemson Tigers better keep their heads on a swivel or that offensive line will knock it off.

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