MY THOUGHTSA win is a win. One point, 35 points, it doesn't matter. This team neeeded a win and they got one, 14-13 over Houston last Saturday.
Congrats to Javarris James and his 148 yards although it was not a true freshman record as it was originally reported. Frank Gore had 153 as a true freshman in 2001.
With three cupcake opponents on the schedule (yes that includes North Carolina despite a loss in 2004) Miami should be 5-2 heading into Georgia Tech week. How good is #18 Georgia Tech (4-1, 2-0)? Well they just beat Virginia Tech and are the favorites to play in the ACC championship game against #15 Clemson (4-1, 2-1).
These three games are key to getting back on track and creating positive energy around the program.
Speaking of positive energy, I'm honestly wore out with all of the negativity. Whether it's directed towards Coach Coker, the coaching staff, the players, the athletic director, the admissions office, the president, and even our staff at CanesTime--it all gets very old and it isn't any fun.
So these next few weeks, let's all try to make a conscience effort to enjoy the three wins and all of the positive plays. Forget the losses, forget your thoughts on the coaching situation, or your thoughts on the lack talent.
Enjoy the games and enjoy being a Hurricane fan.
STOCK UP• RB Javarris James - His 148 yards on 18 carries against Houston was great and appears to be locked into the starting role.
• FB James Bryant - Bryant caught the game-winning touchdown last week and is taking advantage of his playing time as a junior. Don't be surprised if Bryant is rewarded this week with a carry or two.
• QB Kirby Freeman - He is expected to receive ample playing time against a struggling North Carolina team. Look for Freeman to take advantage of his playing time.
STOCK DOWN• RB Tyrone Moss - First it was his knee, then it was migraines. Things aren't looking good for the senior as he finds himself in a tough position behind three backs.
• K Jon Peattie - He's missed three straight field goals and nobody is happy about that including Coach Coker.
• TE Greg Olsen - Too many drops and not enough plays. He's aware of the expectations the team has for him and is due for a big game.
FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES• After talking with Jon Peattie this week about his rough start to the season, I believe the season is not lost for him. If he gets his opportunities I think he has the ability to go on a nice run and reversing his 1-for-4 start. Also, I think too much blame is being placed on him. The two misses against Louisville were definitely not ideal, however when you lose 31-7, it's hardly the kicker's fault. It sure didn't help that he had just one attempt in the first two games and I still believe he would benefit from taking kickoffs.
• Speaking of rough starts, I believe Greg Olsen's struggles lies solely on the fact that he does not wear receiver gloves. Yes I know it's a simple theory and if he was legitimately one of the best tight ends in the country, he would catch the balls that have been thrown to him. However, I definitely think if he starts wearing gloves, you'll start to see his numbers go up.
• If you've read my stuff over the past three years, you would know that I think very highly of Derron Thomas. Last week against Houston, he came off the bench and did his thing with two 9-yard runs and a 5-yard run as UM ran out the clock on the one-point victory. On Thursday, Coach Coker was asked why Charlie Jones was ahead of Thomas on the depth chart and Coker responded, "Charlie Jones is a better player." I disagree. I believe Thomas is faster, quicker, has better vision, hits the holes harder, and has big-play potential. But can he pass-block? I have full confidence that he can. Hopefully Thomas and his 9.4 yards per carry average will receive more meaningful carries as the season goes on.
• Former UM offensive lineman Eric Winston is back in Miami and visited yesterday's practice. Winston is currently a reserve guard for the Houston Texans and is adjusting to life in the NFL. He's doing well as he has a number of veterans on the line and is just waiting for his opportunity—an opportunity that is likely to come at some point during the season as a veteran is likely to get hurt.
• Speaking of former Hurricanes, I ran into former UM defensive end Thomas Carroll who's back in Miami and in the process of beginning his coaching career. Carroll is interested in working with former Hurricane Michael Barrow at Homestead High School. He is also interested in being a graduate assistant coach if the Homestead position does not work out.
• Another former Hurricane, Travarous Bain is doing very well as a senior cornerback at Hampton University, a Division I-AA school in Virginia. Bain (6-0/175) is one of the top five ranked senior NFL Draft prospects at non-BCS schools by The Sporting News. Through five games Bain has four interceptions and Hampton is 5-0. His four interceptions is tied for third in I-AA (a total of 116 teams). Bain played two seasons at UM, 2003-04 and redshirted in 2002.
BASKETBALL NEWS & NOTES• While it appears a number of Miami fans are upset and on the verge of jumping off the bandwagon, Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem is not one of those. Haslem, a four-year starter for Florida, insists he will always be a Hurricane fan and the Gators are his second favorite team. (A little side note for Heat fans, Haslem was sporting new Converse shoes on Monday at the Heat media day and has been wanting to make the switch from Nike.)
• Staying with the Heat theme, former Hurricane Robert Hite is attempting to make the squad as the 15th guy on the roster. He's competing for a back-up point guard position with fellow undrafted rookies: Chris Quinn, Daniel Horton, and Vincent Grier in addition to third-year player Antonio Burks. Hite is not a favorite to earn the spot although he does have the local angle in addition to being athletic and a good shooter. Adapting to point guard won't be easy for former shooting guard.
• UM men's basketball assistant coach Butch Estes likes the group of guys on the roster and said they are really working hard for the 2006-07 season. Their work ethic and willingness to take in coaching will be the key to their season this year as a number of players are inexperienced and unproven.
SOCCER TEAM UPDATESophomore forward Rachael Rigamat scored two goals this week including the game-winner on Sunday in a 1-0 upset over No. 8 Virginia. Rigamat from La Crescenta, Calif. leads the team in goals with four. Miami (7-5) will play at Maryland on Sunday before returning to Coral Gables with a home game on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.
VOLLEYBALL TEAM UPDATEThe volleyball team has two home matches this weekend on Friday (8 pm vs. N.C. State) and Sunday (1 pm vs. North Carolina). The Hurricanes are 5-9 this year. Jill Robinson, a senior setter, has five straight double-doubles.
Christopher Stock can be reached at email@example.com