Canes Get Defensive in Opener

Sure, Marshall wasn't USC out there on offense. However, the Hurricanes played very well on defense and allowed the offense to get some momentum going into next week's game against Oklahoma.

There were a lot of question marks heading into Miami's season opener against Marshall on Saturday. Some were answered, others weren't.

Being the season opener, it's always hard to get a good read on a team -- especially when you're playing against a team who finished last season under 500.

The 1-2 tailback punch of Javarris James and Graig Cooper looks impressive. They complement each other so very well and it's hard to imagine there being a better combo anywhere in college football. As good as they looked, however, next week will be a much better indicator of where they're at on a national level.

The offensive line played very well. They hustled. They didn't make many mistakes. Kirby wasn't pressured too much. It was good to see so many guys playing. Chris Rutledge was in the game early and often at tackle. Orlando Franklin, the same at guard. A.J. Trump played a lot late in the game.

Defensively, the line couldn't be blocked. Some of that probably has to do with the idea that maybe Marshall's O-Line isn't too good right now. If they're half as active next week as they were today, Oklahoma's offense is in for a long afternoon.

The linebackers seemed active and didn't appear to miss many tackles. You've heard the comparisons enough but doesn't it seem like Colin McCarthy is a lot like a young Dan Morgan out there?

One of the biggest positives, I think, to take from today was the lack of penalties committed by the Hurricanes. Seven for 50 yards in the season opener isn't too bad. Most of the penalty yardage came on being too aggressive (compared to mental mistakes a lot of other teams playing for the first time make, including Marshall today).

The Randy Shannon era kicked off with an impressive four touchdown victory. Next week things get a whole lot harder and we'll have a much better idea of how good this Miami team is going to be after next Saturday.

Stay tuned to for complete post-game coverage and analysis on the game.

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