Shannon Addresses Marshall Game

The University of Miami kicked off its 2007 season with a 31-3 win over Marshall. Read on to find out what Coach Randy Shannon is talking about.

"We came into this game with a couple things that we needed to accomplish," Randy Shannon said. "The first thing we needed to do defensively is tackle the football. Most games are won and lost with missed tackles and yards after contact, (and) guys not wrapping up, running their feet, those types of things. The defense did a great job of doing that. Next thing was special teams. We had to domnate special teams. We had some great punt returns, good field position throughout the game. The last thing was turnovers. We needed to create a lot of turnovers and also keep the offense from turning the ball over."

Shannon talked more about the turnover situation, including how a few fumbles were recovered by various players on the field.

"We had one interception and got some fumbles back," he said. "We're working every day in practice as far as turning the ball over, making sure offensive linemen are used to recovering the football. Sometimes you go in a game not having practiced it and they're gonna block on it like a whale and the ball team."

Shannon addressed the play at certain positions.

Quarterback: "Kirby did a nice job. He had one turnover and we won. We just want someone who gives us an opportunity to win the game."

Running Backs: "Both of them, if I'm not mistaken, had either over 100 yards or close to it. That reminds me of the days we had Edgerrin and Porits, you had Portis and Willis, (and) you had Willis and Frank Gore. When you get those kinds of conbinations you feel great about it. If we can keep wearing teams down like that and keep playing physical football and be aggressive, we'll be fine."

Penalties were not a major problem for the Hurricanes and Shannon addressed that situation.

"It wasn't discpline," he said of most of the penalties. "It was being physical (that was) a lot of what we did penalty wise. Did we have any delay of games, illegal formations? It was guys being physical. We tell them -- sometime with the atletes you have, you don't have to be aggressive. They'll sometimes make those guys miss. It wasn't a dicispline thing, just them being aggressive."

Shannon spoke abother other various issues.

On the defense coming up with some big plays, including interceptions from linebackers and defensive linemen: "That's rare. That's really rare. I think Calais's interception was unbelievable. He read a screen and that's something he's gotta do because he's been there long enough. Still marshall had a couple big plays down the middle of the field when linebackers didn't get in the right zone. The linebackers did a nice jon underneath. We need guys to drop in the right area. People are gonna take advantage of what they see on film. We gotta work in practice making sure those guys are dropping in the right area."

Running backs helping the quarterback: "I'll say this -- I remember watching the Broncos when Elway didn't have a (great running back. He was throwing 40, 35 times and couldn't win it. Then they got a good running back and he was throwing 21 times a game with the play action pass and running the ball. If you can run 35-40 and throw 24 times or less, you'll probably be in every game." Being physically prepared: "Think about it, we didn't have one offensive lineman come out. We didn't have one defensive lineman come out. We're in good physical condition. We practiced in the morning."

Going to the band following the game: "It's all about Miami. It's about the respect you gotta have, the pride in the school and in what you do. Every writer will take pride in every story you write. We're gonna have pride in our alma mater and gonna have pride in doings things the right way."

Bosher taking four punts to finally get a good one: "One he mis-hit, he was trying to get to the two yard line and he got it to the 20. The next one he got to the one. I don't worry about these things."

Using Cooper that early and often: "We got a rotation with those guys. They may go two series to get warmed up. Maybe next week Cooper will get the first two series. We're gonna switch it up all the time. Both guys carry the ball 19,20 times anyway. Really, starting doesn't make a difference."

Considering playing Kyke: "That never came up. It ain't gonna be a deal where you go out and score 75,000 points the first game. Once we got a feel for it, we'll be OK.

Offense catching up to the defense: "You know how many deep balls we gave up. That's unacceptable. It's not just the offense or defense. It's a team. It's a process we have to get done. We're gonna challenge these guys every day in practice, hold them accountable, and make sure they get it done."

Caliber of opponent changing next week, especially for the younger guys: "Oklahoma's a great team but I'm not gonna sit here and tell you we can't beat Oklahoma. I have confidence in this football team. We're going to Oklahoma, which is a tough place to play. But Miami traditionally has been able to play on the road in a lot of tough places. We're not gonna be cocky but we're gonna be very confident. These young guys got a lot of game experience. We had three scrimmages and all three were game type situations. It was like three preseason games. We played a lot of freshmens on kickoff and kickoff return and they did a lot of great things. Jo Nicholas got an interception late in the game. Next week, when we go to Oklahoma, we're not gonna pull them out because it's Oklahoma. These guys gotta be able to contribute."

High expecations: "My expectations are always high. I think that's my downfall. I take a lot of pride in the University of Miami, the city of Miami, and a lot of pride in Dade County. I get upset when the Marlins lose, I get upset when the Dolphins lose, the Florida Panthers. When we win I'm great. When we lose, I'm not great. I've always been that way. Expecations for this team are very high and I don't wanna settle for second fiddle. I'll give you this one story -- Eric Houston said 'coach, I wanna be on kickoff'. I said 'well Eric you're not on kickoff'. He said 'coach, i guarantee I'll make the first play of the game. I said OK. We got a special teams meeting and I told Coach Pannunzio we're gonna put (Willie) Cooper on the bench and start Eric Houston because he said he's gonna make the first play. I ran down the field and guess who makes the first play? Eric Houston. Expecations are high for guys to take it upon themselves. It's like having confidence and pride in what you're doing."

What's next: "It's just the first win and we have 11 more steps to go."

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