However, he has seen them jog to the finish line in the last two games, despite both being victories. This week, in Miami's ACC Conference opener, Shannon points to last season's 20-15 win over Duke as motivation for what not to do – underestimate their opponent and finish them off even when victory seems certain.
"We won't take them lightly," Shannon stressed during the Tuesday press conference. "Last year they took us down to the last minute. This team understands what Duke is about and the pressure they put on us last season."
Last season's victory over the then-winless Blue Devils came with a scare. Entering the fourth quarter, the Hurricanes were leading 20-2. However, Shannon recalls the team not playing strong in the fourth quarter as the reason why they eventually needed a game saving interception by defensive back Willie Cooper to continue Duke's then-14 game losing streak.
In the final quarter, Duke would score two touchdowns to pull the score within five. Leading 20-15 the Canes were in a situation where current Duke and former Hialeah Miami Lakes quarterback Thaddeus Lewis put his team in a position for a game winning drive before the Cooper interception.
"They never quit, they always keep fighting they always keep playing hard throughout the entire game ," Shannon said. "They have the capability of making big plays and that is how they get back into the game."
Shannon would like to avoid anything that resembles last year's close win. However, the ‘Canes have had issues this season with finishing off opponents.
Last Thursday versus Texas A&M the team allowed 17 fourth quarter points in the victory. They also allowed 108 total yards in offense after only allowing 132 yards in the previous three quarters.
The week prior versus Florida International the team made mistakes and let up a 65-yard touchdown pass in the final quarter, which shifted the momentum and allowed FIU to advance the football in the quarter for 125 yards of total offense after only 139 in the previous three quarters .
For the Hurricanes to ultimately be successful Saturday and win in impressive fashion, the team will need to close the deal and play as strong in the fourth quarter as they did in the first three.