Canes didn't finish

Fresh off an 18-point victory on the road, Miami coaches broke down the Texas A&M film and found many areas that still need a lot of work. Perhaps the biggest issue following this win was the inability to finish the game well. Read on to see what's being said about that and about the game in general.

Head coach Randy Shannon talked about the Texas A&M game after getting a chance to break down the film.

"We threw the ball pretty well, ran the ball pretty well," Shannon said. "The offensive line protected pretty well. Offensively we have to stress finishing the game. The middle to late third quarter, fourth quarter we went into a lull, got satisfied. We have to finish that in practice."

"Defensively we missed too many tackles, too many that cost us positive plays for them. We had guys coming free on pass rush, and you don't get anyone on the pass rush someone's going to scramble, receivers get in open spots. Overall the defense kept fighting and kept playing. We got turnovers because that's what we emphasized. That was a major good part about it. But we still have to correct the little things, missed tackles.

"Special teams wise, Bosher didn't have a good day at all on kickoffs or punts. It was just average for him. The kickoff team did a little bit better than expected. We made some changes in the course of the game, found some guys that are going to help us out on kickoff now. Travis Benjamin was a tremendous asset as far as punt return. He got us field position for a touchdown. We have to keep improving each week."

Q: What do you know about North Carolina? A: Tonight we'll start grinding on North Carolina , see what they do on offense, defense, special teams.

Q: What kind of reception do you think Butch Davis will receive on Saturday? A: Me and him worked together a long time. We still have a great relationship. He's a good coach and has a good football team. I don't know what kind of reception he'll get. He's like any other coach coming to Miami . It'll be a big game for us.

Q: How hard is it as a coach to emphasize that there were mistakes even though you won handily? A: From last year, like we always say, we were able to get back in games, not finish and complete them. I also tell them about games I was in, like Maryland when I was redshirted. We were up maybe 30 something points and Maryland came back and won the game. Situations like that you have to tell them where Miami was coming from, how that game really started us on defense the following year, understanding how you have a team down, keep going, don't slack off. From the standpoint of offense you can get relaxed, and those relaxed moments kill you.

Q: Last year the team didn't finish well either. A: Two different teams, two totally different teams. We were down by seven points the first play of the game. Last year's team might have folded. This team didn't. This team came out and responded. It's two different teams, two different scenarios. After the game they were excited, but they were also disappointed because they know what we didn't do to finish the game.

Q: How important was it for you to score after they scored on that opening drive? A: I don't know if it was important. I thought the offense came out ready to go, and that was a big key.

Q: Will you keep Matt Bosher on all three units: Kickoff, field goals and punts? A: Yes, until somebody develops. That's the sad thing about it. He knows it. He's willing to step up to that challenge. We still work Jake at kicking, kickoff. You get a young kid out of high school who is kicking off of a tee, it takes them about a year. He's getting better, but he still needs improvement.

Q: You went out to help when the Texas A&M receiver got hurt late in the game. That is not something you tend to see from an oppsing coach. A: It was a hard hit and when he started moving I walked away. I always say this, in football if you can protect the athletes, I'm okay. I don't worry about holding, pass interference. I just worry about protecting injuries. I saw the quarterback for the Redskins, Joe Theismann with his leg injury, just recently (Tom) Brady. Those things make a big difference to me because those can cripple kids' lives and careers, not just football. After 10, 15 years you might need a knee or hip replacement.

Q: Did you see some former Canes at the game? A: I talked to Bubba McDowell, Tony Fitzpatrick, Alonzo Highsmith. They're all from the Houston area. I talked about is everything okay, everybody didn't get much damage, were getting their lights back on. I had the opportunity to talk to Reggie Youngblood's dad, see how he was doing. The house is fine but there's no electricity so he said it's expensive because they have to eat out all the time. Daryl Jones drove down from Dallas . Every time you go to a different spot you see guys come up from those areas to support the university.

Q: What do you expect this team to do in the ACC? A: That we're going to work hard and keep improving from last year.

Q: Does that fumble return for a touchdown show your quarterbacks how important it is for them to protect the ball? A: We work on that all the time in practice. Coach Nix does a drill where he chases them around, tells them to take the ball and run. Sometimes quarterbacks tend to go with one hand. We work on that every day in practice, emphasize that.

Q: The team handled the environment at Texas A&M well. How nice is it to be home for 3 games now? A: You know what's funny? That's one of the greatest places to play was College Station. Everything is choreographed, the fans are going the whole time, are nice after the game. They just want to see good football in the whole state of Texas. They don't worry about wins and losses as long as you're respectful to the fans and football team. They want to see good football. The stadium was unbelievable the whole time no matter what the score was. You can enjoy college football that way.

Q: R.C. Slocum said he sees Miami being very close to what it was in the past. A: He's an older guy and I always cherish his wisdom. When he was at Texas A&M, Texas A&M was a team to be reckoned with. We feel we're getting on the right track, are doing all the right things. We just have to stay healthy and keep getting better. I told these guys last night that we can't go back this week and have the guys at receiver slack off. You guys have to keep doing the things you did last week. We have to hype on the little things, keep fighting all the time. What we have to emphasize this week is defensively tackle and work on offense finishing. Those two things we have to concentrate on with the addition of things we did last week.

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