UM Football: News & Notes

The Hurricanes have moved on from last week's loss to Georgia Tech and will finish out the regular season against N.C. State this Saturday. Here are several news and notes items from around the team.

Randy Shannon talked about a number of topics on Tuesday and here is what he was talking about:

* Inexperience really showed last Thursday against Georgia Tech. The team was able to come back and have a strong walk through on Sunday and they have studied a lot of film of that game.

* The key to beating NC State is taking away their backs and tight ends from the passing game because of how much they like to use them. Another key is stopping the run because Tom O'Brien always likes to get that going.

* Offensively, the key is scoring points early in the game instead of scoring most of the points in the second half.

* With seven wins, the biggest goal right now is getting to eight. It's an improvement from last season. You always want a win going into the bowl season for momentum.

* Regarding Craig James's comment on Miami not having an offensive identity, Shannon said, "That's his opinion."

* When asked what this team's offensive identity is, Shannon said "it's to take advantage of what the defense gives you."

* "He's doing a great job for us," he said about Patrick Nix.

* The team was "aweful" on special teams last week and must get back to playing well and winning field position in that area.

* This team still has a long ways to go but they've improved in all three areas since last season.

* The team was fortunate to be able to get the young QBs, WRs, DL, and Sean Spence a lot of playing time. You can't do that every year and it will only help for the future.

* The biggest recruiting key right now is getting offensive linemen. Another big key was getting defensive backs. "Some will probably help us (right away)."

* Speaking of DBs, look for Demarcus Van Dyke and Brandon Harris to play increased roles this week. The team just needs them on the field more and it's nothing that Bruce Johnson or Chavez Grant have or havent done.

* On the play of the DB's this year: "They've had breakdowns. Early on they gave up some deep balls. We corrected that and were able to go on a winning streak."

* On not having a go to guy on offense, Shannon said, "We're missing the veteran to get you to the next step. It's always a veteran that comes up with a big play." He then mentioned guys like Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Clinton Portis, and Edgerrin James as coming up with big plays later in their careers and that their success didn't happen at first. It took time.

* Shannon referenced the 1997 team that went 5-6 as having a lot of talented young players in the lineup. "Three, four years later, they beat Florida State, beat Florida, and won it in 2001. That's gonna happen here eventually."

* Getting some of the seniors back is a process that has to go through the NCAA and we dont know right now.

* He mentioned that they have high hopes for redshirting guys like Jordan Futch, Vaughn Telemaque, Joe Wylie, Tommy Streeter, Kendal Thompkins, Jeremy Lewis, etc.

* "He's been OK," he said of Travis Benjamin. "He's a little tender."

* He likes how the QB's got them 7 wins so far and they will re-evaluate the situation after the season.

* On getting just three INT's so far, "We just gotta make plays. It's no secret. We'll re-evaluate after the season what we can do to create turnovers."

* Ramon Buchanan has been playing LB the last few weeks.

* On why they went from the shotgun on 4th and short last week, he said, "The score was lopsided and we were trying to make plays."

* Romeo Davis is questionable for this week and Darryl Sharpton is expected to start in his place.

* Jason Fox "is fine".

* Following the NC State game, the team will have two weeks off for finals. The coaches will be on the road recruiting and the team will resume practicing for a bowl game on the weekend of December 13th.

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