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Fight for Old DC is a blog covering all sports in and around the District. Main focus will be on the Capitals, Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, United, and Hokies (I know they aren't DC, but it's my alma mater). Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

VT/Miami Preview: Canes' Perspective

I recently approached Tom from over at Canespace about answering some questions about the media's new (read: old) darling, the Miami Hurricanes. As we all know, we have the 'U' in the 'burg this week for a good ol' fashioned Coastal slug fest. Here are Tom's thoughts on the 2009 edition of the Canes and how this Saturday might shake out:

1. For the uneducated Hokie fan: what do you think the biggest change has been with Mark Whipple taking over the offense this season?

Most Hokie fans are uneducated, but I am getting off track. The biggest change? How about everything! This year’s Canes offense bears no resemblance whatsoever to the train wreck that was Patrick Nix. The tragedy (can U say bubble screen on third and 17?) and drama (Bobby Drama was the nickname fans gave to Robert Marve who first got his feelings hurt and later transferred) that Miami fans had to endure over the last two years was almost unbearable.

Long time Canespace blogger Carlos was the first to call for Nix’s head and was later proven to be right as UM fans, along with Head Coach Randy Shannon, had simply had enough by the end of last season which culminated in the loss and the demonstration of the world’s worst 2 minute drill ever run at the Emerald Bowl in the City by the Bay last year.

This year Hurricane fans are totally infatuated with Mark “Miracle” Whipple who has the Miami offense on the attack every single down. Every play is NFL designed and approved and the Hurricanes have shown no sign of slowing down after scoring big points and big wins at FSU and at The Shark (Landshark Stadium) against Georgia Tech. Miami fans have fallen in love with offense all over again and it feels really good to score, if you know what I mean!

In case you didn’t know, Whipple helped develop Ben Rothlisberger when both were with the Steelers and he has now worked his “miracle” with UM QB Jacory Harris. The Miracle Whip has whipped (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) young Jacory into shape in just a matter of months.

Harris, who is only a Sophomore, has the “Whiplash” (I know, I know) offense running at a very high level and is already getting Heisman talk after just two games. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

2. We know guys like Jacory Harris, Javarris James, and Graig Cooper, but who is one guy that we should really look out for on Saturday afternoon?

Well at Canespace we have an annual feature called “Legends of the Fall” where all of the bloggers pick an offense and defensive star before the season starts. Outside of the three well known players you mentioned above the leading vote getter was WR Laron “Big” Byrd who wears UM superstar Michael Irvin’s old #47 jersey at Miami. Byrd is a fast, tall and lanky WR that has a knack for getting open deep and scoring often.

The Canes most electrifying player is probably #3 Travis Benjamin. T-Ben, who plays WR for Miami is among the Hurricanes five fastest players and also returns punts for UM. And, it says right here that #3 will break one for a TD against The Hokies Beamer ball be damned!

Others to keep your eye on are WR Thearon Collier (#28) who lines up in the slot and works into seams over the middle and former UM basketball player turned football star TE Jimmy Graham. Graham who wears #80 and has earned the nickname of “Liger” (half lion/half tiger) caught his first, but not his last, TD of the year against GT last Thursday. When asked how he felt about that after the game he replied: “I like scoring six better than two.” U go Jimmy!

3. Give me three reasons why Miami wins this game, and three why they lose it. Are you guys even giving us a chance in this game?

The Canes win because:

1. The Whipple Effect. The Canes will outscore the Hokies.

2. The Canes proved they can stop a running QB against FSU (Ponder) and stop the run against GT. Your QB sucks and therefore your offense has no chance.

3. We will match your special teams’ intensity and score on a punt return to get The Big Mo swung in our favor. T-Ben to the house!

The Canes lose because:

1. Beating three ranked teams in a row is too much to ask of the young team.

2. The game is in Blacksburg, not the 305.

3. Jacory shows he is human after all, has an off night and throws a pick six in a close, low scoring game in the fourth quarter.

4. I know that Miami faithful love to brag about the national championships and NFL talent that your program produces, but is there any jealousy over the Hokies ACC fortunes so far? Do you guys consider us a rival or do we fall well below the Gators and Seminoles?

First, VT deserves all the credit in the world for their ACC success. I was at the ACC title game in Tampa last year and watched you beat Boston College. Miami is yet to win an ACC crown, so we have no room to brag yet, but that should change this year or maybe next.

Miami fans see GT as a rival, but nowhere near the level as the Florida Gators or Seminoles.

The top three MOST hated teams by any real Canes fan are (in this order): Florida Gaturds, Notre Shame and Ohio State Suckeyes. FSU and VT come next but only after we drink another Landshark beer, or six. There that’s better!

5. Just for our DC blogging purposes: favorite former Cane on the Redskins (Sean Taylor can also be included in this vote)?

Sean Taylor hands down. Don’t get me wrong, we love Portis (that dude is a trip!), Moss (speed, baby, speed), McIntosh (steady, consistent, unsung hero) and others but to Canes fans, Taylor was The Man.

I was at Doak Campbell Stadium back in 2004 for the now famous “Rain Game” where Sean simply took over and dominated the game like I had never seen before. His sudden, senseless and tragic death (just as he was beginning to peak with the Redskins) hit the Hurricane family very, very hard.

I have written several pieces about that loss and have provided links here:


JCane said...

Keep in mind that the hatred doesn't come as much for VT and FSU as there is for UF, etc., because there is actually respect for the programs. Old Cane fans don't have much respect for the 'turds....

CanesAddiction said...

Actually I consider VT one of our chief rivals. Keep in mind we don't play the Gators, Buckeyes or Irish on a regular basis. UM's main rivals to me are FSU and VT. VT is going to be standing in our way of the BCS every year.

As far as hatred goes, it's the 3 teams Tom mentioned for sure. Any Canes fan over 30 is going to hate UF and the Irish because they remember stuff. Any Canes fan over 15 will hate the Buckeyes because we feel like OSU has something that belongs to us.