Give Shannon Some Time

By Edwin Pope
Updated: October 14, 2007


UM head coach Randy Shannon reacts on the sidelines in the second quarter against Georgia Tech on Saturday.

WALTER MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF UM head coach Randy Shannon reacts on the sidelines in the second quarter against Georgia Tech on Saturday.

MIAMI – Right here, right on top of another heartbreaker, I’ll say it.

Randy Shannon is doing a good job in his first shot. And he will do a better one.

So stay with him, even as outwardly discouraging as Georgia Tech’s 17-14 victory over Miami came across to the home gang.

This game wasn’t close, really, as most of those well-done 52,416 folks on hand could testify. Asking fans to show up at noon in this heat is a tough ticket, but that’s what TV wants, and TV pays the bills.

Anyway, when the teams got at it, it was just the hammer meeting the nail. It was a runaway hippo named Tashard Choice goring the Hurricanes for 204 yards rushing.

You can’t coach stopping a guy like that. All you can do is put the best you’ve got out there, and Shannon did that, and most of those he had were too young, or too hurt, and certainly too blocked.

This was simply one team driving another into the soon-to-be-gone ground of the Orange Bowl.

And some of UM’s alumni, of both the real and the adoptive variety, are already moaning about the people in charge.

I say again: Give Shannon time. Give him a couple of the recruiting classes he just might rope in. And then judge him.

”Our coaches did a great job of preparing for this game,” guard Derrick Morse said.

Is it superfluous to repeat here, it wasn’t the coaching that brought down the Canes?

It wasn’t the strategy that sends them on to Tallahassee for next week’s collision of (gasp!) unranked teams.

It was, again, brute strength. And Tech had it.

I don’t know what the Seminoles’ problems are, at 4-2. We can be sure what is hurting the Hurricanes most at 4-3. It’s a combination of injuries and having to play too-youthful players.

Everybody has injuries, but not usually this many, and certainly not to players as important as Antonio Dixon, the 331-pound run-stopper.

”No excuses,” Shannon said.

I like Tech’s Chan Gailey as a coach, too. But this wasn’t about coaching magic. It was the oldest thing in football.


It was running, and not stopping the run.

UM didn’t have the muscle to stop it this time. But when Shannon’s youngsters grow up a little, and he brings in the recruiting crop he expects to, it’s going to be good times again.

As for the present, all a Cane can do is hope and heal. Just let’s not assign the wrong reasons for Tech marching 77 and 80 yards in the second half. That’s brute strength, splendid blocking, holding onto the ball.

As for all the howling about Derron Thomas’ personal-foul penalty that set UM back from its 25 to its 12 with three minutes remaining . . .


Did anyone really think the Canes would have gone 75 yards, or even within field goal range, the way the game was going?

So, a whole bunch of realism is in order today. Including some about Shannon, who needs only time.