Hearing Shannon's wrath a bitter pill for 'Canes

BY foxsports • September 16, 2010

For the Miami Hurricanes, the worst part of last weekend's loss at Ohio State wasn't seen on television or captured on any game film.

It came just after the game, in the privacy of their locker room.

Clearing the space of everyone other than his team, Miami coach Randy Shannon used that moment to unleash a verbal barrage of frustration upon the Hurricanes, the type of rant that none of his current players had seen before. His message was clear: Not only did his team blow a great opportunity in the 36-24 loss to the second-ranked Buckeyes, but embarrassed itself in the process.

''I've never been a guy that just goes off,'' Shannon said Thursday after Miami's first practice since the loss. ''But they needed it at that time because I was frustrated. We're a good football team. And we could have done something that hasn't been done here in a long time. Ohio State is a good football team, a great football team, but we made so many mistakes we didn't give ourselves a chance.''

Shannon's speech only lasted a couple of minutes, and he was his typically calm-and-collected self by the time he left the room.

But his words resonated long after he walked out, and the 17th-ranked Hurricanes (1-1) - who are off until a trip to Pittsburgh next Thursday night - say they'll serve as motivation for the remainder of the season.

''I never have seen him like that,'' offensive lineman Orlando Franklin said, ''but I can't say I was shocked.''

Added linebacker Jordan Futch: ''We deserved it.''

Shannon spared no feelings in that postgame meeting.

Receivers and running backs who ran the wrong routes and played a role in Jacory Harris throwing four interceptions all felt his wrath. Linemen who missed blocks that led to sacks, they felt the heat as well. And most of the fire was directed toward those defenders who missed tackles, especially ones in the backfield - Shannon stopped counting after that list exceeded 10.

''You've got to give credit to Ohio State,'' Shannon said. ''But it's the consistency factor that hurt us. Run the right routes. Don't drop the passes. I mean, nine drops? Jacory, I think, was 22 for 39 passing. Add those nine drops, he should be 31 for 39 in the game. And that should have happened.''

Already, Shannon has taken some steps to try to get his team a bit more focused.

Players are now banned from using the social network Twitter, mostly because Shannon felt it was getting to be a distraction, partially because some around the program felt it was simply getting out of hand. Thursday's practice was largely of the back-to-basics variety with a solid amount of live hitting, perhaps an indicator that some depth-chart changes may be on the way.

''We can't forget. We never want to forget,'' Futch said. ''That was a loss and we learn from it. Like coach Shannon said, win or lose, we're going to learn from it. That's what we did.''

All is not lost for Miami, not by any measure.

The Hurricanes are the only Atlantic Coast Conference team listed in the current Associated Press Top 25 rankings. They came away from one of the most difficult venues in college football believing they could have, at the very least, given the second-ranked team in the nation and a strong BCS national title hopeful a much better game. And even after the loss, confidence is still high.

''His message, pretty much, was 'Do your job.' If we do our job, ain't nobody that can stop us,'' Franklin said. ''The outcome of that game could have been a lot different. We need to have confidence. We'll be all right.''

Franklin has been with the Hurricanes since Shannon became head coach. He had an inkling, when the coach entered the locker room after that Ohio State loss, that something different was about to happen.

Sure enough, Franklin was right.

''I expected a whole lot better from us,'' Franklin said. ''The thing about the coaches here is they're unlike a lot of schools, where they tell you whatever you want to hear. This coaching staff, what they do that I love, they don't sugarcoat anything. It's up to you to get better. And I think he was saying what we all were thinking.''


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