Q&A with State of the U

This week I exchanged questions with the Miami blog State of the U. They talk about the misnomer of "the U's culture", Al Golden's rebuilding process, and the general inconsistencies that come with playing such a young lineup.

TKP: Okay, before I get into specifics I want to ask about all of the stuff that happened last summer. Miami is pretty much the poster child of the dreaded report "Charles Robinson sighted on campus". Ironically, the reported infractions didn't really surprised that many people (including myself), because it seemed to fit in with "The U"'s culture. Has there a been a noticeable change in the way this team acts and performs on and off the field under Al Golden?

SOTU: First and foremost, a portion of the allegations have been proven false (see DeQuan Jones $10K allegation). I do not agree that the allegations fit the current or recent culture of the school. The overblown swagger was more a thing of the 80s/90's. Guys like Ed Reed, Andre Johnson, Ken Dorsey, and Willis MaGahee better represent the current culture. While his teams did not produce on the field, the Randy Shannon era was epitomized by outstanding graduation rates and well above average academic achievements. UM has exceeded the NCAA average GSR in each of the last eight years, improving from 77 percent to 93 percent from 2005 to 2012. Al Golden has continued the trend Student atheletes from UM have continued to represent the school in a very dignified manner. The portion of the allegations that may be true are most indicative of a larger problem that probably occurs at more major programs then not.

TKP: There seems to be an obsession in the national media to be the first to proclaim that "the U is back!", even though the Canes haven't been particularly relevant since Jacory and Co. got destroyed on a rainy Saturday in Blacksburg in 2009. Is this officially a "rebuilding" process for Golden? And if so, how long do you foresee the process taking?

SOTU: The team is playing 21 freshman. If anything expectations are a bit too high. The good news is that the freshman class is very talented and gaining invaluable experience. Chances are the U will be back by the time they are seniors.

TKP: Getting to this team now, the best word to describe them seems to be...inconsistent. Is that a sign of age? Coaching? Just the fact that their non-conference schedule held three of the best 10 teams this season? If not any of those, what seems to be the root of the problem?

SOTU: As with any young team, they are just as capable of a spectacular play as they are a mental error. All part of growing up. The non conference schedule, featuring Kansas State and Notre Dame has certainly been a challenge to say the least.

TKP: Coming from a team with secondary issues, which Stephen Morris am I most likely to see? The one that passed for over a thousand yards and seven scores in just two games? Or the one that hasn't passed for than 225 yards a game over the rest of the season? What can Tech do to force him out of his comfort zone?

SOTU: If not for a ton of dropped passes, Morris' numbers would be far better across the board. If his receivers hold on to the ball, expect big numbers. He played through a badly sprained ankle against FSU and had a so so game. Having time to heal on the bye week should help as well.

TKP: Is there any other player that I should be afraid of on the Miami offense?

SOTU: RB Duke Johnson is also banged up, but if healthy is an extremely dangerous runner, receiver, and returner. RB Mike James is not as explosive but can be a load to tackle. WRs Rayshawn Scott, Allen Hurns, and Phillip Dorsett can all make a big play as well.

TKP: Defensively, Miami has been less than stellar? What should the Hokies do to attack the Hurricanes in order to be successful?

SOTU: The teams that have had the most success have pounded the football. Teams with mobile QBs (see Colin Klein of K State & Everett Golson of Notre Dame) have also given UM a ton of trouble. I expect Logan Thomas to run some come Thursday.

TKP: On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you in the Canes' chances on Thursday and why?

SOTU: 9. Miami's defense started to show signs in the FSU game. Their offense is due for a huge game. Morris should be healthy.

TKP: Last question; what is your score prediction?

SOTU: Miami wins 31-27.


Welp, that was a delusional interview. Does that dude really think prostitutes, yacht parties, bounties, et all are found in "more major programs then not"? C'MON MAN.

Clearly Miami had a cultural problem, and still may. The problem was / is that they cared more about swag then actually playing tough football.

The U will be back by the time this freshman class is seniors? Those freshmen may be "back", but they will have left about 5 scholarships per year and any bowl hopes on Nevin Shapiro's yacht.

As said in The Godfather

"The president doesn't have people killed!" "Who's being naive, Kay?"

As much as I don't want to admit it, Miami most likely did do a lot of the things alleged in the Yahoo! report. The beauty is most haven't been able to be corroborated, and I think the entire cfb nation is in for a shock when the sanctions come down and there isn't the blood lust everyone is pining for.

Ultimately, boosters are going to pay players, schools are going to cheat, one way or another. Oregon paid for "scouting services," Auburn brought in a guy who's dad tried getting 200 large for his son, Penn State refused to report a serial rapist to preserve their culture, the list can go on and on. And there will be another blatant scandal everyone gets all worked up about in the future. All Miami did was cheat and get caught (or turned in by a jilted ex-lover felon). No one piles on those other schools because they don't have the history Miami does, between the school and more specifically the drug culture of the city in the early '80s.

But saying "it seemed to fit in with "The U"'s culture" is pretty off base. Butch Davis cleaned the entire program up after the previous scandal, and Golden is doing the same after the discipline was allowed to wane outside of the classroom, as Jerry mentioned. Now, that's not to say you're not correct in saying it fits in with the horrendous stereotype of a bad Hurricanes fan. Those guys are beyond reprehensible, and we can definitely agree there.

Canadian Molasses Runner

This is the U's Cultural Problem in a nutshell, so elequoently put by former Cane Lamar Thomas, after the brawl with FIU. The brawl, of course, happened after Butch Davis "cleaned" the program up.

"You can’t come over to our place talking noise like that. You’ll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing...I say, why don't we meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don't come into the OB, baby. We've had a down couple of years but you don't come in here talking smack. Not in our house."

The U is so damn great at "talking noise", but even better at playing mediocre football.

Butch Davis was gone for 6 years at that point. As I said, the discipline was allowed to deteriorate under Coker after his departure.

Canadian Molasses Runner

i've wondered what the blacksburg equivalent of the shapiro stuff would be. . .

a day on claytor lake and a night at southern exposure?

sounds like a good day

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Well...that guy....

...thinks highly of Miami.

Well, he didn't seem to

Well, he didn't seem very enthusiastic to participate in this interview. Short direct answers, not giving any depth to his answers as previous interviewees have given.

It's a great day to be a Hokie!