Emerald Bowl Recap: Part 2-The Game

Miami UNow that you’ve heard my vent about the hospitality (or lack thereof) that the University of Miami received in the Emerald Bowl, it’s time for another recap: the game itself. This middle episode of my 3-post series of Emerald Bowl recaps will discuss the game itself, my thoughts about the team and some players, and my thoughts about the future of ‘Canes football. Let’s get started, shall we?

The game started slow for the ‘Canes, and extremely fast for Cal halfback Jahvid Best, who put two touchdowns on the board for the Golden Bears in the first quarter with runs of 1 and 42 yards. Miami struggled to produce much of anything on offense, going 3-and-out in their first four drives. Finally, in a drive that toook up the last two minutes of the first quarter and the first two minutes of the second, true-freshman quarterback Jacory Harris engineered an impressive 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Laron Byrd. At halftime, Cal led 14-7, although the ‘Canes were lucky to still be within one score.

Harris, who with the exception of the TD drive struggled in the first half, came to life after halftime. After 3-and-outs from both teams began the half, Harris drove the ‘Canes downfield again and tied the game up with a 7-yard pass to Thearon Collier. Best, though, wasn’t to be denied, as he came back for Cal and had a few big runs to drive the Golden Bears inside the Miami 5 yard line. The UM defense held, though, producing a goal-line stand that forced Cal into a field goal, making the score 17-14.

The ‘Canes and Harris put together another solid drive, making it into the Cal red zone with a chance to take the lead if they could get into the end zone. The California defense stepped up, though, just as Miami did, and forced the ‘Canes into a game-tying FG. The game got interesting when Cal drove down the field on the legs of Shane Vereen, setting up a 34-yard field goal attempt that would have given the Bears the lead. The field goal was wide, though, and the ‘Canes took over with a chance to drive down the field and take the lead. Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t meant to be, as on the third play of the drive, linebacker Zach Follett made his way into the backfield, sacking Harris and forcing a fumble that set up a Nate Longshore TD pass for Cal, making the score 24-17.

This is where my griping begins. The ‘Canes took posession with 2:41 on the clock and one time-out, which is ample time to drive for a touchdown. Instead, in the two-and-a-half minutes that ensued, Miami put on about the worst display of clock-management I have ever seen, and ended up wasting roughly :45 seconds of game time getting to the line of scrimmage, only to have Harris throw and incomplete pass, and then for the ‘Canes to burn their final timeout, once the clcok was stopped. They gained barely half the hards they needed to make it to the end zone, and flew home with a 24-17 loss.

With the exception of the clock management, though, I was not as disappointed with the game as most were. I thought Harris looked good, and as the game continued his passes became more precise and he didn’t seem as timid. The defense did the best they could to combat the explosive running of Jahvid Best, and if it weren’t for the awful playcalling by (now former) offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, the ‘Canes could have won this game. I’m looking forward to the future, though, as Harris will now have the starting job with redshirt freshman Robert Marve‘s impending departure. With both offensive and defensive coordinators gone, coach Randy Shannon looks to be committed to turning this program back into one of the elite college football programs in the country. I look forward to seeing what he can do with it!

2 thoughts on “Emerald Bowl Recap: Part 2-The Game

  1. Well, as promised, I am here once again to provide my bit of personal commentary on the game. Fortunately, I need not summarize the game itself, as Andy has done a thorough job. I shall begin with the cal fans instead…

    My overall evaluation of how some of the blue and gold carried themselves would have to be about as low as the standard usc fan I encountered around town back home. I am native to Los Angeles, and was a ucla bruin fan for just over a decade. My grandmother attended the med school there, and it had been on my list of colleges since about 6th grade. I stopped rooting for the powder blue when I was rejected; I am a firm believer in karma, and it failed me. On another random note, I also looked at the uc berkeley, which also rejected me.

    You’re standard usc football fan has probably been rooting for about 7 years or so, basically since coach Caroll arrived. They are usually stubborn, are discusted unless the victory is double digets, and as of late, are particularly nasty towards beavers they see if they go hunting. The ones I usually argue with claim that ucla will never have any hope and will refuse to listen to me. We had a debate one time in my english class when I was a souphmore in high school. I was 1 against about a dozen or so; this was the friday before the cross-town-showdown, the 2005 version. When I would even try to speak, they would go on and on, disrespectfully. They claimed that eventually, usc will win 4 national championships and I will give up and join the dark side. Then next year, I was met with only more hostility, with fewer friends to back me up. I am pleased to say that ucla won the 06 meeting 13-9.

    It is this similar ego that I saw in some of the cal fans I met. I’m a member of the tuba section, and since we are in the furthest back row at all the football games, we get the most crowd interaction. While most of them were drunk (similar to the uf game), they were mostly respectful and pleasant (much like the uf game again). Mike O’Brian did tell most of them that I was the only one in the band from california, which is true and I didn’t mind. One of them did keep telling me “oh, you’ll be a bears fan by the end of the game. Just watch!” I firmly stated that I had bruin blood, and in no way was I joining them (cal and ucla don’t like each other at all). One of them also stated “Come to cal for grad school!” I didn’t respond to this immediately. Half of me wanted to say “They rejected me the first time! What makes you think those dirt bag admissions squirrels are going to accept me the second time?” The other half one me is still considering it. They have a good grad student programs, and they aren’t as large as the undergraduate population may lead one to believe. Mike again intervened “You don’t have to decide right now.” I left it at that.

    I shall move for a moment to my family’s experience. My mom, dad, little brother, and grandfather attended the game. They were in the upper most level, sitting just about on top of the band. Naturally, they were outnumbered tremendously. Many of the cal fans up there were drunk and swearing openly about a certain 22nd letter of the alphabet. I don’t know who reads this site, so I will stray from quoting any of there comments.

    Back on the band level, during the first quarter, a cal fan came by, who was not seated in our section. I had turned around to see what was going on. They were chanting madly about something. They stopped for a moment, and one of the group pointed at me and claimed that there is no way I am in college. I asked if he wanted to see my id. I had both my California state drivers license and my cane card in my bag. He stated the same thing. Then his buddies pulled him back and they left.

    I move the pregame show. The only thing I will bring up is that we were thoroughly boo-ed when we ran onto the field. I did feel a little disrespected, though I was expecting it. Still, I thought it was a bit hostile. I will point out that we didn’t have that much of a vulgar welcoming when we took the field in Gainsville. Of course, it was pregame in san fran, and back in florida, our boys were stunning everyone at half time, down only 9-3.

    Then after the game, we had to deal with several fans barking at us while we waited in the street for our buses to arrive. (Fans were poring into the street by the masses and nothing could get through). I did take notice to a few cal fans who were hitting on some of our hurricanets. While I am not denying that they are all very attractive, those berkeley frat boys have some nerve. You guys beat us, laugh at us cause we lose, then you actually think that you can pick up a girl to go clubbing when she goes to school in miami and has every thursday night? What AREN”T you smoking?

    I will point out a little detail my dad told me about a few days after the game. I was just looking on the field before the second half. Both groups of captains had come out, and the special teams players were on the field warming up for the second half as well. Matt Bosher’s green shoes gleaming under the AT&T park lights. My dad said that, not 5 feet away from some of our players were those two big cal flags, manned by their people. Then, as cal took the field and the band played the fight song, one of the flags almost ran into our players and staff, at least three times. Imagine: Bosher taken to the locker room and the team left with no kicker because as he as setting up for a punt, his leg was run into by a flag person or a cal player. He spins around in the air, lands on his knee, busting his knee cap, acl, and spraining his ankle. A cane fan would only pray that the refs awarded us “running into the kicker” penalty to start the half.

    Also, at the end of the first half, the Band of the Hour was first to take the field for our half time shows. We were getting ready, when the cal players all started jogging towards us. The entrance to their locker room was the Giants Dugout. Our director pushed us back, and we did so without hesitation. I myself was looking for #34, Shane Verine. I was just going to try and holler at him. He and I went to high school together, and the school made a big deal about our star going to Cal. He graduated a year ahead of me. Anyway, I though someone could have warned us about that… There was also this general look on the players who did notice us. Some looked like they were taking a dump, trying to burn us with heat vision, or just stare us down. For a moment, I thought one of them was going to throw a punch. I’m glad they didn’t. While that would have been terrible, Miami is not a band you want to threaten. It’s the first marching band I have seen where members are willing to be as getto and tough as the football players we represent. I won’t give any names, but I know a few who would have joined the 06 brawl against FIU.

    The point of this long message is simply that Cal (the band, fans, players, media, etc.) was self-centered, disrespectful, and rude to UM as a whole. Now I know Miami gets the rep of being thUg U, and being personal, rough tough, in your face football. But, as much smack as we talk, I believe that we show just as much if not more respect. Urban Myer called for the gators to kick a field goal in the final minute of their game with Miami earlier this season. That put them up 26-3 if I recall. I saw this as unnecessary and purely to beat the spread (21 points) of the game. When Miami got the ball back, with a time out and 25 seconds on the game clock (or something close to that), Marve took a knee. I will also give my props to FSU for their bowl win, the National Champion Florida Gators, and the Cal bears. I still hate them, but I respect them.

    As bad as we may be when we lose, I felt Cal was worse as a winner. I think they should be ashamed of how they acted and some of the things that were said. I recall Best saying in an interview that the bears “are going to win a national championship next year!” I have simply three letters to respond with: U, S, and C. Again, I hate the Trojans, but I respect them. And, if the Bears and Hurricanes ever meet in the field of battle again, I hope they watch themselves. Our boys do not forget. We do not forgive. And we make sure that if you EVER embarrass, humiliate, and disrespect us, that we get you back. Ask Virginia. We know how to show respect. We also know how to win. We just still putting the puzzle together. The Giant has been sleeping, but he’s coming. The Tropical Storm is picking up speed and is approaching Cat 1. Before I graduate, we will be Cat 5. And, we will win our next national championship before Cal does, because that which does not kill us makes us stronger. In the next few years, we are going to explode and everyone will admit that we are back. As I recall, Canes are Dynamite.

  2. Well, as promised, I am here once again to provide my bit of personal commentary on the game. Fortunately, I need not summarize the game itself, as Andy has done a thorough job. I shall begin with the cal fans instead…

    My overall evaluation of how some of the blue and gold carried themselves would have to be about as low as the standard usc fan I encountered around town back home. I am native to Los Angeles, and was a ucla bruin fan for just over a decade. My grandmother attended the med school there, and it had been on my list of colleges since about 6th grade. I stopped rooting for the powder blue when I was rejected; I am a firm believer in karma, and it failed me. On another random note, I also looked at the uc berkeley, which also rejected me.

    You’re standard usc football fan has probably been rooting for about 7 years or so, basically since coach Caroll arrived. They are usually stubborn, are discusted unless the victory is double digets, and as of late, are particularly nasty towards beavers they see if they go hunting. The ones I usually argue with claim that ucla will never have any hope and will refuse to listen to me. We had a debate one time in my english class when I was a souphmore in high school. I was 1 against about a dozen or so; this was the friday before the cross-town-showdown, the 2005 version. When I would even try to speak, they would go on and on, disrespectfully. They claimed that eventually, usc will win 4 national championships and I will give up and join the dark side. Then next year, I was met with only more hostility, with fewer friends to back me up. I am pleased to say that ucla won the 06 meeting 13-9.

    It is this similar ego that I saw in some of the cal fans I met. I’m a member of the tuba section, and since we are in the furthest back row at all the football games, we get the most crowd interaction. While most of them were drunk (similar to the uf game), they were mostly respectful and pleasant (much like the uf game again). Mike O’Brian did tell most of them that I was the only one in the band from california, which is true and I didn’t mind. One of them did keep telling me “oh, you’ll be a bears fan by the end of the game. Just watch!” I firmly stated that I had bruin blood, and in no way was I joining them (cal and ucla don’t like each other at all). One of them also stated “Come to cal for grad school!” I didn’t respond to this immediately. Half of me wanted to say “They rejected me the first time! What makes you think those dirt bag admissions squirrels are going to accept me the second time?” The other half one me is still considering it. They have a good grad student programs, and they aren’t as large as the undergraduate population may lead one to believe. Mike again intervened “You don’t have to decide right now.” I left it at that.

    I shall move for a moment to my family’s experience. My mom, dad, little brother, and grandfather attended the game. They were in the upper most level, sitting just about on top of the band. Naturally, they were outnumbered tremendously. Many of the cal fans up there were drunk and swearing openly about a certain 22nd letter of the alphabet. I don’t know who reads this site, so I will stray from quoting any of there comments.

    Back on the band level, during the first quarter, a cal fan came by, who was not seated in our section. I had turned around to see what was going on. They were chanting madly about something. They stopped for a moment, and one of the group pointed at me and claimed that there is no way I am in college. I asked if he wanted to see my id. I had both my California state drivers license and my cane card in my bag. He stated the same thing. Then his buddies pulled him back and they left.

    I move the pregame show. The only thing I will bring up is that we were thoroughly boo-ed when we ran onto the field. I did feel a little disrespected, though I was expecting it. Still, I thought it was a bit hostile. I will point out that we didn’t have that much of a vulgar welcoming when we took the field in Gainsville. Of course, it was pregame in san fran, and back in florida, our boys were stunning everyone at half time, down only 9-3.

    Then after the game, we had to deal with several fans barking at us while we waited in the street for our buses to arrive. (Fans were poring into the street by the masses and nothing could get through). I did take notice to a few cal fans who were hitting on some of our hurricanets. While I am not denying that they are all very attractive, those berkeley frat boys have some nerve. You guys beat us, laugh at us cause we lose, then you actually think that you can pick up a girl to go clubbing when she goes to school in miami and has every thursday night? What AREN”T you smoking?

    I will point out a little detail my dad told me about a few days after the game. I was just looking on the field before the second half. Both groups of captains had come out, and the special teams players were on the field warming up for the second half as well. Matt Bosher’s green shoes gleaming under the AT&T park lights. My dad said that, not 5 feet away from some of our players were those two big cal flags, manned by their people. Then, as cal took the field and the band played the fight song, one of the flags almost ran into our players and staff, at least three times. Imagine: Bosher taken to the locker room and the team left with no kicker because as he as setting up for a punt, his leg was run into by a flag person or a cal player. He spins around in the air, lands on his knee, busting his knee cap, acl, and spraining his ankle. A cane fan would only pray that the refs awarded us “running into the kicker” penalty to start the half.

    Also, at the end of the first half, the Band of the Hour was first to take the field for our half time shows. We were getting ready, when the cal players all started jogging towards us. The entrance to their locker room was the Giants Dugout. Our director pushed us back, and we did so without hesitation. I myself was looking for #34, Shane Verine. I was just going to try and holler at him. He and I went to high school together, and the school made a big deal about our star going to Cal. He graduated a year ahead of me. Anyway, I though someone could have warned us about that… There was also this general look on the players who did notice us. Some looked like they were taking a dump, trying to burn us with heat vision, or just stare us down. For a moment, I thought one of them was going to throw a punch. I’m glad they didn’t. While that would have been terrible, Miami is not a band you want to threaten. It’s the first marching band I have seen where members are willing to be as getto and tough as the football players we represent. I won’t give any names, but I know a few who would have joined the 06 brawl against FIU.

    The point of this long message is simply that Cal (the band, fans, players, media, etc.) was self-centered, disrespectful, and rude to UM as a whole. Now I know Miami gets the rep of being thUg U, and being personal, rough tough, in your face football. But, as much smack as we talk, I believe that we show just as much if not more respect. Urban Myer called for the gators to kick a field goal in the final minute of their game with Miami earlier this season. That put them up 26-3 if I recall. I saw this as unnecessary and purely to beat the spread (21 points) of the game. When Miami got the ball back, with a time out and 25 seconds on the game clock (or something close to that), Marve took a knee. I will also give my props to FSU for their bowl win, the National Champion Florida Gators, and the Cal bears. I still hate them, but I respect them.

    As bad as we may be when we lose, I felt Cal was worse as a winner. I think they should be ashamed of how they acted and some of the things that were said. I recall Best saying in an interview that the bears “are going to win a national championship next year!” I have simply three letters to respond with: U, S, and C. Again, I hate the Trojans, but I respect them. And, if the Bears and Hurricanes ever meet in the field of battle again, I hope they watch themselves. Our boys do not forget. We do not forgive. And we make sure that if you EVER embarrass, humiliate, and disrespect us, that we get you back. Ask Virginia. We know how to show respect. We also know how to win. We just still putting the puzzle together. The Giant has been sleeping, but he’s coming. The Tropical Storm is picking up speed and is approaching Cat 1. Before I graduate, we will be Cat 5. And, we will win our next national championship before Cal does, because that which does not kill us makes us stronger. In the next few years, we are going to explode and everyone will admit that we are back. As I recall, Canes are Dynamite.

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