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September 01, 2011

PS4: Dolphins 17, Dallas 3: Miami ends encouraging preseason 3-1; plus FIU wins big in opener, odds on Sparano firing & more

[Join us on Twitter @gregcote].

1aa1fripix 1aa1fripix COUNTDOWN! 7 DAYS TIL UPSET BIRD: Coming Friday, Sept. 9...

BETTING LINES ON SPARANO, DOLPHIN PLAYER STATS: Bodog has Miami's Tony Sparano the second-most likely NFL coach to be fired during the season at 7-2. The only hotter seat is under Jacksonville's Jack Del Rio at 3-1. Select over/unders for individual player stats: Chad Henne, 3,250 passing yards, 16.5 TDs, 17.5 picks. Reggie Bush, 650 rushing yards. Daniel Thomas, 550 rushing yards. Brandon Marshall, 1,000 receiving yards. Davone Bess, 750 receiving yards. And Cameron Wake, 10 sacks.

PS4: DOLPHINS 17, DALLAS 3: STARTERS SIT AS SCRUBS BOWL ENDS PRESEASON: FINAL: Not many conslusions to draw when starters don't play, but Matt Moore looked great and solidfied himself as a strong backup QB. Reserves on pass defense looked shaky. Two big questions to be answered: Did veterans Larry Johnson (22-yard TD run) and Will Allen (four solo tackles) show enough to win roster spots? All in all, this 3-1 preseason registers as mostly encouraging for Miam. ..... 4Q: Cowboys miss meaningless FG with three seconds left. ..... Dolphins denied on 4th and goal run from two by Nic (Eleanor) Grigsby. ..... Successful Dallas challenge wipes out apparent Miami sack and fumble recovery. ..... Dan Carpenter 50-yard FG for 17-3 lead with 10 minutes to play. ..... Cowboys miss 48-yard FG on first play of fourth. ..... 3Q: Matt Moore TD pass to TE Jeron  Mastrud and Miami up 14-3 mid-third. ..... 2Q: Dallas with a field in final seconds of half. ..... 1Q: Veteran RB Larry Johnson, fighting for a roster spot, channels 2006 on 22-yard scoring run. LJ's first TD of any kind since '08. Miami up 7-0. ..... Tyrone Culver end-zone interception for Miami thwarts Dallas drive. ..... Pregame: Dolphins announced virtually every starter is scratched tonight, mostly only scrubs and bubble-guys playing. Same with Dallas. Unusual. Thought starters woiuld get maybe one series. ..... Light rain and very sparse crowd. Original post: four preseason games each have a particular niche. The first is to get the bugs out and starters don't play much. The second is for fine tuning and the starters play a little more. The third is more of a legitimate dress rehearsal and the starters play quite a bit. And the fourth -- that's tonight, here, vs. Dallas -- is to tie up loose ends and the starters don't play much. The loose ends? Settling any starting positions still in contention and judging the "bubble" guys on the edge of making the final roster or not. The only real starter battle left is Reshad Jones vs. Chris Clemons at safety. Bubble guys include veteran DB Will Allen, veteran RB Larry Johnson, and Marlon Moore vs. Roberto Wallace for the final WR spot. Miami's game-planning is focused not on tonight but on the Sept. 12 opener vs. the Patriots. The fact the Dolphins also face Dallas during the regular season only underlines the fact Miami won't show much. Winning is not a priority tonight, so take the result lightly. Your thoughts welcome before, during and of course after tonight's game.

FIU OPENS SEASON WITH SUCCESSS IN NEW ROLE: FAVORITE: Final: FIU 41, North Texas 16. Nice start for Golden Panthers at home, and for T.Y. Hilton with seven catches for 132 yards including a 60-yard TD, plus 49 yards rushing and 102 on returns. ..... Original post: The doormat days are done. Coach Mario Cristobal's 1aa1fiunt squad -- the Mario Brothers -- begin the season as Sun Belt co-favorites along with (not Helen, but) Troy. Tonight the Golden Panthers are 14-point faves opening at home vs. the splendidly nicknamed Mean Green of North Texas. Let's see how The Int'l deals with its new role as expected winner after last year's 7-6 season included a conference title and Little Caesars Bowl win over Toledo. Goldcats ended 7-2 after a rough start. Tonight not only is a better-win matchup for FIU but also a big stats-padding opportunity for T.Y. Hilton, whose yardage and TD numbers need to be, well, not less than staggering if the school's underdog Heisman campaign for him is to gain any traction nationally. Pick: FIU 38, North Texas 20.

SPECIAL SECTIONS GALORE!: Out today: The Miami Herald's annual special football sections for NFL, NCAA and High Schools. Ah the "special section," an enduring newspaper evergreen. My trident contribution:

NFL 32-team rank: I slot every team, best to worst, based on how they look on paper entering the season. My top five: Pats, Pack, Eagles, Steelers, Chargers. Dolphins: No. 17. Click HERE.

Dolphins' bad moves, bad luck: I columnize on the team's post-Marino litany of bad decisions and bad luck that leave a fan to think the fates owe Miami a bleepin' break already. Click HERE.

Start of college season a needed break: Scandals from Miami to Southern Cal and too many places in between made for an awful offseason for the sport. At last, the games! Click HERE. 

TODAY MARKS RETURN OF 790's [BLEEP] PREGAME SHOW: Beginning today at 5 p.m. I'm back on 1aa1dol790 790 The Ticket's pregame show centering around a certain local NFL team that hosts Dallas tonight in its final exhibition -- a team whose nickname the station can't use in the title of the show because it doesn't own broadcast rights. I wonder what team that could be! It's a second season of me with the station's Eric Reed and former Dolphin Oronde Gadsden. Uh oh. I said "Dolphin"! We'll have some fun. Tune in. And click 790 [Bleep] Pregame Show for the station site, where podcasts will be available.

JACK AND ICP: Interesting collaboration: Jack White and Insane Clown Posse. Click here. I'll take my Jack from the White Stripes days or with Raconteurs. He started to lose me with Dead Weather. Brilliant talent, though. 


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Just got a voicemail from Dolphins CEO Mike Dee about a letter I wrote as a UM and Dolphins club level season ticket holder regarding honoring the Gators. I'm going to call him back tomorrow and based on the call I may post his personal office number here for others who may be interested.

And the fourth -that's tonight, here, vs. Dallas -is to tie up loose ends and the starters don't play much. The loose ends? Settling any starting positions still in contention and judging the "bubble" guys.

What a relief- no hand wringing over the OL all of next week!

Cote, they are actually paying you as a so called "expert" ?...you must have naked photos of the program director....Good for you.

Should be an easy win for FIU


i don't figure you for a name-droper, so i guess mike dee did indeed contact you based on your cogent opposition to the dolphins' hosting of a gator event and honoring a player who will be in the opponents'amp that day. we will stay tuned.

Kazaam if that's the case I hope you let him know just how ridiculous it is. I mean he is dividing his own fanbase. One could only expect serious hostility at that game..aside from boos you would most likely see a few fights break out, cars vandalized, and arrests. And to honor and OPPOSING qb is just ridiculous (unless maybe he was a former player for you..like if Joe Montana went back to SF as a member of the Chiefs). The Dolphins allegiance should be with fellow Miami teams. And it's also crazy because it would be a cold day in hell before ANY Miami team would be honored somewhere else. You think the Hurricanes would ever be honored at a Jaguars gm/Buc game? No chance. Or the Dolphins honored at a Magic game/Gator game? No way. People north of Palm Bch county don't like Miami. Stupid, stupid idea all around. Like I said, honor Zach Thomas at midfield and add his name to the ring of honor..or do something else. It isn't hard to be creative. Put together an offensive line that isn't held together by duct tape (despite drafting a lineman in round one in 04, 08, and 11). Or how about nabbing a good qb when the opportunity presents itself. I can think of 5 great qbs the Phins could have had right off the bat (Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Mike Vick, Joe Flacco). Really, the people in charge need to look in the mirror and see why things aren't where they want it. No need to disrespect a team like the Hurricanes..who have won a lot of titles for the city the last 30 years and produced unbelievable talent. Dolphins simply can't go through with this idea. We would look like even bigger cake asses than we already are.


Gee Mr. Ross lets honor Doug Flutie's miracle throw against UM in 1984...

I'm in town for the weekend, why isn't the game on? In Houston they show all home and away pre-season games.

The game was blacked out due to attendance but you didn't miss anything, none of the starters played. Pat Devlin, who I was hoping the Dolphins would draft, got some playing time and looked serviceable.

Anyone know what the deal is with Noel Devine? Undrafted, picked up by the Eagles then didn't report and was released, where is he now? He'd be worth a look over the likes of Larry Johnson.

Yeah he just served me my Miami Subs burger.

FIU wins big...

Get used to it South Florida.


Great dominating game for FIU! Up next, Louisville.

Football in Miami is just too good.

More power to you guys. At least you continue to grow. Hurricanes continue to spiral down..It is literally unprecedented to see how far the Hurricanes have fallen. To go from appearing in all 4 bcs games to start the decade, winning the rose bowl undefeated, winning 6 straight over FSU to start the decade, winning 3 straight over VT to start the decade, winning 4 straight over FL to start the decade, winning 34 in a row, only losing 10 games from 2000-2005, putting countless stars including future hall of famers (Reed, Johnson, Hester, Wayne)....to an ugly brawl, 48-0 loss to close out the orange bowl, no bowl wins from 2007 to now, seeing the first round streak end, Sean Taylor/Bryan Pata, losing by 28 at home to FSU, losing to USF, and then if the losing wasn't bad enough-Shapiro. It is insane to see how far UM's dropped. I support S FL teams..so if FAU and FIU do well then that's cool. Kazaam can hate you guys all he wants wearing Orange and Green tinted sunglasses. I say enjoy it! Be proud of your school.

let's not talk about the State of the U ...

but then again, what do we have come Two short years from now ?

Dolphins too .


Maybe Edall in 2013 ?

Posted by: Alex in Boca | September 01, 2011 at 07:10 PM

U born or conditioned that way ?

get over it, Ur done til 2020


FIU willwin some games this year, and thereis no question about the fact that t.y. hilton is the best/most exciting player in florida. our bloghost is right in suggesting that an "underdog campaign" for the statue is in order-7 catches for 132 yards is desean jackson stuff. he was really good last year and has started out just fine with almost 300 yards of total offense from a wideout. it would a great achievement for a really decent guy just to get invited to the ceremony from "little" FIU.

The inevitable is starting to take place on 8th street.

Louisville looked awful against Murray State last night. FIU looks like they don't belong in the Sun Belt. I predict a solid win for FIU in front of a nation wide ESPN audience. I know UM fans aren't used to winning when ESPN is recording.

Speaking of ESPN, homeboy Barry Jackson is crying that ESPN continues to diss UM. Honestly, everyone outside of South Florida is dissing UM. You want to be on ESPN's good side, they control sports, period. FIU, with eight of their first nine games being broadcast on ESPN, is clearly on their good side and that my friends, is an excellent place to be.


FIU needs to sure up their play. Yes the score was 41-16 but it was more of an indication of how bad North Texas was. They had more than one wide open receiver drop passes that were sure touchdowns. FIU had stupid penalties and really bad fumbles. Were they dominate? Yes. However, if they play the same way against Louisville, they will lose a close game.

FIUrulez I'm not so sure... Yes, all of North Texas' points were a result of FIU's mistakes, but FIU seemed to control the game and put up points whenever they wanted. Was North Texas that bad, or what FIU that good? I think somewhere in the middle.

FIU stole Pitt's logo

UM fans
A little vinegar & water douche outta do the trick.
Talking about douche, where is Donna Shalala?

Miami's 3-1 record in the preseason doesn't mean much.
The play of the regulars (mixed results) & draft & free agent investments are more important then the final score.
Hey Tony! You want to impress your fans? Beat NE next Mon nite & go 3-1 to start the season. If you end up with a winning record and WIN a playoff game I will cease throwing detrimental knicknames your way.. Tony - Mr Potato Head - Sparano.

Dolphins need to quickly figure out what they are going to do with the right side of their Offensive Line. RG Carey has been average and RT Columbo has been horrid. Columbo can't pass block. Maybe Murtha gets moved to RT when Long returns. I'd cut-waive-release Columbo and wait for teams cutting their rosters to meet the 53 player limit for O line help.
IF Columbo stays & Long misses the NE game, everyone (except clueless Tony 2 Potatos) knows Belicheck is blitzing Henne all night. Columbo was the Cowboys worst starting O lineman and Fins jumped on signing him because of the Dallas connection.


Enough of all the talking from the talking deads (or is that heads?) ...


Congrats to the panthers....good start to the season.... & YES THERE IS ENOUGH ROOM IN THIS VERY LARGE AREA FOR 2 HOME TEAMS....(After all its not like they are playing against each other..) Besides I would rather see local talent stay home than go to GAY'SVILLE...

But that being said... 8 streeters, don't get delusional on me (ONLY LOOKIN AT ALL YOU HURRICANE BAD MOUTHERS) ... Still a LONG WAY TO GO.....
But a good start, and just remember all you "U" haters.. the program is being built on the backs of former Canes.....(Pete Garcia, Mario Cristobal.)

Fins will go 5-11....... They have NO RUNNING GAME !!! & you cant build an offense around Chad Henne....(Where will you pick him in your fantasy draft??.) Defense is the only thing that may keep them in any game...


the current offensive line of the dolphins is absolutely bottom-of-the-barrel; worse yet, the head coach is a former o-line coach- can't he assess that his offense is gonna go nowhere with guys who can't run or pass block. compare sparano with chuck knox-another relatively unknown line coach (witn the lions, i believe) when he took the job coaching the rams after prothro failed. knox's o-line was great year after year and "ground chuck", as opposed to "air coryell" was a greatr success after LA when knox moved to seattle and buffalo. one of the pillars of the ram line was a UM player, guard dennis harrah. throw in jackie slater who played forever at a high level (HOF) and perennnial all pro tom mack and you can see why the rams could run the ball and were a powerhouse in the NFL in the mid and late seventies after prothro went to the chargers, wher he basically assembled the talent for don coryell and his pass-happy offense. prothro drafted dan fouts and away they went.

Hey "truth" - FIU only has three games televised on ESPN all year, UM will have more than that and as an ACC team will have every game available streaming on ESPN3.

Doesn't mean ESPN likes UM or dislikes FIU.

Got in touch with Mike Dee, nice guy just trying to look after his customers but as of now they're still going to go through with UF day. I explained that my problem wasn't about UF or UM but was about the Miami Dolphins' front office doing stupid things that made it look like they don't understand their fanbase or how to run a team.

I'll post the number here and elsewhere in a couple of days so he won't know it was me, I still think there's a chance they could scrap the idea if they hear from enough Dolphins fans - I told him there's no chance that anyone will be sitting in my four seats for the Broncos game if they're going to be honoring Tim Tebow.

Kazzaam The Truth is right...

Louisville on ESPN
UCF, Arkansas State and Troy on ESPN2
All others on ESPN3

Looks like UM has three games on ESPN networks, per U's official site.

8 of first 9 games on ESPNs for FIU, not bad for a program playing "nobodies". Big East is near for FIU

No reason you should know this but for teams that a national audience might be interested in watching, the powers that be don't decide whether they'll be on ABC, ESPN, or just internet ESPN until a week or so before the game.

Hence Miami's games against Ohio State, FSU, VTech, GTech, UNC and a couple others are all "TBD".

Almost all will be on one of the ESPNs, Ohio State, FSU, and VTech may be ABC depending on how the other matchups are looking for those weeks.

And again, ALL ACC games are available on ESPN3 if they're not televised.

So 12 of UM's first 12 games are on ESPNs.

Kazaam, how can us Canes in the ACC have the same television coverage as a Sunbelt powerhouse?

I would think ACC has better ESPN coverage that SunBelt, because practically all of FIU's games are streamed as well if they aren't on ESPN or ESPN2.

They're taking over... where are my Canes from the 80s? Nobody loves us anymore. I went to the Ohio State bowl game back in the day, 100,000+ Ohio State fans and only 2,000 hurricane fans it was pathetic.

Kaazam, as a UM alum living out of state, please accept my SINCERE thanks for "putting your $$", etc).
My meager year contribution (due to the usual reasons currently) pale in comparison to what you and others here are doing to support a generally wonderful institution of learning, with a durn fine athletic dept, to boot.

We're a small private school, a fact many in the national media too often forget, which makes our accomplishments both on and off the field THAT much more impressive.
We'll get through the recent problems as we've always done, because even with the occasional 'family" squabbles, WE ARE THE UM FAMILY.

"I told him there's no chance that anyone will be sitting in my four seats for the Broncos game if they're going to be honoring Tim Tebow."

But does he not have you're Money anyhow?

Kazaaam, in the news today, ranking of governors...Scott is rated the #1 worst in the nation. Not surprised. There are certain cases where it is really easy to tell.

damn ANTHONY FASANO has a great bubble butt...what i would give 2 bury my face after a game...woof!

You're dreaming Kazaam. There's no way that plan is getting scrapped. They already have over 20 former UF players who agreed to show, Urban Meyer agreed to show, the band and mascot agreed to show. It is going to go down like it or not. And to anybody who wants to stop being a Dolphin fan good riddance. I've hated a lot of moves they've made over the years (most notably the stupid draft picks like Fletcher, Ginn, and Eddie Moore)..however, I still love the Phins. And anybody who's been down here longer than last summer knows it's the Dolphins who run this town when it comes to sports.

And to mike1,

Who gives a f*ck?

#### the Dolphins anyway!

To IMAWriter-

Nevin Shapiro not only is going ham on the athletic department, but he is soiling that "wonderful institution of learning" that you allegedly attended. Fact is- the dilemma is an awful embarrassment to the school as a whole. Even if most of the allegations are false, the damage has been done. He took a steamy dump on that whole institution. The entire school was mocked on major networks throughout the country, your president is looked at as a slimy piece of sh*t who lies worse than a used car salesman, and degrees at Miami probably aren't going to ever be what they were (despite paying 35 grand a year to go there). These types of things set schools back in ways beyond losing a few football scholarships and having a bowl ban for a season or two. They make the whole school look like a joke. I'm not a UM basher. I like S. Florida teams. But some of you just aren't rational with your optimism. Why do you think the Dolphins are having the Gator celebration? Because the Canes don't even demand respect in their own community anymore. It's sad. Miami learned the hard way that the most dangerous person is the person that 1) has information/weight on you. 2) has nothing to lose. And it appears Shapiro is both of those things. Another thing...you people that call him a rat and keep saying that you hope someone shanks him in prison have no clue what it's like in the pen. He is a rat, sure. But being locked up is hell (not that I've ever done time), and of course he wanted these players to give him a little something while he's in. It's not surprising that he squealed when they didn't throw a dog a bone. Facts are facts. He has that school by the nuts. It's a shame, but Miami (Coral Gables especially) feature an abundance of greedy folk like Shalala who don't know when to say when. Bit ya in the ass this time.

Ill take the over on Wake with 10 sacks.


was very impressed with the outside pass rush-and the quality of the hits- by our reserves in the last preseason game. If the credit goes to Bryan Cox (and maybe even JT) we should have tons of sacks not only by Wake but by the other LBs.

God bless our great nation!

@ shadow, great reply.
This Head Coach pulls in below average talent for the line and hasn't succeeded in developing anyone. John Jerry was SUPPOSED to be a beast in run blocking but has failed miserably. I have too many concerns with the QB over an entire season, Bush fraility, no talent TE, have of O line, no talent S's to justify claiming this team is playoff bound.
On the flip side, the D front 7 & CB's are very good & best O play calling I've seen since Shula was forced out.

After this hugh win against Dallas I may have to revise my prognostication. Dolphins will go 5-11 with a little luck.

I have revised my prognostication in light of Miami's win against AMERICAS TEAM lol. 5-11 and Robert Blake will also be invited to join the co-owners club...

Why not honor Joe Paterno and Penn State for the year they beat heavily favored Canes for National Championship.

Huh Fasano has bubble butt and Henne has bubble head.


it says here that the dolphins that sparano is talking up are gonna be creamed in the opener against NE. their defense will be okay, but they will not beable to run and henne is gonna be that deer in the headlights against what belichick cooks up.

The Dolphins SUCK. I'm sorry that wasn't very ladylike of me to say...

Patriots 45 Dolphins 9. All Fins points result of FIELDGOALS.

Ross couldn't be happier that he has so many co-owbers to bear finacial burden of this doomed team.

You know what I mean. I want to same college Dexter Mabley attended so I'm lucky I can even read & spell poorly.

Or was it Dexter Manley.

After reading Cote's recounting of Fins bad moves I'm thoroughly convinced they are not so much cursed as SUCK BIG TIME.

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