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August 31, 2012

G1: Hurricanes 41, Boston College 32: Morris, The Duke, UM offense overcome defensive lapses for big opening win!; plus FIU disappoints; Noles, Gators & more

[1) It is SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1. Having a rough day? It could be worse. You could be the RNC guy who booked Clint Eastwood. 2)  NEWEST VIDEO!: ON UM, FIU FOOTBALL: Visit our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote to peruse any of our mini-commentaries including our latest one on Hurricanes and FIU football on the eve of their season openers. 3) Click on The Team That Luck Forgot for today's special-section Dolphins column by me, and on Top 32 for my 2012 ranking of NFL teams. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

1aa1mepick 1aa1birdmockUPSET BIRD COUNTDOWN: 6 DAYS: The Upset Bird and I kick off our season of Friday NFL prediction pages Sept. 7, and began a 21-day countdown that each day is honoring notable birds. Following Winnie the Pooh's neighbor Owl, today we welome the 1974 Carly Simon/James Taylor song, "Mockingbird."

1aa1csm12Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: It's baa-aack!: Our blog's Canesfan Satisfaction Meter is back for a fourth season. A new CSM poll will appear right after every Miami Hurricanes game inviting you to express your overall level of satisfaction with the team and season. Look for the first 2012 poll following Saturday's opener at Boston College. Estimated posttime: 7:30 to 7:45 p.m. 

G1: HURRICANES 41, BOSTON COLLEGE 32: Final: UM 41-32 after Miami takes intentional safety in closing seconds. A wild, ultimately impressive season-opening win by the Canes. The pass defense was close to horrible, but the UM offense -- led by quarterback Stephen Morris and freshman runner Duke Johnson -- was enogh to overcome. 4Q: Miami defensive goalline stand with 2:17 to play denies a QB-sneak score and seals it, the call upheld on review. ..... BC 30-41. Birds draw closer with 17-yard scoring pass with 6:43 to play. ..... UM 41-23. The game is won. Stephen Morris' 18-yard TD pass to Malcolm Lewis assures that. ..... UM 34-23: Defensive fumble recovery sets up short FG. ..... 3Q: UM 31-23. Duuuuuuuuuuke! Duke again. This time a swiveling 56-yard scoring run. Amazing talent. ..... UM 24-23. We got us a thriller up here, folks. The U back up on a 22-yard FG. ..... BC 23-21. Birds regain lead on 30-yard FG. ..... Half: Early read on this UM team and season: Stephen Morris and Duke Johnson are going to make this offense exciting. But 231 first-half passing yards allowed speak ill of the defense. ..... 2Q: 20-21. Eagles add 37-yard FG. ..... UM 21-17. Miami first lead of game (and season) on nice 54-yard run by freshman RB Duuuuuuuuuuke Johnson. ..... BC 17-14. Eagles with a 26-yard chipshot FG. ..... 1Q: UM 14-14. Just like that! Denzel Perryman 41-yard TD return on interception knots the game as quarter expires. ..... UM 7-14. Canes alive! Eduardo Clements 1-yard TD run caps 83-yard drive late in quarter. .....  Stephen Morris intercepted. Nightmare start for Canes. ..... BC 14-0. Jake Sinkovec 15-yard TD pass. UM's defense is making QB Chase Rettig look like Andrew Luck. ... BC 7-0. Lousy start for Canes D. Allowed a 36-yard pass on opening series and didn't seem set/ready on Andre Williams' 4-yard scoring run. ..... Original post: Miami is very young and a scant favorite (2 points) in a near-pick 'em game, which is sort of sad because Boston College is struggling enough that 1aa1canesits coach might be on the ACC's hottest seat entering the season. The betting line verifies that not much is expected of the Canes this season as Al Golden 2.0 commences and the stewardship of junior QB Stephen Morris (pictured) begins. I think the Canes are being underestimated, perhaps because of the still-hovering NCAA issues. I also think Golden is the right man for this job; click on Digging In for my special-section column on Golden and his commitment to UM. I see Miami improving upon last year's 6-6 but might have to revisit that claim with a loss here. Canes, if you don't beat BC, even in Chestnut Hill, you could be in for a long season, especially with the Eagles' defense sorely depleted by the departure of tackler-savant Luke Kuechly. A challenging, stage-setting game right out the gate, but the Canes' superior speed decides it. Pick: Miami, 27-16.

1aa1fiuDUKE 46, FIU PANTHERS 26: The Devil Azur won at FIU last season so you know Mario Cristobal's troops were out to return the favor. And with Duke injury-depleted, they had a chance. Not enough defense, though, especially in that nightmarish 30-point second quarter. The good news: Jake Medlock looks like the real deal at QB. My pick was: Duke, 28-27.

FAU 7, WAGNER 3: Pretty unimpressive debut for new coach Carl Pelini last night as the ghost of retired Howard Schnellenberger haunted the stadium. Not sure who Wagner is or where he's from -- actually it's a very small 1-AA school from Staten Island -- but this would've been a new low if Owls didn't win this one. My pick was: FAU, 30-13.

NO. 23 FLORIDA 27, BOWLING GREEN 14: The Swamp got a soft opening and should have rolled close to a perfect game against Bowling Green. (Sorry). Gators can't seem to pick a starting QB but thought they'd hardly need one here. Instead, it was a result that won't impress the pollsters in the least. My pick was: Florida, 41-10.

NO. 7 FLORIDA STATE 69, MURRAY STATE 3: Speaking of soft openings, thought the top-10 Noles wold name their score, and they did. My pick was: FSU, 58-6.

Week's other state FBS games: Central Florida d. Akron 56-14 on Thursday; South Florida d. Chattanooga 34-13 on Saturday.

National game of week: No. 2 Alabama d. No. 8 Michigan 41-14.

SOPY Rankings: New college football blog gimmick!: The past few years we've had our own Cote's Top 30 or whatever we called it. Tired of it. Done. Our new gimmick: The weekly, cumulative State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) Rankings, a continually updated top-10 of the most productive quarterbacks, runners and receivers from our state's seven FBS teams. I suppose FSU QB E.J. Manuel might be the favorite going in but you never know 'til you know. We'll debut the rankings and explain our formula following the Week 1 games. Watch for it.

Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...

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