It's Radio Tuesday!: We're back in-studio with the Dan Le Batard Show today 3-7 on 104.3/790 The Ticket, 4-7 ESPN Radio. Dan's still off so it will be Stugotz and I co-hosting. Also my first time in the new South Beach studios, so I'll Vine out how they look.
1) It is TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2. Watch for our season-debut of the college SOPY (State Offensive Player of the Year) rankings in the blog on Wednesday. 2) Patriots sign former Dolphin Don Jones. Typical Bill Belichick chicanery. 3) Happy new month, and hope all my fellow American workers had a nice Labor Day. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Rate My Fantasy Draft poll, Hot Button Top 10, Upset Bird Countdown, FIU vs. Herald verdict & more. 5) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
UPSET BIRD COUNTDOWN: 3 DAYS: The Upset Bird and I launch our 24th season of NFL Friday Page predictions in the Miami Herald in 3 days, on Sept. 5. To celebrate we have a daily countdown honoring notable fictional birds of different species. Today (following UM's Sebastian the Ibis), we welcome Woody Woodpecker, born in 1940 into the cartoon genre of screwball characters whose template included Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
See our live game blog and analysis and commentary on tonight's Canes loss right below the poll...
CANESFAN SATISFACTION METER: G1: Welcome to the sixth season of our blog's Canesfan Satisfaction Meter postgame polls. This is your invitation after every Hurricanes game -- in this case last night's season-opening 31-13 ACC loss at Louisville -- to vote on your overall satisfaction with the team and season in a continuing weekly gauge of how UM football fans are feeling. Criteria for voting is your own, but I suggest you consider the most recent game's performance and caliber of opponent, season as a whole, program's direction and your overall degree of optimism -- all in the context of reasonable expectations. Results are certified official the morning after one full day of voting. In this case that will be around 9 a.m. Wednesday. Welcome back. Vote now!
Canesfan Satisfaction Meter previous final season results: 2013--16.1% overall satisfaction (following 9-4 season); 2012--80.9% (7-5); 2011--22.1% (6-6); 2010--4.2% (7-6); 2009--41.7% (9-4).
G1: LOUISVILLE 31, HURRICANES 13 (4Q): Final: "FIRE GOLDEN! BENCH KAAYA!" (I'm just getting ready for fan hysterics on Miami sports-talk radio...) This was a winnable game for a long time but Miami let it slip with three turnovers, too many missed chances, and 17 unanswered Louisville points to end it. I thought the Canes defense was fairly solid much of the night in the 31-13 loss, allowing 336 total yards, and bearing in mind that one of Louisville's TDs came on a 97-yard kickoff return. Overall I'd say offensive coordinator James Coley has more to fix than defensive chief Mark D'Onofrio. True-freshman QB Brad Kaaya and the offense had a rough start, partly because the coaches were hesitant to let Kaaya let it fly. The play-calling was conservative. Duke Johnson fought for every yard (he was 20-for-90), but Kaaya completed only 17 of 29 for 174 yards and had two INTs offsetting one TD. UM's offense was a miserable 1-for-12 on third downs. Kaaya struggled enough that coach Al Golden will need to address early in the week if Kaaya is still his guy or if he might immediately switch to senior Jake Heaps. ..... 4Q: Kaaya interception ends game. ... Cards make it 31-13 with late TD pass. ... Kaaya-to-Duke Johnson 36-yard completion negated by ticky-tack illegal man downfield penalty. Huge call. Was a 1st and goal. Ended in a punt. ... Redbirds add short FG for 24-13 lead. ... A winnable game Miami is letting slide. So far. ..... 3Q: UM finally a 1st down on 3rd down after being 0-for-9. But Kaaya underthrow-INT on very next play. ... Cards up 21-13 after 15-yard scoring run. ... UM within 14-13 but settled for short FG after recovering fumble at L'ville 8. That could hurt. ..... Half: I don't mind the spot UM is in at 14-10 down. Miami's defense is looking pretty solid and Canes would be up but for two key plays: the lateral/turnover in the Louisville red zone, and giving up the long kick-return TD. ..... 2Q: L'ville up 14-10 as Canes gouged for 97-yard kickoff return. ... UM up 10-7 on 24-yard FG. ... Cards go for it, make it on 4th and 1 from own 22. Usually when Bobby Petrino makes a decision that dangerous and questionable he's on a motorcycle. ... Huge blown opportunity by UM. Sack/fumble recovery gives Canes a 1st and goal, but immediately give it back. ... Canes 7-7 on Kaaya 2-yard TD pass to Clive Walford, set up by their hookup for 31. ..... 1Q: Canes driving as quarter ends. ..... What UM did NOT want tonight: Brad Kaaya, in his first start, on the road, playing from an early deficit. ... Louisville 7-0 after 93-yard drive. D'Onofrio haters, start your engines! UM getting zero pressure from its 3-man rush. ... Mmm, I don't know about those metallic-green UM helmets. You like? ..... Original post: The Miami Hurricanes' 89th season of football launches tonight at Louisville before ESPN cameras at 8 p.m., marking the fourth season for coach Al Golden. The Canes and their fans hope tonight is a lot different than the way last season ended: a 36-9 loss to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando. Same teams, but much different -- notably at the most important position. True freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya takes over for Miami, while Louisville must replace departed star Teddy Bridgewater. We'll be looking for three things, mainly: 1) How does Kid Kaaya handle the pressure of a loud, hostile crowd and a national stage in his collegiate debut. He seems well-suited for the challenge; doesn't act like a kid just turning 19 on Wednesday. But you know the Cardinals' defense will be geared to pressure and disrupt him. 2) Running back star Duke Johnson in his return from last year's season-ending injury. Domination by the Duke of Gables will make Kaaya's job so much easier. And 3) UM's defense. It was awful at times last year and must be much better all-round. Looking for a star or two to step up other than senior linebacker Denzel Perryman. With no Bridgewater and Louisville also missing star receiver DeVante Parker, the Canes have no excuse for a poor showing. This is an ACC game right out the gate, and also huge because it's one of those swing games that define a season. Most college schedules have a few games that are gimmie wins and a few you can't count on winning, with most teetering in between. This is one of those for The U. Louisville is favored by 3 1/2 points, meaning it's about a tossup aside from the location. My pick: Upset. Miami, 27-23.
Poll result: It's official. You hated my fantasy draft: We had a blind poll inviting you to rank my family fantasy league's draft based on each team's top three picks, and I came in next-to-last. Ouch. Results: Team #2 (my brother/led by Jamaal Charles) 34.3 percent; Team #7 (older nephew/Peyton Manning) 27.9%; Team #3 (oldest son/LeSean McCoy) 11.9%; Team #6 (son's girlfriend/Eddie Lacy) 8.5%; Team #1 (youngest son/Adrian Peterson) 7.5%; Team #4 (wife/Matt Forte) 6.0%; Team #5 (me/Calvin Johnson) 4.0%; and Team #8 (younger nephew/Demaryius Thomas) 0.0%.
HEAT MAKE MINOR COACHING STAFF CHANGES: Movin' on up: David Fitzdale now will be the Heat's clear No. 2 behind head coach Erik Spoelstra. And Juwan Howard will be elevated to a full assistant coach. Demoted: Ron Rothstein and Bob McAdoo, who'll be invited to remain with the club but in lesser roles. Spoelstra is expected to add another assistant or perhaps elevate Dan Craig. (Is this the kind of story fans care about? I have a feeling a team's staff changes -- unless they involve a head coach or, in football, a coordinator -- are of media interest only).
UPSET BIRD COUNTDOWN: 4 DAYS (from Monday): The Upset Bird and I launch our 24th season of NFL Friday Page predictions in the Miami Herald in 4 days, on Sept. 5. To celebrate we have a daily countdown honoring notable fictional birds of different species. Today (following the Aflac Duck), in honor of the Hurricanes' season opener we welcome UM football's venerable Sebastian the Ibis.
Check back often because we update and add to our latest blogposts a lot...