NCF Nation: Mark Whipple

If ever there was a time for Maryland to beat Miami -- on the road, no less -- this would be it.

The Terps are hot, Miami is not.

Maryland has turned around its 2-10 2009 season and became bowl eligible with its 62-14 win over Wake Forest this past weekend. The Terps enter Saturday’s game in a tie with NC State for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Hurricanes not only lost to Virginia on the road last weekend, they also likely lost their starting quarterback, Jacory Harris, who suffered a concussion. The Canes will turn to a true freshman who was on the path to redshirting, Stephen Morris, while Maryland has a quarterback who is making his case for rookie of the year in Danny O'Brien.

[+] EnlargeDanny O'Brien
AP Photo/Nick WassDanny O'Brien has thrown seven touchdown passes in the past two games.
The Terps are still expecting the best from Miami.

"They are coming off a difficult loss, so we know that they are going to come into the game fired up,” linebacker Alex Wujciak told reporters at the team’s weekly news conference. “They have great athletes on offense from wide receiver to tight end and three good running backs. Whichever quarterback plays is going to be good and we saw that with their freshman coming in and playing well against Virginia. We have to be prepared no matter what quarterback plays."

Right now, it’s likely to be Morris, who shook off some butterflies in his first collegiate appearance against Virginia and accounted for three fourth-quarter touchdowns in the 24-19 loss. Morris had gone from fourth-string quarterback to first in a matter of minutes. Backup A.J. Highsmith was injured, and third-string quarterback Spencer Whipple threw two interceptions in six pass attempts.

“That shows a lot of promise on what we’ve done with [Morris], and how recruiting him shows what we see in him,” Miami coach Randy Shannon said. “He’s a guy that everybody thinks is a quiet guy, but around his teammates he’s happy-go-lucky, a get-after-it kind of guy. On the football field, his presence is unbelievable.”

It’s going to have to be if Miami is going to stay in the ACC race. The Hurricanes can’t afford another conference loss, even if it does come to an Atlantic Division opponent, and they still need one more win to become bowl eligible. A win would give Maryland a 7-2 record and a 4-1 start in ACC play for the first time since 2006.

Maryland and Miami have played each other just once since 1987 -- a 14-13 Maryland home win in 2006. There is more recent familiarity, though, as Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown worked with Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple at UMass.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. “I’m sure that there is a lot of familiarity, and that may be a good thing or it could be detrimental. I know that knowing someone so well, you can over-plan at times. But I know that they are very good friends; I think they talk with one another once a week, throughout the year, not just during football season.”

Brown’s defense has shown a lot of improvement in his second season. Maryland held Wake Forest, which was averaging 206.6 rushing yards per game, to minus-3 yards on the ground (the lowest total by an opponent in 11 years). The Terps have held each of their past four opponents under 100 rushing yards. Miami, meanwhile, has been racking up the yards but not the points. Miami is coming off its lowest scoring output of the season.

“We had 177 yards rushing, but we need points,” Shannon said. “Let’s face it: We’re running the ball well, but we need points. Like I said earlier, if we’re doing all the discipline things off the field and in the classroom, we need to take it on the field. That’s the thing that’s disappointing me -- we’re not transitioning that onto the field. Those penalties have been hurting us, hurting the drives. We get a 26-yard run, bring it back, or we get down to the 5-yard line, and bring it back. Those are things that really get you in bad situations that you don’t want to be in.”

Situations like having to beat Maryland in order to stay in the ACC race.

Halftime thoughts on early games

October, 30, 2010
10/30/10
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A few quick thoughts on the two noon games:
  • Miami had three turnovers on three straight possessions. No, Miami doesn't have an answer behind Jacory Harris. It has to be an uncomfortable situation for the Whipple family, as offensive coordinator Mark Whipple watches his son Spencer complete passes to Virginia. The Cavaliers lead 14-0.
  • Admit it, Miami fans, you miss J12.
  • For FSU and Miami -- two of the league's three ranked teams in the BCS standings -- to lose in the same weekend would be bad, very bad, for the ACC.
  • Can anyone in this league get through a game without turning it over?
  • BC leads Clemson 16-10 at the half, the first time the Eagles have led at the break since their win against Kent State on Sept. 11. Can they keep it up? They can if Clemson's running game continues to be stifled. Montel Harris already has 111 yards.
  • If you're surprised by any of this, don't be. This is how the ACC rolls. There is no great team. There is no consistent team. And this is what it adds up to.
  • BC and Virginia deserve credit for refusing to collapse. They're both still looking for their first conference wins, they're both pretty much out of their respective conference races, and yet they're both playing as if their respective division titles were on the line today.
  • If these games are setting the tone for the ACC today, UNC better watch out for William & Mary.

Miami's Jacory Harris injured

October, 30, 2010
10/30/10
1:01
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Miami quarterback Jacory Harris was helped off the field with about 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter at Virginia after he took a clean but brutal hit that left him motionless for a while.

Backup Spencer Whipple, son of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, was warming up.

Harris has taken a lot of criticism this season -- some fair, some not -- but there's no question he's the best option on the roster. He gives the Canes the best chance to win, and they need him healthy. You might be able to question Harris' decision-making, but not his toughness.

Canes fans should hope Harris bounces back as quickly from this injury as he has everything else in his career.

Miami finally shows emotion

October, 26, 2010
10/26/10
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It's about time.

It's about time somebody called a players-only meeting.

[+] EnlargeRandy Shannon
AP Photo/Miami Herald, Al DiazCoach Randy Shannon showed some excitement against the Tar Heels.
It's about time one of those players challenged his teammates on the sidelines.

And it's about time Miami coach Randy Shannon let his guard down and pumped his fist in the air.

Miami has the talent to win, but it was lacking the leadership that sparks the desire to win. It starts at the top, with the usually stoic Shannon, who was finally able to let loose and have some fun in the Canes' win over North Carolina. Shannon, cornered by criticism heading into that game, remembered how to chest bump. Even former players like middle linebacker Dan Morgan have said that Shannon needs to show more emotion -- heck, a smile would be nice -- because the players feed off of that.

"You know what happened?" Shannon said in a telephone interview this morning. "Those guys let me have fun. That's basically what it was. We weren't doing the things we needed to do in practice, and like anything, you've got to stay on top of the guys until you can see they're starting to make that change. We weren't being consistent. When we played Duke we had a good week of practice, I thought we were being consistent, I jumped around a little at Duke and had some fun with the players because I'd seen it at practice. Against North Carolina I saw the same type of tempo in practice. I told those guys, let me have fun. Let me enjoy myself, just by the way you practice and prepare."

Vaughn Telemaque told me after the loss to Florida State that the Hurricanes were still looking for a leader. Days later, he became one.

It makes perfect sense on this team that the leader comes from the defense, because that's the strong side this year, the group that, if Miami is going to win the ACC title, will win it for them. Telemaque, Brandon Harris and Sean Spence were the players who called the meeting.

"I thought it was great," Shannon said. "I can't force it on them. To have a players-only meeting, they have to call it. Those guys become your leaders and believe in what we're doing. I thought it was great for the football team."

Telemaque and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple had a brief exchange on the sideline during the Carolina game. It doesn't even matter what was said.

All that matters is that somebody finally cared enough to say it.

Time to question Mark Whipple?

October, 2, 2010
10/02/10
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CLEMSON, S.C. -- Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple has had a seemingly untouchable reputation since arriving on campus, hailed as the answer to Patrick Nix. He sure knows a heck of a lot more about the game than I do and has been in the game long enough that he's very respected by his colleagues and players. Miami quarterback Jacory Harris has likened him to a father figure.

But why line up in the shotgun and throw the ball from Clemson's four-yard line when you've got guys like Damien Berry more than capable of punching it in and a quarterback with the uncanny ability to throw interceptions? Whipple is off-limits to the media, so it's impossible to ask him such questions, like why he continues to chance deep throws into coverage with Harris. Whipple is a smart guy, which is why it makes plays like that even more baffling.
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Jacory Harris isn't the only quarterback completing passes to the other team today. Miami linebacker Sean Spence tipped the ball and Marcus Forston intercepted Kyle Parker. The play led to an immediate 18-yard touchdown pass giving Miami the 20-14 lead.

As expected, turnovers will continue to be key in this game. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes will win. It seems as if both of these offenses are operating in all-or-nothing mode today. They're either hitting home-run plays, or three strikes and out.

One more thought -- Harris deserves credit for shaking off that interception and coming right back and throwing a touchdown pass. The kid has ice in his veins. That's why offensive coordinator Mark Whipple isn't afraid to gamble with him. His greatest strength, though, is also his biggest weakness.
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Miami is going with what works -- Damien Berry. Both defenses came to play early, but on this drive, Miami is running the ball with success. Berry had three straight runs for 49 yards. The Canes are in Clemson territory now. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple is a big-play gambler, but right now they're establishing the running game and it's working. This will eventually open things up in the passing game, but with Jacory Harris' penchant for turnovers, they should keep this up until Clemson stops it.
Miami quarterback Jacory Harris said his playbook is “like a dictionary.”

“It’s huge,” he said. “You have to study it.”

As Harris enters his second season under coach Mark Whipple, he now knows it much better, thanks in part to the fact that Whipple has simplified it a bit by cutting down on some of the terminology. Still, there is the same amount of plays -- a number Harris estimated to be around 300, many of which are variations of each other.

[+] EnlargeJacory Harris
Richard C. Lewis/Icon SMICutting down on mistakes is a top priority for Miami quarterback Jacory Harris.
Harris said the biggest difference in his second season under Whipple is simply a matter of being more comfortable.

“He expects a lot from me,” Harris said, “so that’s what I have to give him.”

He also expects fewer mistakes. Harris last year became the first quarterback since Ken Dorsey in 2002 to throw for 3,000 yards in a season, and he finished with 3,352 yards and 24 touchdowns. It was the 17 interceptions, though, that garnered the most attention. Four of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns (three coming in losses to Clemson and North Carolina). The 17 thrown last year were second-worst nationally behind Jevan Snead's 20.

“You could go out there and throw for as many yards as Case Keenum, 5,400 yards, but if I don’t cut down on my mistakes, it’s still the same outcome,” he said.

If there was one mistake from last fall Harris could have back, he said it would be one of his four interceptions in a 33-24 loss to North Carolina.

“I believe that without that interception, we win the game,” he said. “All I had to do was make the tackle. That’s why I don’t play defense.”

Harris doesn’t want to jinx himself, so he won’t actually say national championship, but he does feel the Canes are capable of reaching “the highest possible goal, without saying it.”

“I’m having a lot of fun,” Harris said. “Coach Whipple has made it so much fun just by being the type of person he is and by my becoming more comfortable with it. The more comfortable I am, the more fun I have because I know what I’m doing. It’s like the back of my hand. I know what I’m doing.”
Now that spring is over and teams throughout the ACC have learned a little bit more about themselves, it’s time to re-evaluate the conference hierarchy heading into summer camp. The very top stayed the same as the pre-spring rankings, as did the bottom of the barrel, but there were some tweaks in between. Here’s a look at how the ACC shakes out heading into summer camp:

1. Virginia Tech: The Hokies were encouraged by the rookie performances on defense this spring, but coach Frank Beamer has said he’s still looking for the young players to get stronger this offseason and spend some significant time in the film room. Offensively, the Hokies will be as good as the revamped offensive line, and that’s still a work in progress.

2. Florida State: What separates the Seminoles right now is the fact they only have to replace one starter on offense, and veteran quarterback Christian Ponder will be protected by one of the best lines in the country. The defense is better suited for the personnel under coordinator Mark Stoops, but overall remains a question.

3. Miami: The Hurricanes’ depth at running back should make the offense more productive in the second year under coordinator Mark Whipple. The Canes’ defensive line was also a highlight of the spring under first-year assistant Rick Petri, but they need to replace three starters up front offensively.

4. Clemson: Defense was the strength this spring, but running backs Andre Ellington and James Harper should ease the loss of C.J. Spiller. With four starters returning, the offensive line should improve. The key to Clemson’s run at a second straight Atlantic Division title will be the return of quarterback Kyle Parker to football instead of baseball.

5. Georgia Tech: Yes, they’re the defending ACC champs, but the Jackets were hurt the most by the NFL draft and are making the biggest transition defensively. There were positive reviews about the addition and style of coordinator Al Groh, and if the Jackets can replace three starters on the offensive line, they’ve got the skill players to defend their title.

6. North Carolina: The Tar Heels have an NFL-caliber defense, but this spring revealed little about how much progress they made offensively. Quarterback play remains a concern, as Butch Davis must choose between inexperience and inconsistency.

7. Boston College: The quarterback competition continues, and nobody is sure just how effective linebacker Mark Herzlich will be upon his return. The Eagles do have one of the better offensive lines, though, and a schedule conducive to another appearance in the ACC title game.

8. Maryland: Coach Ralph Friedgen was pleased with his spring practices, specifically the progress of the offensive line, which will be critical to Maryland's comeback this fall. The Terps have settled on quarterback Jamarr Robinson as their starter and have plenty of talent at running back and receiver to help him.

9. Wake Forest: Skylar Jones finished the spring atop the depth chart, but his main competitors -- Ted Stachitas and Brendan Cross -- were both injured. The Deacs will reveal a more run-based, option offense under their new quarterback. The interior defensive line remains a concern.

10. NC State: Coach Tom O’Brien just can’t seem to get through an offseason without a setback. The misdemeanor charges against four of his players -- including two starters from 2009 -- revealed poor decision-making from veterans.

11. Duke: Quarterback Sean Renfree is expected to be fully recovered from his torn ACL and be the starter this fall, but the Blue Devils’ running game is still in need of an upgrade and the defensive line remains a question.

12. Virginia: It’s still too early for first-year coach Mike London to put his stamp on the program, as he needs more recruiting classes to do that. This will be a transition year with a new staff, new philosophies and possibly a new quarterback.
Miami fans can exhale.

Skip Holtz will be the next coach at South Florida. That means Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple is still Miami's offensive coordinator. And a very good one at that. The Canes improved dramatically under his leadership this past season and should show even more progress in 2010. And finally, Randy Shannon can get some much-needed stability at his coordinator positions. If everything falls into place, there's no reason Miami can't win the Coastal Division in 2010.

Whipping Miami into shape

December, 29, 2009
12/29/09
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Mark Whipple has done wonders with the Miami offense in his first season as offensive coordinator. In one season, he's been able to produce better numbers than what the Canes averaged over a span of three, from 2006 to 2008. Check it out these numbers, provided by ESPN Stats & Information:

Size vs. speed in Champs Sports Bowl?

December, 10, 2009
12/10/09
11:21
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Miami coach Randy Shannon doesn’t believe in the notion that players from the South have speed and players from the Midwest have size. In fact, he called it a myth.

[+] EnlargeJohn Clay
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireWisconsin's offense leans heavily on John Clay and the Badger running backs.
Whether or not Miami is faster than Wisconsin at the skill positions will be determined on the field in the Champs Sports Bowl, but as far as size goes, they're are almost identical up front. Wisconsin averages 6-foot-5, 313.4 pounds on the offensive line. Miami averages 6-foot-5, 313.8. On the defensive line, Wisconsin averages 6-foot-3, 282 pounds. Miami averages 6-foot-2, 280.5. Those numbers are both based on the starting lineups from the last depth charts available for each team.

“Everybody recruits speed,” Shannon said. “It’s not going to be a situation where we’re going to be faster than those guys or they’re going to be faster than us. We have a big offensive line, they have a big offensive line. They have big guys on defense, we have big guys on defense. It’s going to work itself out. It’s just a myth that if you’re down south you run faster.”

These teams do play a different style of football, though, and bruising Wisconsin running back John Clay -- at 6-foot-1, 248 pounds -- is heftier than Miami’s Graig Cooper, who is 6-foot, 205 pounds. Clay is “a big guy who runs angry,” according to Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, and he’s obviously the Badgers' first option. Clay has rushed for 1,396 yards and 16 touchdowns this year. Wisconsin has run the ball 539 times this year compared to Miami’s 440.

“They can run the football,” Shannon said. “They are a big, hard-nosed team that believes in establishing the run and they’re not going to bend in the run game. They are not going to sit up and go, “OK, if we can’t run the ball in the first 20 plays then we’ll start throwing it.’ They’re going to come out and still establish the run.”

Miami believes in that philosophy, too, but Cooper is just one of three running backs who has at least 450 rushing yards this year. Miami also has six receivers with at least 200 yards each. Seventeen different players have caught a pass for Miami this year, and 10 of those 17 have double-digit catches. Miami is taller than Wisconsin at receiver, where the Canes have four players at 6-foot-3 or taller.

Bielema said he is good friends with Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple and called it a “unique matchup.”

“I think the matchup in itself will be neat because everyone is going to talk about the Florida speed versus the Midwest size of Wisconsin," Bielema said, "and we have big people, but I think a couple of our guys can run as well.”
Nobody has uttered one bad word about first-year Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.

Since arriving in Coral Gables this past winter, he’s been inundated with praise, hailed as one of the best hires of the off-season, and the difference in Miami’s exciting offensive progress.
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesMiami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple has quarterback Jacory Harris taking more risks this year.

So it’s no surprise Miami coach Randy Shannon isn’t going to be the one to start questioning Whipple’s tactics now – and either should you. Whipple’s reputation precedes him. He’s a smart coach with a wealth of knowledge about the game -- far more than you or I could ever hope to know. But he’s also proven this year he’s a risk taker, gambling on one deep downfield pass after another.

That’s because opposing defense haven’t left him much choice.

In the first half of the season, Whipple’s game plan was new, it was fresh, and quarterback Jacory Harris flourished in it. Now, opponents have started to figure out not only the offense, but Harris’ main weakness -- throwing vertically downfield.

Harris enters Saturday's game against Duke having thrown 16 interceptions this year, including nine in the past four games. Harris has acknowledged that he’s taking more risks this year, but is that because he’s being asked to? I asked Shannon on Wednesday’s ACC teleconference if there was anything the Canes could do with their playcalling to make Harris more comfortable, and Shannon didn’t hesitate to say “no.”

“We’re not going to ever criticize our playcalling, whatever we do at the University of Miami,” Shannon said. “I have total confidence in both coordinators of calling the defense, and calling the offense and the players executing what we’re doing offensively and defensively.”

The problem is Harris hasn’t been executing as well lately. He’s a poised, mature sophomore quarterback who at many times has played beyond his age this year, and he was the main reason they were ranked No. 10 in the country at one point. I don’t doubt that he’ll rebound from this turnover slump like he has from game to game and even half to half. He’s a winner. He’s a clutch player. But is it possible that Harris doesn’t have enough zip on the ball to constantly throw it deep, that he might be better and more accurate in executing the underneath passes?

What if, though, opposing defenses have figured this out and have started to crowd those underneath routes, daring Harris to throw it deep? That makes it more tempting for Whipple to call the downfield pass, since the defenses aren’t really honoring it. Problem is, it’s backfiring, and against North Carolina, it was exposed. Plus, odds are defensive coordinators don’t fear Harris running the ball. He’ll take a sack, or throw the ball to the fans, or run out of bounds before he scrambles and advances downfield. He doesn’t bring the added dimension of a running quarterback like a Christian Ponder or Tyrod Taylor.

Whipple and Harris were both unavailable to comment.

Shannon has his own theories.

“They’re just growing pains,” Shannon said. “You can’t blame everything on the quarterback all the time, but usually when you have an interception, it is the quarterback. Sometimes it’s the receiver with the wrong route, and things like that happen. As an offense, we know we’ve got to get better, we’ve got to make sure everyone is in sync and everyone is doing all the things to get us going. It’s a phase, he’s young … he’ll weather through the storm. He had a great day of practice this morning, phenomenal. You could see the sense of urgency with him and also the things he wants to get accomplished and help the guys on this football team understand that he’ll be a guy who’s going to be there in the crunches again.”

Of course he will.

That’s because Harris hasn’t changed. The defenses he’s going against have.
Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich

Just because the Hokies aren’t playing doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to keep an eye on in the ACC …

1. Georgia Tech on third-downs. The Yellow Jackets have the best third-down conversion percentage in the ACC (52.6), but Virginia has the best defense on third downs in the ACC, holding opponents to 29.3 percent. The Cavaliers’ defense hasn’t been the problem this year, but it will face a different challenge in the triple-option offense.

2. Virginia inside the red zone. The Cavaliers have been successful inside the 20-yard line on 17 of 20 chances, but Georgia Tech’s defense is second in the ACC in red zone defense at 75 percent. The Jackets played much better defensively against Virginia Tech last weekend, but will have to continue to clamp down when it counts against quarterback Jameel Sewell, who has shown improvement the past few weeks.

3. Kevin Steele vs. Mark Whipple. The two first-year coordinators will likely get into a chess match in Miami, as both of them have made immediate impacts for their teams. Under Steele, Clemson has the No. 17 scoring defense in the country, holding opponents to just 15.33 points per game. Under Whipple, Miami is averaging 29 points per game and 16 different players have caught a pass this season.

4. Clemson left tackle Chris Hairston. He suffered a knee injury late in the win over Boston College and missed the TCU game and played just nine snaps at Maryland. Clemson lost both of those games and averaged just 99 yards rushing and 15.5 points in the two contests. With Hairston back in the lineup, Clemson had 195 yards rushing against Wake Forest -- the second best by the Tiger this year. Clemson is 3-1 this year when Hairston is in the lineup and 0-2 when he is not.

5. FSU’s passing offense vs. UNC’s pass defense. Quarterback Christian Ponder has the Noles ranked 13th in the country in passing offense with 297.5 yards per game, but UNC’s stingy pass defense is No. 1 in the country with 125.17 yards per game. Most teams have shied away from veteran cornerback Kendric Burney this season, giving him few opportunities for pass breakups and interceptions, but that could change tonight.

6. Ponder’s first-down success. Of his 26 pass completions against Georgia Tech, 16 went for first downs. That was even better than his performance at Boston College,when 16 of his career-high 29 completions moved the chains. Ponder’s pass completions have accounted for better than 60 percent of the Seminoles’ first downs in each of the last three games.

7. Boston College senior kicker Steve Aponavicius. The former walk-on kicker, nicknamed “Sid Vicious,” is five points away from setting BC’s career scoring mark. He has accumulated 258 points in his three-plus seasons, hitting 40 field goals and 138 extra points. Aponavicius is the ACC active leader in both field goals (40) and PATs (134).

8. The Eagles’ streak. Boston College has won six straight against Notre Dame, including the last three on the road. If the Eagles win, the senior class will graduate having gone undefeated against the Irish. But this is an improved team under Charlie Weis, as quarterback Jimmy Clausen leads the nation’s No. 7 passing offense.

9. The scoreboard in Durham. No, seriously, aside from the fact Duke might win its second conference game, the winner in this series has scored at least 41 points in six of the last 11 games. Considering Duke is averaging 31.83 points per game, and Maryland is allowing about 33, it’s not out of the question for Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis to continue that trend -- especially considering the Blue Devils just put up 49 against NC State.

10. Turnovers in Annapolis. In Wake Forest’s loss to Navy last year, the Deacs committed an uncharacteristic season-high six turnovers. This year, Wake Forest trails its opponents in turnover margin with 10 takeaways and 13 turnovers.

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich


MIAMI -- I'm watching Miami warm-up right now, and the receivers catch the deep ball with such ease. That's one advantage Jacory Harris will have over Landry Jones in this game. However, it's going to get a lot tougher here in the next half hour when the Sooners are in Harris' facemask. Regardless of who the opponent was, Oklahoma's defense deserves credit for back-to-to-back shutout wins.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple had a rather extended conversation on the field earlier when the teams started to warm up. Would've loved to hear that conversation.

Miami has still not given me its official lineup changes, so I'll post those as soon as I get them.

If Miami wins this game, it will be the Canes' third win over a ranked opponent this season. That is worthy of a top 10 ranking. It would also be a big win for the conference considering how so many of the other teams struggled today. This is a chance for Miami to reassert itself as a frontrunner in the ACC.

The challenge for Miami's defense will be to contain running back DeMarco Murray. Jones isn't going to be asked to win this game by himself. Murray is the Sooners' top option on offense, and the Canes will have to do a better job on him than they did on Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams. The Canes' depleted secondary will key in on Ryan Broyles, who has been Jones' go-to receiver so far. He's already got 309 receiving yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.

Updates on the lineups to follow.

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