Let me first say that—overall—I like what Randy Shannon has done to turn the Canes Football Program around. However, there’s one thing about his coaching that REALLY bothers me: SHANNON DOES NOT MANAGE HIS TIME WELL AT THE END OF HALVES!
Take the Virginia game, for example. At the end of the first half–at the :36 second mark—Javarris James rushes for 13 yards up to the Miami 28. Miami only has one time out, but doesn’t use it. By the time Jacory Harris hits Aldarius Johnson for 24 yards on the next play, there’s only :03 seconds left. Now granted, this play was negated by Orlando Franklin’s “illegal man downfield” penalty (I think he forgot the play..he blocked like it was a run up the middle). But even without Franklin’s mistake, the Canes would have been at the Virginia 48 with only 3 seconds left and one useless timeout. Their only option would have been to throw a hail mary to the end zone. However, if Shannon had called his timeout at the end of Javarris’s run, the Canes would have had about :20 seconds left at the Virginia 48. That would have been plenty of time to kill the clocking by spiking the football once or twice and to try and throw—at least once—for the 17 yards the Canes needed to give Matt Bosher a makeable field goal.
Then, at the end of the game, I understand why Shannon ran Cooper after Jacory’s 30 yard completion to Benjamin with :21 seconds to play. Shannon was trying to be risk averse. But a pass there would probably have resulted in either a longer gain—which they needed to give Bosher a few more yards for the FG try—or a clock stopping incomplete pass. To me, even if the run went for big yardage, it was the wrong call. As it was, Graig Cooper only gained 4 yards AND the clock continued to run all the way down to 12-seconds. Bosher was forced to try a 51 yard field goal for the win—which he missed.
This type of time mis-management has occurred before this season—including in the first half of the Wake Forest game. Coach Shannon has done so many things right; it would be a shame for the chink in his coaching armor to cost him a game. Unfortunately, I think his time mis-management ultimately WILL cost the Canes a win.