Shannon not pleased Hurricanes aren't getting out to fast starts Print
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Tuesday, 09 October 2007 21:36
NCAAF Headline News

 CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -Miami coach Randy Shannon has the same two-word mantra for his team every week, emphasizing it repeatedly.
``Start fast.''
Shannon wants his guys in constant, speedy, efficient motion. He plans a two-hour practice every day, then tries to get it all done in 1 hour, 40 minutes. He has the team buses arrive at game sites 90 minutes before kickoff, just so the Hurricanes will be scrambling around to get ready and not sit idly in the locker room.
So it baffles him when game time rolls around and Miami looks like the team that never got a wake-up call. That was the case last week at North Carolina, when the Hurricanes trailed 27-0 at halftime, and finding a remedy is perhaps Shannon's biggest priority while preparing Miami to host Georgia Tech on Saturday.
``We're trying to get a sense of urgency going all the time ... a hurry-hurry situation where there's a sense of urgency going on the field,'' Shannon said. ``We've got to keep working at it. We're not going to give up. Those players understand what we're trying to get done, and it's up to them now.''
It's easy to see which games Miami has started fast, or to Shannon's liking.
In the Hurricanes' four wins, all at the Orange Bowl, they've outscored teams 64-0 in the first half. In their two losses, both on the road, they've gotten into holes of 21-3 (at Oklahoma, a 51-13 loss) and 27-0.
So if players don't find a solution, the Hurricanes (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) could soon be out of league-title contention.
``This week we need to start off fast and end fast,'' cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke said.
And that hasn't been the case for Miami in recent years against Georgia Tech (3-3, 1-3).
The Yellow Jackets have beaten Miami in each of the past two seasons, winning 14-10 two years ago in the Orange Bowl - a loss that essentially ended the then-No. 3 Hurricanes' hope of a national championship and ACC title - and then prevailing in Atlanta last year, 30-23.
But those losses aren't necessarily adding any motivation for Miami this week.
``It's a game and we have to win ACC games,'' offensive lineman Andrew Bain said. ``It really doesn't matter what they did last year. We have to win. They're going to go out there and do what they're supposed to do, so we need to go do what we need to do.''
It's a simple approach, much like Shannon's ``start fast'' edict.
Making it seem easy, well, that's a different story.
The Hurricanes didn't change much at halftime to engineer their ultimately futile comeback try at North Carolina. Shannon said Miami ran the same plays as they did in the first half, just executed them far better and quickly closed within seven points - but never took the lead.
Shannon thinks there is an easy solution.
He had some emotional words for the Hurricanes after a conditioning-filled practice Tuesday, telling them that losing isn't tolerated at Miami as a few players nodded their heads in agreement.
``They've got to believe in what we're doing,'' Shannon said. ``They've got to believe that what we're calling is working. That's all it is.''
 

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