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Reeling Hurricanes not on same page after Duke loss

 

Coach Al Golden stands by defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio, while two players say on Twitter loss to Duke was ‘embarrassing.’

 
Coach Al Golden of the Miami Hurricanes reacts during a loss to the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium on Nov. 16, 2013 in Durham, North Carolina.
Coach Al Golden of the Miami Hurricanes reacts during a loss to the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium on Nov. 16, 2013 in Durham, North Carolina.
Grant Halverson / Getty Images

Special to the Miami Herald

University of Miami coach Al Golden said Sunday he doesn’t read Twitter and thus doesn’t pay any attention to the multitude of fans calling for the firing of defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio.

The Canes (7-3) have allowed 41, 42 and 48 points during their current three-game losing streak and haven’t held an opponent under 20 since Savannah State in the third week of the season.

On Sunday, Miami — as expected — dropped out of The Associated Press Top 25 poll. The Canes were ranked seventh nationally before losing to Florida State on Nov. 2. They tumbled to 14th after that loss and to 24th after falling at home to Virginia Tech.

Saturday’s 48-30 loss at Duke continued this season’s trends — no wins in November and the points-allowed numbers rising.

“Mark [D’Onofrio] is working his tail off to get this fixed,” Golden said of the defense.

Asked if he was pleased with the defense, Golden bristled: “You know I’m not. Nobody is. The players aren’t, either.”

Certainly, injured offensive stars Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett fall into that category. They watched the Duke loss on TV in Miami and both tweeted the word “embarrassing” as it related to the game.

And even though Golden said he doesn’t read Twitter, those particular tweets were surely brought to his attention.

“They both know what they presented to the public was not what they meant,” Golden said. “It was expressed the wrong way, and for that they are contrite. I’m going to talk to both of them, but I know they both wish they hadn’t hit ‘send.’

“What they really wanted to say was that they thought they could have helped us win.”

Johnson is out for the season with a broken ankle and won’t get that opportunity for a while.

But Dorsett, who has missed four consecutive games because of a knee injury, could be back soon.

In fact, amid the doom and gloom of the Canes’ skid, Sunday’s injury update seemed to include good news for the team.

Perhaps most importantly was the report that freshman receiver Stacy Coley, who exhibited concussion-like symptoms shortly after his 79-yard punt return for a touchdown, was not as badly injured as it might have appeared.

Both receivers could be available Saturday when the Canes host Virginia at noon in their final home game of the season.

“Phillip is going to be ready to go,” said Golden, reciting injury updates. “Stacy looked good [Sunday], which is great. [Cornerback] Artie Burns got an ankle [injury] in the first quarter and is day-to-day. [Kick returner] Corn Elder, I think, will be OK, but he’s day-to-day. And [receiver] Herb Waters got a groin [injury], and it’s wait and see.”

Waters was one of two Canes wide receivers who had 100-plus-yard games Saturday, joining Allen Hurns. And more help could be on the way.

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