San Francisco's Emerald Bowl: not known for highlighting college football's best teams. But the bowl has been the lucky recipient of some formerly great ACC programs hitting the skids and adding some marquee value. Florida State won in 2006 against a terrible UCLA team. And in 2008, 7-5 Miami showed up to face a pretty marginal Cal squad led by Nate Longshore, a quarterback with "issues" to say the least.
But unlike FSU, Miami found a way to lose the game. They lost despite Longshore's utter ineffectiveness (10-21, 121 yards). They lost despite getting good play from freshman quarterback Jacory Harris -- the over-enthusiastic ESPN commentors were calling it his 'coming out party' which might warrant an excessive celebration penalty -- and good running from Graig Cooper, who averaged 5.3 YPC, but received only a mystifying 12 carries.
It came down to turnovers and terrible clock management. At the end of the first half, down 14-7, Miami was intercepted at their own 43-yard line; Cal promptly went four and out. Getting the ball back with 1:18 remaining and three timeouts, Shannon appeared to be running out the clock: fair enough, given that his freshman quarterback had just turned the ball over in Hurricane territory. But wait... no! After three passes resulted in a first down, Shannon called a timeout with :04 remaining. Hail Mary time, right? Nope: Harris completed a 3-yard pass to Graig Cooper. Miami walked off the field with two timeouts remaining with the ball on Cal's 49-yard line.
Randy Shannon's Clock Management Skills Could Use a Little Improvement originally appeared on Fanhouse NCAA Football Blog on Sun, 28 Dec 2008 08:27:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.