MIAMI ( – The Miami Hurricanes are in deep trouble as they enter the heart of the ACC schedule with much of the problem revolving around an inconsistent defense.

The defensive issues are something that isn’t escaping head coach Al Golden.

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“We have guys freelancing and guys doing their own thing,” coach Golden said. “They don’t understand the integrity of the defense. They don’t understand how their position impacts the rest of the defense or the guy next to them and we gotta do a better job of making sure we understand that.”

UM was once the home of some of the toughest defenses in the country. But, the defense has regressed in recent years and in 2011 is ranked 50th in scoring defense, allowing 24 points per game.

The Hurricanes are especially vulnerable to the run. The Canes are giving up 196 yards per game this season on the ground and 206 yards per game through the air.

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“We’re trying to get them all on the same page and on one heartbeat and on one mindset, and that’s a challenge,” Coach Golden said. “We knew it was going to be a challenge on defense because we had older guys and younger guys but we didn’t have a lot in between.”

Plus, Miami’s schedule isn’t forgiving in the next few weeks. The Canes travel to North Carolina this weekend to take on a vastly improved Tar Heels team. Then, the Canes return home to host 12th ranked Georgia Tech on October 22.

Still, Golden is pushing his players to try and develop the one thing the team hasn’t had yet this season…consistency.

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“We need a couple of more plays on defense; we all know that,” Golden said. “We gotta continue to improve on offense. We need a max play from special teams and we haven’t gotten that yet. We’re going to keep battling it every day.”