We all figured Adewale Ojomo was going to be out for awhile, but we finally got confirmation from coach Randy Shannon that senior Eric Moncur will not lineup against the Seminoles Monday night.
Shannon told reporters during his ACC Teleconference an hour ago that Moncur and Ojomo were the only two defensive ends who will not be going to Tallahassee. "We got maybe two guys that will be out for the game -- Ojomo and Eric Moncur," Shannon said when asked about the state of his defensive ends. "... We'll miss them and their experience. We have confidence in Olivier Vernon, Marcus Robinson, Andrew Smith and Steven Wesley. We have a lot of guys who have played football here."
Shannon spoke for about 10 minutes during his ACC Teleconference and for about another 20 with WQAM's Joe Rose Tuesday morning. Here are a few notes from those conversations.
> Shannon said the key to beating Florida State will be winning the turnover battle and tackling. "We got to be able to stop the run. If you can stop the run defensively you can let your pass rush get after the quarterback and do some other things," he said. "Last year we weren't able to do that. We're a better football team just because of experience wise. All of those young guys got a lot of experience with playing reps which is vital for a game against Florida State."
> Last year, the Seminoles and quarterback Christian Ponder torched the Canes on the ground. Shannon said UM wants to keep him contained. "We want to keep him inside the pocket and make decisions. We're expecting our defensive line to do a great job. We expect our pressure to get after him."
> Shannon said the biggest improvement he's seen in Jacory Harris is in third down situations. "He doesn't let many things bother him," Shannon said when asked what's impressed him about Harris now that he's the full-time starter. "He's the guy this year and he takes it just like business. He practices with the mentality he's going to get better. When he makes a mistake, he'll take the blame. If he holds it too long, he'll go and tell the offensive line he held it too long. If he throws it to high for a receiver or just out of reach, he'll tell them 'My bad.' He's not a me guy. He's a team guy."
> Shannon said backup quarterback AJ Highsmith has done well, but hinted if he gets into the game he probably will not be asked to do a lot. "We got a small package for him," Shannon said.
> Shannon told WQAM he and his coaching staff will sit down after Thursday's practice and determine the depth chart and who will be traveling with the team. When asked if any true freshmen would play, Shannon said "none will start."
> As for the rotation at receiver, Shannon said "we're going to play four or five guys at maximum. You can't play eight anymore. The guys know whoever makes plays for us will be playing for us."
> Shannon said he feels confident with the depth on his offensive line. "We got eight guys we feel comfortable with," he said. "We have guys we can rotate and give us a chance to win games."