Rain and lightning got to the Hurricanes before they could finish up practice on Greentree Thursday, the last day of workouts before they fly out Friday for Saturday’s noon kickoff at 21st-ranked Kansas State (1-0). Coach Al Golden took his team indoors to UM’s nearby Wellness Center for a walkthrough.
Right tackle Seantrel Henderson, who didn’t travel with the team to Boston College, has been practicing this week and Golden is hopeful he can get Henderson, along with Jeremy Lewis and Ben Jones, into the rotation on the offensive line Saturday. Lewis was the only backup who got into last week's game.
“I hope he’s ready,” Golden said of Henderson. “He’s only had two full pads practice with the varsity, so he’s got a long way to go in terms of his conditioning and his technique and everything. Hopefully he’s staying on top of it mentally, and if he has an opportunity this Saturday, he’ll be ready to go.”
Also looking to make a return this week is defensive tackle Corey King. “He rotated with the varsity all week,” Golden said. “So I think he has a chance.”
There was no medical update on defensive tackle Curtis Porter, who is still recovering from his appendectomy and won't play this week along with freshman linebacker Raphael Kirby (knee). They were the only Hurricanes listed on Thursday's injury report.
> Golden is well aware that shortcomings the team had on defense from game one are sure to be attacked by the Wildcats on Saturday. Among those shortcomings are breakdowns in coverage and a lack of pass rush on passing downs.
“What you screw up in one game, you’ll get tested on the next,” Golden said. “Hopefully we’ll have some poise and be able to communicate.”
Although Kansas State doesn’t run the triple option, Golden compared the Wildcats offense to that of Georgia Tech because of their physicality, discipline, and how they strive to eat up time of possession.
“[They] get you to man up against the run and get you with a shot over the top,” Golden added. “I think it’s just a different style of doing it, but that’s what they are.”
Golden noted Thursday how much better his defense’s tackling appears to be based on film from the BC game. Tackling figures to be critical against Kansas State, especially with how prolific its running attack can be, led by quarterback Collin Klein and speedy running back John Hubert.
-- DAVID FURONES