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Transcript of Golden's press conference before the Virginia game

UM coach Al Golden's weekly press conference before the Virginia game.

Opening Statement...

“(We) had a chance to rest up the team and get healthy and get stated on UVA. Clearly the University of Virginia is a different team coming out of a bye week. (They had) 446 yards on offense and 48 carries for almost 250 yards. They did a great job with time of possession. Six sacks and four takeaways against NC State, and they held them to something like 19 yards rushing. They clearly have made some changes.

“I’m really impressed with UVA’s offensive line, especially the tackles and the center. I think the center is as good as anyone we’ve seen so far this year. Two quarterbacks in [Phillip] Sims and [Michael] Rocco. I really think their running back depth is excellent…We’ll see all three of them. We’ll see a number of receivers in the game, and obviously their tight ends are a strength as well. Big, strong, rugged team. They beat us the last two years and four of the last six. Clearly that, coupled with the NC State game, has got our team’s attention. Hopefully we’ll be able to maintain our focus and get ready for a great UVA team in Charlottesville.

“On defense, again, they’re rugged up front…Big and strong and long up front on defense, same as last year….I think we’re expecting the University of Virginia team that played last week. Clearly they had some turnover ratio issues, which had led to some mistakes earlier in the year. But they clearly got that cleaned up in the bye week and looked different last week in terms of how they’re operating.”

On the influence of being in first place in the Coastal Division...

“(Our players) have to learn how to do it. It’s difficult because it’s the first time that we’re navigating that – we were pretty much out (of the race) by this time last year. This is where you’re either disciplined, and your habits and your process either holds up or cracks. We’re trying to teach them how to make it so habitual, so disciplined and ingrained, that it can withstand anything. For us to want to go where we want to go in the coming years, this is the first step for us. It’s really important to stay focused on UVA and block everything else out.”

On added energy from being in the ACC Championship game mix...

“I hope. That’s part of it. Part of being in the mix towards the end (of the season) should supply you with some energy and should reinforce your focus. We have goals as a team, but our goal right now is to prepare as well as we can, block out everything external and stay focused on the University of Virginia. At the end of the season, this was a team last year that was physical and strong. It’s going to be a great challenge for us, and it’s going to be a barometer for us to see where we are from this time last year.”

On the Cavaliers’ use of two different quarterbacks...

“I think they’re both good. Obviously they’ve won with both of them. They’re hitting their outlets; they’ll throw it to the two tailbacks out of the backfield…Excellent screen throwers. Not afraid to move the pocket with them, or play action and get a chunk. I’m sure from [Bill] Lazor’s standpoint or Mike’s [London] standpoint they see them differently in terms of how they operate. Right now we’re just preparing for the totality of the Virginia offense, not really just one quarterback or the other.”

On the difference between Virginia’s play before the bye week and after...

“I can tell you this – the biggest thing was they got to the quarterback. I think they only had seven sacks coming into NC State and they got to him six times. I think they were minus-16 (turnover ratio) going into NC State and now they’re minus-12…They’ve done that with system and with personnel…I’m sure they put a great emphasis on protecting the ball and taking it away. Obviously they brought that to fruition. In terms of stopping the run right now, this team is as good as anyone in the country…They’re strong, they’re efficient, they’re physical…We better be ready to go.”

On the play of Miami quarterback Stephen Morris...

“I think Stephen is developing every week. He’s getting better every week. We’ve faced some really good defenses and we’re going to face another good one coming up. I think he just has to get back to trusting those around him. Stop looking for the big play, and just hit some singles. The great lesson is the Mike James play on our second touchdown - it’s a one-yard completion that ends up being a 16-yard touchdown. He needs to get back to doing more than that – trusting the guys around him and distributing the football. It doesn’t always have to be down the field. We have enough talent out there that we can get explosive plays without throwing it 50 yards down the field. He just has to settle in. We’re protecting him well. This team will pressure you - last year they got to us, make no mistake about it. We have to protect well for us.”

On Miami’s ability to create more turnovers this season (18) compared to last season (15)...

“We’re starting to create some turnovers. A lot of it sometimes, as coaches, we’ll do the drills and everything, but the reality of it is sometimes it’s just [about the] players. Sometimes there are just guys that, with a little bit of training, if they have that knack for it or they look for it, they can make some plays. We’re starting to get some interceptions now – I think that’s the biggest difference. Last year we were trying to rip it out a lot…The biggest difference right now is we’re getting some interceptions. And we’re doing that without getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Hopefully we can continue to get some pressure on the quarterback, and that should disrupt us a little bit more. We’re protecting the ball well on offense - we better against this team - and we’re taking it away on defense. We need to continue to do that.”

On the keys to avoiding trouble on third down by setting up well on first and second down...

“Be efficient... I think [Virginia] had eight three-and-outs against NC State, and I think we had five against Virginia Tech. So clearly that’s part of their M.O. and part of their success on third downs. They get you into third-and-long situations, and then they do a nice job of getting the ball out and either tackling you or putting pressure on you. As many times as they sacked [Mike] Glennon in Raleigh, they hit him. They hit him an awful lot. We have to be efficient on first and second down. We can’t be sitting there in those “band downs”, as I call them – those third-and-longs when they strike up the band, everybody gets jacked up, and they’re getting in sprinters stances and coming at you. It’s really important we are efficient on first and second down.”

On lack of productivity in the third quarter...

“It’s just how you look at it. I look at it like our defense has only given up about three points in the last three games in the third quarter or something like that. Our defense has been very productive. Our offense has not been as productive for sure in the third quarter. I think this is the first game in the last three or four where we actually started on offense in the third quarter - and I think we went three and out, if I’m not mistaken. There’s no question overall we have not had the production we need to have in the third quarter. But it’s more than that - we can’t have the three-and-outs and we have to produce on third down. I think third down has a lot to do with it.”

On the importance of his offensive line against a talented Virginia front...

“They know what’s up. They know this team is strong, they got a lot of sacks last year, got a lot of pressure. That’s on the running backs, tight ends and the offensive line. I don’t think there’s any question - we know what Virginia is and what they were last year. They’re a big, strong, rugged team that’s tough. As they played last week, I know that’s how they want to conduct again. They don’t want to beat themselves. That onus is on everybody and Stephen [Morris] has to get rid of the ball as well.”

On his team’s pass protection up to this point...

“I think it’s been excellent. This will be as big a challenge as we’ve seen, both in personnel and from a system standpoint. This team will pressure you, and I mean rushing six or more, more than anybody.”

On how defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio dealt with his team’s defensive struggles...

“I think you just keep saying, ‘We’ve seen this drill before. We’ve seen this game before.’ And just be supportive. It has not been an easy task. We lost a ton of guys and a ton of experience on defense. The younger guys are starting to grow up, and we’ve gotten the linebackers healthy. Through that time we were down, what – four or five linebackers? How many are we playing now altogether? Seven, or maybe eight? And we had four or five of them that weren’t with us for a while – that was tough sledding there. We didn’t have [Curtis] Porter, we had some other injuries. I think there are some guys that are healthy that are growing up. We’re playing better, but you’re only as good as your next game, and that’s the challenge coming up. These guys are going to try to run the ball down our throat with a big physical offensive line and physical tight ends. We better be ready to tackle really well and hold up at the point.”

On the impact of having defensive tackle Curtis Porter back in the lineup...

“He’s strong. To have a man – what I mean by that is a guy who is strong, he’s mature, he’s physical, he’s stout, he can hold the point of attack, not get knocked off, all those things. At the same time he’s coming back, some of the younger guys are growing up, which is good. You’re seeing better play from Luther [Robinson] or Corey King or any of those guys right now. They’re starting to grow up in there. We’re not where we need to be, but certainly It helps to have that depth and strength in there, for sure.”

On the improved play of cornerback Ladarius Gunter...

“He’s growing up a lot. He benefitted really from the last couple weeks and certainly the bye week. He’s been working hard, he’s got length, he’s strong, and I think he’s settled in right now. He understands the system, and he’s playing with a lot more confidence. I would say [Antonio] Crawford is playing better, Tracy Howard is playing better. That group has to keep moving forward. You could say the same thing with [Rayshawn] Jenkins at safety - he played the most he’s played in the Virginia Tech game and had success. Hopefully those guys will continue to grow as a unit.”


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Getting healthy, improving, and other teams are worrying about facing us. I like to see that...

Sounds like a challenging Virginia team that will be after a W after a tough start. A physical ball club.

Our guys are up to the challenge. If Morris will distribute the ball accurately, including underneath if they rush 6, our speed will break some plays. Running to the outside will be a key. In fact, our speed is a key advantage in this game.

The defense must continue to fight up front, get some pressure on the QB and improve on covering underneath routes. We can do it.


As long as this coaching staff is not trying to match uVA strength for strength we should be straight. We need to start using our speed a lil more to our advantage. Who cares about how physical or how strong another team is, sop drooling over that crap, this ain't no weight lifting contest, it's football.

We need to do what we do best, play physical when we need to and use our speed when necessary. Let's not try to use duke johnson like he's a power back and this team, let's let mike james do what he does best and that's be a power back. He's a senior and knows what to do out their, no more toss sweeps to mike james, if mike james is averaging 3 yards a carry, keep pounding em, don't let the man run for 3 yards, on 1st down, than3 yards on 2nd down than snatch em out the game.

Leave him in there as a threat to pick up the last 3 or 4 yards. duke johnson is no mike james, call plays to their strengths and leave it be!

The part that irks me is where "Goldy says be supportive. Support DunnoToday JustDunno? Are you kidding?

The DC is the weak spot and I'm not all that happy with the play calling by the OC. How many times were we in the red zone against VT?

That said: Heisman Watch:

1) Bridgewater, UL QB and ex-RS recruit who no doubt was ready to turn UM program around, until...

2) Geno Smith, WVU QB

3) Johnny "Football" Texas A & M QB Look out SEC in about a year or 2

Let's go Canes!!

Canes...this game will punch the ticket...

Coach G knows what is happening with UVA..this is their game of the year...
They have nothing to lose, and everything to gain from a win..

We need to step up and Dominate these guys...
Good precise throws, special teams, takeaways, strong runs, no drops,and a defense that may bow but not bend and we can clean up on these guys...
I think that the team is ready to put it in passing gear..
I have 50 yard seats... and I know that I can't wait to see my team produce the type of game that leads us to the Orange Bowl..
Yes I said it, we can do it.
Go 'Canes Always

No way we "dominate" this team. Throw records aside, they have owned us for yeas. They may not be bigger, but they are stronger, and will, WILL dominate both lines of scrimmage. Miami will have to hold on, keep them out of the end zone, and find ways in sp teams to score or set up field position. Miami can use the no-huddle, but they need to milk the clock more, giving our defense time off the field. Our offense cannot run long drives, so it could be a long day without some breaks. This is no cake walk as others have said in other posts. If Golden doesn't have them ready, we lose.

If we don't drop the safties down to the line of scrimmage, coach london is going in already knowing we're the 2nd worst rush defense in the nation, why not make us last. So that'll be the game plan, the only way we'll be able to counter that is by scoring early and forcing them to have to play catch up so they may have to get away from the running game.

Not having deon bush back their would hurt us, i cant' wait for him to get his first pick though. He can play, he's just going to have to hold himself back from trying to make the big hits, that man gives it up for his teammates. The bigger he gets, the more of a problem he's going to be back their, he's a head hunter back their. Right now, i like these guys we got on defense, they bring the wood, dzp, deon & eddie johnson for sure. thomas finnie will definite hit you when given the chance to.

tracy howard, he'll definitely be on deck come next year in the hitting department! tyriq mccord and gabe terry are definitely hitters out their. We got a lot of strong up & coming talent on the defensive side of the ball, will it be used correctly is the question, are we going to be a passive defense or an aggressive defense.

One things for sure, all iwant to do is see us play Fsu again this year, that'll give these coaches another chance to redeem themselves, 1st game wasa tune-up game, if we played them again, it would mean more. Forget a bowl ban, i know this administration maybe thinking, this team should be way better come next year, so banning them from a bowl game this year might be the best thing to do, because we should be on the verge of making a big splash come next year.

So here's the question, how many of you think we should bowl ban this year eve nthough we might have a chance to play Fsu or should just bowl ban this year and bank on the fact that we should theoretically have a better team come next year and we will definitely be in the same situation come next year. If bowl bannng now will allow us to play in a better bowl game later and for years to come, to me though, that's still punishing the players who had nothing to do with it.

As for me, i'm thinking, let em play, you already done did what you needed to do for the nc2a, if they want more, their crazy, penn st. only got a 4 year post-season ban, what alledgedly went on here doesnt even come close, we've done our part by bowl banning once!

Don't blow it ladies. Virginia has only won 3 games, don't let them get you and spoil your chance at getting embarrassed by FSU agsin.

Cat, u duno anytime about anything so who are U to criticize anybody.

Self impose this year anyway.

I like Blake James and really hope that he gets the AD job full time. If he doesn't maybe we can get Mitt Romney to at least interview. Maybe it would be a nice consolation prize since he didn't get the gig he really wanted.

I'll say this, if the d-line shows significant progress these last few games, that'll help keep keith bryant on board. Also, if keith bryant is thinking about going to Fsu, he should look again, cause quiet as kept, odell haggins is a real good d-line coach, but the mac staff has a 1st round d-line(Muhammad wilkerson) pick to show for their efforts over the last 2 years.

If he's looking to be a force, his best bet would be to come to UM over Fsu, who hasn't had a 1st round d-line pick since 2006, that's a long time. If i'm keith bryant, i'm going with UM, why, because we're young up front and i can either beat somebody out for a spot, or wait a couple of years and than burst onto the scene, dominate and that it'll be easy pickings from there on in.

Also, if i'm alex collins, why go to Fsu, who is the last runningback they put into the nfl and what runningback in the nfl is starting or playing in the nfl besides leon washington. Those are the questions i would ask myself if i was alex collins. eddie gran doesn't have a good resume of runningbacks he can point to currently in the nfl. ronnie brown and cadillac williams "where are the now".

mike james will definitely get a shot, you already see what duke johnson is doing, add alex collins to our runningbacks stable and it'll be on for sure. Plus we're running a pro-style set more than Fsu.

So if i'm keith bryant or alex collins, those are the questions i'd ask myself if i was choosing between Miami and Fsu.

I think the defense is coming along nicely. If the offense can hit some big plays we can win. If we get up, blow them out....nothing but hate for London and his program.

Alex Collins? Serious? FSU? You'll be behind Wilder for the next 3 years.

Calvin youre first post was right on the money on UM's running game.

Cool cat- Listen, sir/ All due respect. This like your tenth post stating that Teddy Bridgewater and Geno Smith are on the Heisman watch. You also mention Jonny Mansiel, the Texas A&M QB.

Let me respond to your stupidity:

Neither and Neither and neither.

Neither are Colin Klein
Neither are Matt Barkley
Neither are the Oregon Ducks runningback
Neither are Mante-Teo

So st---fu with this garbage for once. Teddy Bridgewater is a Jacorry Harris clone, who fortunatley for him was put in a spread offense type of style, just like at NW, so he benefits. Good for him. Geno Smith has been exposed. Same type of QB. Same with Johnny M. All spread option type QBs- goony goo goo offenses like the one Tebow ran. Colin Klein rruns the same offense at KSu-difference is he runs the ball like theres no tomorrow.

Teddy Bridge didnt like that Shannon was fired so he wanted to go to LSU then Louisville. Wow. Louisville. Wonderful. Good for him. At least he can watch good college basketball once a year there.

5>3>2 is as dUmb as they come.

Teddy Bridgewater
Geno Smith
Jonny Mansiel
Colin Klein
Matt Barkley
the Oregon Ducks runningback

"goony goo goo offenses"

All these are real players. Real stars. Yet dUmb arse cane clown puts them down. as if any cane player can hold a candle to any of these guys. The cane players, all of them put together, can't hold the jockstrap of any of these guys.
What a Moron!

In the meantime, that UVA team looks so tough at 3 - 6. What a big game for the sorry canes. And then there are the mighty Dukies in wait. Scary. Pathetic.

Poor "CaneKiller", a coward that is afraid to even MEET a Cane face to face. You have trouble killing the rats and roaches in your trailer, no human has to worry about you being a "killer", unless you plan on using your stench as a chemical weapon.

Canes players can't hold the jockstrap of those players? More like they don't WANT TO. You however seem to think that is the best thing in the world, since that was your job for Tim Tebow, and have since done that for Brantley and Driscoll.

Lets just use our speed. Morris needs a big game. Oline has to bring it more thsn any other group....it is OL win or lose.

Also, why are our screen passes always seeming a lil dis-oriented. If we ran more solid screen passes for duke, he be a whole lot better. Plus smo doesn't throw a good ball from close range.

I'm looking forward to see this Fsu vs V-tech game tomorrow night, i know they're thinking, who made our schedule and they're going to try and take it out of the trailerhassee bunch! I see them getting beat down though. gumbo fisher knows how to call plays in the redzone!

Ok, we wasn't able to bring in sammy watkins, next on deck, stacy coley, if this staff is able to reel him in, along with alex collins & jordan cunningham, i'll be impressed.

In the meantime, if they don't keep guys like keith bryant, reel another d-tackle prospect or 2, and let guys like matthew thomas, jermaine grace/skai moore go elsewhere, that'sll negate any success this staff does with offensive recruits. Although i do like what i'm seeing from guys like ivery, earl moore and definitely corey king, all the young guns looking like they'll be a force on that d-line.

Also, it's good to see seantrel henderson take it to the next level and hold off ereck flowers as well. flowers is a legit o-linemen, and come next year, i'm thinking he should only play if seantrel goes pro, otherwise redshirt em, but that'll be on him, i'm sure he'll be ready to take over whenever they need em too. I would definitely luv to see him develop into the left tackle, i think he has more talent than malcom bunche, he's just not as strong yet.

like the comments made by AL Golden..he is coaching this team one game at a time...realistically if they beat virgina..they have usf and duke left ... i am confident that they will beat usf without daniels and the coach probably gonna get fired....if we win those two games not only will they be playing for an coastal title... they will be playing for a top 25 ranking,national recognition again,top recruits..realistically we could be back sooner than later sanctions or not..remember these are freshman..they are here for two more seasons after this one...Golden has stuck to his process and after the va game a 6-4 record in than maybe 8-4 record with so many returning starters and the acc not being as strong as it is...WOW...THESE NEXT THREE GAMES CAN REALLY PUT US BACK ON THE MAP..BUT IT IS A BUNCH OF IFS

Also with the class we redshirted(10 or 12) and with the 15 to 18 kids he is gonna sign this year..we will have 25 to 28 more freshman next year..can you imagine if we go 8-4, with a roster of 25 fresh.25 soph..15 jrs.. and 20 srs..we will be good for a long time..their gonna take scholarships away but we want really need for incoming players to contribute bcuz the team we see now we will see for the next two years....WOW...AL GOLDEN COULD SET US RIGHT FOR A LONG TIME TO COME..


To Cool Cat! Are you in LaLa land! Randy Shannon couldnt recruit, couldnt coach , isnt even a DC anywhere! Get over it thank God he isnt here anyone more!!

Randy shannon was a good recruiter he couldn't coach..he had top ten classes 3 out of 4 years ...in his tenure they had like 20 guys drafted..look it up

bryant and collins leaving.....talk to me, I get the info before the herald does....

mom is fsu alumni and he wants filled stadium and network exposure.....sanctions kill both....

i knew a week and a half he was leaving.....the wisconsin travel is smoke....he is going to fsu and bryant is following....the john franklin signing help push it over the edge plus his mom....now be prepared like i said 2 weeks ago...watch for the other shoe to drop.....we are going to lose bryant also....sanctions will be 30 scholarships plus 2 bowls after the 2012 season.....my sources say sanctions will be hard....just watch

Jim Gallo - You may be right about the sanctions. So you're saying UM will lose 3 bowl games in all - one last year, one this year if UM qualifies and withdraws, and one after next years' season. I definitely agree about the 30 scholarships (10 a year for 3 years). I just hope it is no worse than that. I am beginning to think that they will lose 3 bowls in all. That's why UM must turn down a bowl game this year. One UM official said he's worried that the NCAA will try and make an example of UM. That is a bit scary. I hope we're both wrong.

Collins and bryant left.... so what...they are so many guys that are available ...listen if Golden and the team finish strong we are going to get the cream of the crop

and we have enough players to survive if we lose thirty scholarships...but i doubt their will be a three year bowl ban

you wont get cream of the crop....be real, with fsu.fla.nd and a host of many ncaa teams recruiting in florida...forget it.....these decommits will drop miami recruiting even further...

is the herald the last to know about alex collins?....even though it was announced today, I heard weeks ago about it and the herald has not asked 1 question about it.....is Golden going to give a statement? you lose your #1 commitment, its a huge deal.....

bryant and collins leaving.....talk to me, I get the info before the herald does....

mom is fsu alumni and he wants filled stadium and network exposure.....sanctions kill both....

Posted by: jim gallo | November 07, 2012 at 01:49 PM

To all the people who doubted jg, he got a message for yall:


Wow, gallo, crowing at the "loss" of something we didn't even have. You KNOW that Golden cannot comment about recruits, so why try to get him in trouble with the NCAA, unless you are HOPING it would happen, which would help the Gators.... Ahhhh, so THAT'S why....

of course he can...who told you that....ncaa does not stop him from commenting on any recruit...its public knowlege....he is already in trouble from the allen deposition....there is 1 violation that happened when he was there....a recruit target was taken to dinner by allen and golden was at the resturant....then a call went back to some assitant coach right after discussing the event....the ncaa has both phone records to UM staff before and after that dinner....I say clean the whole house...Golden/ Staff / Shalala...build the foundation from scratch....Golden will not fire his DC...so how does Miami get to any level of top tier football?

At the end of the day though when it comes to recruits for me, i could careless about their ratings. Don't mean jack squat to me, you'll get real stars once you start actually playing a game at said school. Also, if a guy doesn't want to come here, no need in trying to drag em here, we want guys who want to be here.

Wherever alex collins ends up, great job on having several opportunities to choose from. If he goes to Fsu, he already knows what that rivalry is about. We definitely need another runningback though. Also, we need more d-linemen more than anything. If alex collins doesn't come here, ok, next man in, aj thurman didn't look to bad as well. We need d-tackles and runningbacks, otherwise we're going to be a lil thin at runningback for sure. The d-line is starting to be ok for sure.


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