Hurricanes Coach Al Golden had his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Here's the injury update on offensive tackles Taylor Gadbois and his backup Kc McDermott, who each injured his left knee against Duke:
Golden: "Right now we’re moving forward without Taylor and Kc. [Alex] Gall was better today, so he has an outside chance. But Trevor Darling, [Nick] Linder, [Hunter] Wells and Sunny Odogwu, those are our nine guys right now rotating in [along with usual starters Jon Feliciano, Ereck Flowers, Shane McDermott and Danny Isidora] –- [with] a little bit of Joe Brown. Those are the guys we’re getting ready to go in the game. We’ve already moved on in terms of practice and as we get information from the medical staff we’ll update that."
Golden said he doesn't know how long the linemen will be out, and still hasn't divulged the diagnosis for each.
Status of running back Duke Johnson, who sprained his right ankle against Duke: "I think he’ll be fine. We’re just protecting it right now but I think he’ll be good to go by tomorrow."
Will Yearby get more touches? "I don’t know,'' Golden said. "Joe did a great job last week and certainly warrants consideration for more but I think it’s going to depend on Duke and it’s going to be those three just as it has been, Gus [Edwards], Duke and Joe."
Mark D'Onofrio has been really good at defending this offense, all the way back to Temple. The key?
"...Obviously facing it all the time No. 1. We faced it every year [at Temple and now Miami]. But you’ve got to make a lot of things happen. You need tackles for loss, you need some takeaways. He works hard at it and believes in what we’re doing. He also knows that we’re going to see some things this week that we didn’t see or have not seen, given the time off in the preparation and where it is in the season. It’s early in the season so they probably worked on it in the preseason a little bit plus the bye week. We’re going to have to be ready to improvise and adjust."
On the return game, how can you improve?
"We’re working on it very hard. We have to coach it better, we have to execute it better, we have to give them a little bit more room to run and then the returners have to hit it. I would say all four of those are in play this week."
On freshman Trayone Gray:
"He’s doing great. He’s continuing to make progress with special teams. I think his conditioning is starting to really improve and he’s starting to get into a little bit of a groove. We just have got to keep pushing him along."
On if Artie Burns will be involved more in the return game:
"We’re thinking about all that. I got to coach it better, we’ve got to execute it better, we’ve got to hit it better and we’ve got to give them more room. Part of that is the coaching part of it. I gotta make sure that we give all the right guys an opportunity to do it."
On punter Justin Vogel:
"Vogel has worked very hard. He’s very poised. It hasn’t all been perfect, but he’s always answered. When he’s had a punt that maybe isn’t as good as he wants it to be, he’s always answered. So from that standpoint, he’s given us a little mental toughness that maybe I didn’t know about him in the beginning. That’s great to see. Him and [Mike] Badgley are going to fight it out for the kickoffs this week. We’ve got to get more production from our kickoff.
"I thought our coverage was better. Maybe our coverage was the best it’s been last week. We just gotta get more hang and more depth on our kicks."
On kicker Matt Goudis:
"Goudis is making progress but he was really behind when he was out medically. We’ve got to get him caught up. He’s still in the rehab phase right now."
On running back Joseph Yearby:
"He’s gotten better every week. The long pass he [caught] because he finished the play. That tells you a little something about his practice habits and really how hard Duke is pushing him in practice. With Joe, he runs very good tracks as a running back, as a zone runner. And he’s able to stay in there on the same track as the O-linemen and then split it. Joe is continuing to get better, his conditioning is really good. We’ve got to continue to get him stronger and gain weight but I’m really excited about Joe right now."
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN