« September 1, 2013 | Main | September 3, 2013 »

2 posts from September 2, 2013

September 02, 2013

Duke, Coley, Dorsett, Chickillo, Howard talk Gators

Duke Johnson followed up his stellar freshman campaign  with a career-best performance in the season-opening win over Florida Atlantic, rushing for 186 yards on 19 attempts. So how does he feel about leading the nation in rushing after 1 week?

"... We've got bigger fish to fry, things to overcome than being No. 1 in the nation," Johnson said Monday.

The Hurricanes are facing one of the nation's top defenses Saturday in Florida. You know the Gators are going to be looking to punish Johnson at every turn. This has to be the game he not only shines above all others, but shows he can take that pounding, too. I asked Johnson why he thinks he can handle a heftier load. His answer: He spent all summer getting bigger for this moment. We'll find out for sure on Saturday.

> Hurricanes freshman receiver Stacy Coley talked about his two drops against FAU and how quarterback Stephen Morris and other veterans came up to talk about it with him after the game. Coley said he hasn't had two drops in the same game since he was a sophomore in high school. I expect the freshman to bounce back with a big game against Florida.

> Hurricanes receiver Phillip Dorsett said there is no trash-talking going on right now between the Canes and Gators. But with two former high school teammates from St. Thomas Aquinas -- cornerback Marcus Roberson and safety Cody Riggs -- roaming the Florida secondary Dorsett is looking forward to Saturday's game.

Dorsett also talks about the injury to Rashawn Scott and how the Canes collectively have to step up. Dorsett, the fastest Hurricane with a 4.29 time in the 40, only had two catches for 14 yards against FAU, but was bracketed and doubled often. He also said he was happy to speak with freshman Stacy Coley last Friday after his two drops. You might remember Dorsett had to deal with a case of the drops against Notre Dame.

> Among the more interesting thing Hurricanes defensive end Anthony Chickillo talked about Monday was how fresh the defensive line was in its win over FAU. That obviously hasn't always been the case. Chickillo, who has started since he was a freshman, said he played his fewest snaps ever at UM last Friday because the Hurricanes had more players to turn to. That's obviously a good sign.

> Tracy Howard said in camp he wanted to have 10 interceptions this season. He didn't have any against FAU, but maybe he will Saturday against Jeff Driskel and the Gators. You might remember, Florida was once the odds on favorite to land the nation's top cornerback in 2012 before teammate Malcolm Lewis and coach Al Golden convinced Howard to stay in town and play for Miami. Here is what Tracy talked about Monday.

Canes' notes from Monday: Rashawn Scott update, Golden talks Muschamp

Junior Rashawn Scott, Miami's second-leading receiver last season, will not be suiting up against the Gators Saturday and likely could be out a while after injuring his shoulder last Friday against FAU.

Scott had his left arm in a sling Monday as he watched practice in his jersey and shorts.  

"It doesn't look good for this week. It looks like it's going to be a little bit longer than we want it to be," UM coach Al Golden said of Scott. "As soon as we make a definitive determination we'll let you know."

CanesInsider reported Scott has a broken collarbone and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. Asked if the injury was a collarbone, Golden responded: "Shoulder."

"He's alright. He's dealt with something like this before," teammate Phillip Dorsett said. "He's not really down. He's still a good guy, still up, talking a lot, still in meetings. He'll be alright."

With Scott out, the Hurricanes are down to six healthy scholarship receivers. Asked if he might switch someone over to receiver to help out, Golden said: "No. D'Mauri [Jones] will have to step up. [Walk-on] Garrett Kidd will get some work there. We carry four tight ends. We'll have enough there."

> Freshman cornerback Corn Elder, who could play receiver if needed, said coaches have not talked to him about switching over to offense at all.

"I'm just working on getting better at corner and try to do whatever I can to help the team out," Elder said. "If needed, I'll do whatever they want. We haven't really talked [about a switch]. I'm just mastering my role at corner now."

> Golden was asked if he thinks there are any parallels between him and Gators coach Will Muschamp, who arrived at Florida at the same time time Golden did in Miami. 

"They're coming off national championships in [2006] and [2008] and didn't have an NCAA thing. I don't think they are parallels at all," Golden said. "They're different jobs. I don't know Will. I have tremendous respect for him as a football coach and as a man and as a teacher. But I don't have a relationship with him and I don't him. I have respect for him, the job that he's done there. But I don't think you could compare the two right now."

Golden said the Gators definitely have Miami's attention.

"You just have to watch them on tape, that's how they get your attention," Golden said. "Big physical team, deep, speed, can really run to the ball on defense. Excellent special teams. They get after the quarterback. They get you in money down situations. They get after you with the pass rush, make big plays happen on the back end. On offense, they'll pound you. That's been our achilles heel. I'm sure that's what they're going to do. We got to buckle up and stop 'em."

Golden said he hopes to see improvement from the passing game this week.

"I was disappointed. We all were," Golden said. "Our completion percentage coming in right after the first scrimmage and coming to the game was really good. We were crisp. We weren't putting the ball on the ground. I was really excited where we were last Monday and Tuesday. And we didn't throw and catch very well, didn't convert on third down which hurt us in time of possession again. It's a challenge right now for everybody. I think were 58 percent in the game, not where we want to be. We have to do a better job certainly against this group Saturday."

> Golden said while the offensive line's conditioning was good last Friday, they abandoned technique at times.