« October 25, 2013 | Main | October 27, 2013 »

3 posts from October 26, 2013

October 26, 2013

VIDEO: Golden, Hurricanes react to win over Wake Forest, NCAA sanctions

Hurricanes coach Al Golden after the Wake Forest win: "Now we can breathe and move forward."

Here are the postgame quotes from UM coach Al Golden after Saturday's 24-21 come-from-behind win over Wake Forest.
On an eventful week leading up to Saturday’s game... 
“Clearly emotional. I’m not going to lie to you. Just an emotional week. Now we can breathe and move forward. I was more worried than ever this week, just because nobody was really talking about Wake. Everybody was talking about the NCAA and obviously future scheduling. I just tried to keep them going all week. I was hoping we would have enough in the tank, just because of how emotional it was to have that ordeal over. We didn’t really address it, but you guys gave it ample play, and I’m sure they were listening to you guys all week. I’m just glad we had a chance to come out here and find a way to win.”

On the distractions of the week taking a toll on his team...
“Again, I give Wake Forest a lot of credit. It sounds like you’re downplaying the effort the Wake Forest kids and coaches did. I think they did a great job. That’s one of the best coaches around - period. It wasn’t like we were sloppy with the football. We just didn’t convert when we needed to convert, we didn’t stop them enough on third down. But we finished. We’re learning how to finish, and that’s something I’m really proud of – the mental toughness. I was just worried about how much we had in the tank. I can sit up here and say we were focused all week. I promise you I have never worked harder in my life the last 72 hours to get them focused for a game. Obviously we have a chance to regroup tonight and move forward.”

On the stress related to NCAA investigation closure as it relates to on-field performance...
“I was looking for the Athletic Director [Blake James] Tuesday morning. To me, they’re all one-game deals. The other ones, we had a lot of turnovers and in many respects we were fortunate to be in that position. I didn’t feel that way about this one – we weren’t sloppy with the football. They made some plays, we didn’t make some plays. Give them a lot of credit - they played tough. Our kids responded. At midnight tonight, this one is over. There is no carry-over. We all know who we’re playing next week, and it’s time to get ready for that.”

On the performance of sophomore running back Duke Johnson...
“Man, oh man. He ran with a purpose and an anger that we haven’t seen from him. His stiff arm was awesome all day. He ran with his pads down, protected the ball. He was clearly on a mission. How about his conditioning? What tremendous conditioning. He gets knocked out of the game last week, and this week he is lowering the pads all day, second and third effort...what can you say about the effort that he gave? Was he at 35 yards or something at the half? It wasn’t much more than that. That’s a heck of a
second half, and certainly heck of a fourth quarter.”

On his concerns about slow starts...
“It’s all a concern. It’s just one big [concern]. They’re all just one-game weeks. They’re just one-game seasons. Every game is its own chess board, and you have to make adjustments. I thought we made adjustments, but obviously we were disappointed in the tackling on the long play. I thought the defensive staff and defense made adjustments. It was a long period before they scored after they scored early in the game. We certainly found some surfaces to run the ball on late in the game, so I was proud of that. We all know what this week is about coming up. We’ll regroup here tonight, tomorrow get healed up and get ready to go. I don’t think there will be any carry-over.”

On the performance of senior quarterback Stephen Morris...
“I thought he did a good job with protecting the football. I thought he did a good job with his decisions. To be honest with you, this is the best he has looked physically. Is there an element in that still? No. We’re blessed to have a 12 o’clock game, it’s not like we’re on the road and we’re going to get back at 2 o’clock or 3 o’clock in the morning. And we really don’t have to practice him again until Tuesday. I’m really hoping that will be the last little 10 percent or whatever we need to get him over the hump. He came out of it good, came out of it healthy. Obviously another two-minute drive at the end of the game speaks a lot about his leadership and the belief they have in him. I think we’ll make progress here over the next 72 hours with him.

“He’s had to alter his mechanics, I don’t think there is any question. We have to get him back to center, and we will. I thought he was better. He threw a great long ball to Stacy [Coley] – not the one he made the magnificent catch on, but the other – that was a ball he could have down with. There were a lot of throws he did make. I really believe and I’m hopeful that he’ll make that last little step this week. I really believe he’ll do that over the next 72 hours.”

On hearing from Athletic Director Blake James about the NCAA sanctions...
“Obviously he got done with the President and informed me, and then came down to address the team at 9:05 a.m. Obviously the kids were thrilled. That journey ended - but 10 minutes later you have to go prepare for Wake Forest. You want to talk about an emotional rollercoaster. For all of us, we didn’t talk about it all week. I know they’re excited about it now in there, thrilled that it’s over. We found a way to scratch and claw and win our seventh [game]. You can’t take any of the previous wins with you to Tallahassee next week. That’s over, we have to get better at the things we need to get better at, and we need some kids to step up.”

On the performance of Stacy Coley...
“He did a great job, and he makes really good decision. He’s doing a good job on his returns. He’s a very mature kid. When you sit in the meetings with Stacy, and they ask him questions, he has the right answers. He knows football. He studies it. Great start for him. Obviously a catch for the ages there. Tremendous catch.”

On if his team is prepared for media frenzy regarding Miami-Florida State rivalry...

“With all due respect, there has been more national exposure over the last 28 months than any of us can handle. If it’s about football, we’re all in. We’re all in.”

Gameday blog: Miami Hurricanes vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Your BCS 7th-ranked Miami Hurricanes (6-0, 2-0 ACC) kickoff the second half of their season and play their first game without an NCAA anvil hanging over their head at noon today against visiting Wake Forest (4-3, 2-2).

The game can be seen on ESPNU. Feel free to chat with us as the game is going on.