Golden expects Morris to "close chapter" on ankle injury, "play kind of game he wants to play" Saturday at FSU
UM coach Al Golden made his weekly appearance on the ACC teleconference after Wednesday morning's practice. Among the noteworthy topics discussed:
> Asked for an update on quarterback Stephen Morris and his ankle, Golden said: "I think he looks great. I think he'll be able to close this chapter [on his ankle injury] and go out and play the kind of game he wants to play."
> With the Hurricanes playing it low-key this week and staying free of any bulletin board material, Golden was asked to contrast his team's perceived buttoned-down persona compared to Florida State's attitude: "I've never heard button-downed mentioned with our team before," he said.
"I think our guys play with a lot of passion. We got a couple celebration penalties that I'd like to button them down for those. I don't see how we're a button down team. I think we play with a lot of energy. I think we celebrate each other's big plays on offense and defense. I don't see how we're button-downed or that makes us button-downed. "
> Receiver Rashawn Scott was cleared to play last week versus Wake Forest, but didn't see any action. Where is Scott after Wednesday's practice?
"He's got to continue to prepare, work really hard here in the next 72 hours to prepare and eliminate any mental aspects of the game," Golden said. "He has to play fast. I think he's in good condition. He should be ready for this opportunity. It's good to get him back.
> Golden said when it comes to leadership every position group leader needs to step up this week. "Stephen [Morris] can't do it by himself," Golden said. "But certainly he's made a big difference. We're certainly going to need a lot of our position group leaders, Allen Hurns, Brandon Linder, Shayon Green, Anthony Chickillo, Denzel, Jimmy Gaines, all those guys are going to need to step up and lead. We're going to need that maturity. We're going to need that poise because obviously it's an elite team that's executing well right now, playing in a tough environment. We're going to have to draw on our leadership and certainly our unity."
> What will UM have to do better than some of FSU's previous opponents?
"We don't have enough time to cover it all, but we have to defend the deep ball," Golden said. "We have to tackle really well. We can't let them be a three-headed monster in terms of the perimeter pass game and then obviously the run game. We have to find a way to get pressure on them. That's the challenge, no question about it. We have to do a lot of things better than we did last Saturday. Hopefully our guys will continue to improve as the week goes on. No question that's the challenge in our building because we have to stop a lot of different things."
> With UM a 22-point underdog does Golden still see this Top 10 matchup as a clash of titans or does he feel like an underdog?
"I don't worry about any of that and I don't mean to be short with you," Golden said. "I just think I didn't really answer questions about being the favorite last week and I don't really want to talk about being the underdog this week. It's really a function of us preparing our young people for the type of game we want to play in terms of our game plan is, how we prepare and how we focus on the process everyday. It's certainly been a challenge for a better part of two years. Hopefully we've learned a lot from the adversity that can help us in this spot and get us focused on what we need to be focused on."
> What does it mean for UM to be playing in a matchup of two Top 10 teams again this late in the season considering the program has dealt with an NCAA investigation for the last 2-plus years?
"We're excited about moving forward," Golden said. "Last Tuesday was a rebirth or a renewal if you will. It really gave us the platform to move forward. So we're excited about that part of it. In terms of everything else you mentioned, look Florida State has so many weapons and is such a good team they're going to need every ounce of our focus and energy. Hopefully that is where our minds will be here in the next three days. That's where it has to be."
> What is Golden's favorite UM-FSU memory?
"All of them," he said. "The passion. The tradition. How much the games meant in terms of the national spotlight, repercussions of the post-season. It's exciting to have that opportunity and we want to continue to grow the type of team that expects to be in these type of games year in and year out. We're trying to build."
> After being torched by North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron two weeks ago how does Golden plan on defending FSU's Nick O'Leary?
"When Coach D'Onofrio says I spy 85 all week and we let 85 go for 200 yards clearly we didn't execute the game plan the way we needed to," Golden said. "We weren't specific enough. We weren't precise enough in the execution. Because of that the young man had a great game. We did not tackle well. We better tackle O'Leary really well. We better account for him in the red zone because he's always been a touchdown maker for them in the low red. Hopefully we learned a lot. Hopefully we applied that to Campanaro. Although he's going to get his catches we didn't allow to have as many as he normally does or the sheer number in terms of yards per catch. It wasn't perfect, but it was better. Obviously we have the same challenge here with Nick O'Leary, Rashad Greene or [Kelvin] Benjamin.