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Golden: Georgia Tech 'a tremendous challenge' for Canes defense

Hurricanes coach Al Golden has enjoyed seeing his defense grow in terms of depth and maturity and become more adept at creating turnovers, sacks and stops in the red zone.

But for all of UM's early success this season, he said Miami's ACC opener Saturday afternoon against Georgia Tech and Paul Johnson's triple option offense is going to provide a hefty test for his defense -- more challenging than any the Hurricanes have faced this season.

"We're opening up ACC play, and this is our sternest test to date," Golden said. "With all respect to Florida, if you want to test your defense, man this is the team to test it against. This is a great challenge for us. I don't have to remind our defense we gave up 248 yards rushing a year ago against this team. We gave up two pass plays of over 50. We gave up runs of 35, 34, 21, 17 and they were four of five in the end zone against us. This is a great challenge for our defense, and I think our guys understand that. It's not just the ACC opener, it's a tremendous challenge for our defense.

"We're kicking off the ACC conference [play] this week, going against a foe that gives you a number of things with a high degree of difficulty. Lot of respect for Coach Johnson and Georgia Tech and the job they've done. Sixteen consecutive bowls. They've been one of the two teams on the Coastal Side that has represented us in Charlotte and won the division and a championship. They're talented on offense. Vad Lee (6-1, 215) at quarterback has given them a new dynamic in terms of throwing. They have added new formations, the diamond as a lot of people are referring to. [B-Back] David Sims (6-0, 225) is a big play threat as one of the up backs. DeAndre Smelter (6-3, 220) is also a deep threat at receiver. On defense everything starts with Jeremiah Attaochu, 20 career sacks. He's a guy that can wreck the game if you don't account for him. Love the way he plays. A lot of respect for him and a lot of veterans coming back on this defense.

"It's an offense that's top 10 in rushing, time of possession, third down, sacks against. And it's a defense that's top 10 or top 25 in a lot of critical categories -- red zone, scoring, total defense, rushing defense, third down, pass defense. I think they've only given up 10 points in the second half. On top of that Sean Poole is one of the best punters and they're great at net punt, sixth in the country. Great challenge for us. We've been working like crazy the last two days to get ready for them."

To hear all of Golden's press conference Tuesday you can click on the link below. I've also included audio interviews with offensive coordinator James Coley and offensive line coach Art Kehoe below.

MORE NEWS AND NOTES

> Golden spoke about quarterback Stephen Morris and his ankle injury once again. He said he thinks the senior will be fine to play Saturday and is hoping the ankle will soon become a non-issue. 

"I think he'll be OK. I think he'll be fine. He's been good. We didn't go backwards. We just got to continue to get him healthy," Golden said. "Really, the practices go shorter and shorter so I don't think it will be anything from a physical standpoint that will incumber his return. I'd like to get him to 95 to 100 percent by Saturday. I think he's making progress. He didn't go backwards Saturday. Hopefully it will be a non-issue here shortly. I'd love to be able to say 'It's a non-issue.' But we're not quite there yet. But we're getting there.

"From what I understand, I'm not a doctor, it's a deep bruise, just takes a little bit of time. It's painful is what it is. Structurally there's nothing wrong or we wouldn't have put him out there, exposed him like that. He's making progress. He's made significant progress since 3 o'clock on Saturday for sure."

> Center Shane McDermott, who hasn't started since the Florida game with a foot injury, was full-go at practice Tuesday and will likely start Saturday against Georgia Tech. Fifth-year senior Jared Wheeler, who has started at center in McDermott's place, will still play a lot. "I think if Shane is ready he'll go," offensive line coach Art Kehoe said. "But [Jared] is going to play and he's going to play a lot."

Said Golden: "We certainly have a six or seven man rotation right now that are going to rotate. I think [Wheeler is] playing a starter level. How is that going to play out this week? I don't know. But he's certainly playing at a starter level."

> Freshman linebacker Jermaine Grace, a fixture on special teams, should be good to go this week, Golden said. It's a different story of course for senior running back Eduardo Clements (strained hamstring).

"That's going to be right to the wire. That's going to be a Thursday decision. With a hamstring, it's a day-to-day thing and we'll see where he's at tomorrow. We'll keep him on task, keep him around the team. Again, OT can have a very positive impact on a lot of the other guys in that room -- Gus, Walter and Dallas. Hopefully he can continue to fight through it."

> Golden said freshman Corn Elder, who is serving as the scout team quarterback this week, will remain at cornerback for now. But he gave no promises that wouldn't change in the future. Golden said the Canes gave Elder a look at running back in training camp, but opted to go with moving Walter Tucker from linebacker over there instead.

> Golden continued to be hard on Duke Johnson for his two fumbles last Saturday and explained the reason Johnson wasn't wearing first team jersey Tuesday in practice.

"Yeah, don't fumble the ball inside the five-yard line," Golden said. "I feel no different than you guys do. We can't fumble the ball inside the five. It wasn't an aggressive mistake. It was a careless mistake. It was going against what we teach. We do not teach to reach the ball unless it's fourth down, last play of the half or last play of the game. When Dallas [Crawford] reached the ball it was on fourth down. That's a young man that has a lot of moxy and he knew going onto the field he was going in on fourth down.

"So again, when we're through learning, we're through. Randy's talents and sensational plays kind of precede him a little bit. He just has to continue to learn and grow. The only thing we have to do in this is discipline the habit -- the correct habit situation. He's been great, had a great attitude. He'll grow from it, learn from it. He always does. He's a learner. He's a hard worker. But for anybody on our team to do that there has to be consequences."

Does that mean Johnson won't start this week? Not exactly. Golden ended his press conference by saying Johnson still has a lot he's earned saved in the bank.

> Golden said cornerback Tracy Howard "is more coachable."

"I don't mean that in a negative sense," Golden said. "When you're young sometimes you need to hear it a bunch of times. Right now, he just understands we're trying to get him to play better and be in the correct position and that's going to lead to success. When he loses a little bit of focus it shows up in his game. We're constantly talking to him about just trusting coach [Paul] Williams, coach D [Mark D'Onofrio]. When Tracy is on task he gets better, and he gets consistently better. So hopefully he'll continue to stay on task."

> Golden said the team is trying to address its penalty issues in practice. The Hurricanes cost themselves two long returns on special teams against USF because of flags. "Right now that's the one element that's missing," Golden said. "We're addressing it on many different fronts and hopefully we get it squared away. I wish I could say it's these two people and let's get them out of the game. But it hasn't been like that. There's enough blame to go around and that starts with me. I got to continue to take responsibility myself and make sure we get it fixed."

> Golden said Ereck Flowers has been playing well at left tackle. "No news is good news at left tackle," Golden said. "We're not giving up a lot of sacks. Ereck really the last two weeks from a fundamental standpoint has been working on his aim points and hand placement, has made a lot of progress. Ereck is a lot more comfortable now. We're pushing him and he's getting better every day. He's got immense talent. He's got to continue to learn. We're very pleased with his development for sure."

AUDIO: AL GOLDEN'S PRESS CONFERENCE

AUDIO: OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR JAMES COLEY

AUDIO: OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ART KEHOE

Comments

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Perhaps one Ryan Williams will see some playing time in the first-half.

And yes, Wheeler has been impressive in the limited time he's spent on the snythetic-gridiron. dUh

Matter of fact, I'd feel bloody COMFORTABLE with either Williams or Jared playing during crunch time!

GT is ranked 8th in Defense: but has played poor competition except VT
GT ranked 10th in Rushing: poor competition still

We had the big test against UF as our only proof.

We win this, but i think the D will get a bigger test than UF was, primarily because GT's QB can throw it and run that option.

We win this....as long as the Offense does what it is capable of. GT scores in the 20's though.

We need Morris' ankle solid when we head to FSU....

I have a good feeling we can beat them now.

BC laid POINTS on them. Their D was supposed to be the sh*t...

Our D is hella better than BC, and so is our Offense...

Unless injuries come into play, our chances of beating FSU went from "very unlike" to "strong possibility"....

Posted by: WestCoastCane | October 01, 2013 at 03:56 PM

################

However, I beg to differ regarding the Bumbling, Fumbling Bee's scoring output on Saturday.

Because, I SEE-r a Hurricane victory, naturally.

Miami 34

Ga. Tech 17

Shaylan and Miami defensive teammates have an outstanding game on Saturday.

Again, Goldie's squad has found it's GROOVE THANG and the Fumbling Wreck ain't going to mess with that MO JO!! hUh

WE need to drop 40's on every oppponent (except FSU- not likely) to get ourselves into the top 5 (if we beat FSU)...

If the chips fall right, BCS is a possible way way way outside shot.

But i remember the 90's where we came from rankings in the 12-17th place into the championship game. IT's all how the chips fall and if we win out...

I know the University of Miami, Florida Hurricane has a strong, loyal contingent of approximately 30,000 fandom.

Still, I wanna' see at least 50,000 wacked oUt fans in the SLS on Saturday afternoon.

NO MORE excuse Cane partisans ( Pointing long distant finger at South Florida Hurricane fans. ) !

So show U-p and give Goldie's team the support they richly, DESERVE!!!

Morris' deep bone bruise is worrisome when you consider what Dwayne Wade experienced last season with a deep bone bruise.

Granted, with Morris the problem is ankle related where Wade's issue was knee related, but not being a doctor it seems reasonable to make a glancing comparison.

There's been talk, LEGITIMATE yap mind U, that Miami's defense has been all about the GRAND ILLUSION after four games ( Soft non-conference, and what not, has fueled the chatter. ).

Well, Beamer Ball has one of the strongest defenses in the conference, arguably speaking, at the moment.

That's why Miami's game with the Bumbling, Fumbling Bee's gives Marky Mark's guys the GRAND OPPORTUNITY to change the perspective of any lingering scepticism among a handful of loyal Hurricane follower's.

Miami 34

Bumbling Bee's 17

How can this DECADES-long Miami partisan FEAR a squad which STUNK UP the field last Thursday night!!

Because Coach Johnson's crew had the grand opportunity to show not only the A.C.C., but the rest of the college football country, that they were a legitimate Top 25 team and what not.

And instead, the Bumbling Wreck CHOKED away a winnable HOME game.

Stevie or Williams will bloody well EXPLOIT Ga. Tech's defense vis-a-vis the passing game with over-the-middle routes. dUh

1. Al Golden sucks
2. You played no team with an above average offense
3. Your best player will be out by the time you play FSU.
4. Your QB is not healthy
5. Randy Shannon is not there.(bet you hate that one)
6. The best QB you had the pass six yrs was J.HARRIS
7. You will get exposed when you face an Elite QB (FSU)


DOWN: Georgia Tech

" An Oct. 5 date with Miami had all the makings of a clash of unbeatens with major ACC Coastal Division title implications. Instead the Yellow Jackets took some of the thunder out of that game as a defense that was ranked 11th in total D was dominated by Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas -- who was credited with 279 yards, while the Hokies had 276 as a team -- and the vaunted spread option was held to a measly 129 yards rushing in a 17-10 loss. " foxsportssouth.com

Georgia Tech: Over/Under total 235 rushing yards.

Miami's defense is a shade different from the unit which faced the Bumbling, Fumbling Bee's in the A-T-L last season.

So connect the Orange nd' Green dots, jimbo BuBBA!!

I think Defense will hold well vs GA Tech. Gap defense and positioning is key. Perryman and Gaines have to get to the outside to help the Corners tackle. hopefully our safeties are diciplined enough to read before they react...dont get beat deep, this QB can actually throw when not expecting

I like what Coach Golden is doing with DUKE, when i saw him reach i thought it was pretty dumb on 2nd down, good effort but wrong tactic. The second fumble was a sloppy play and hand off to begin with.

stop looking past this week's game and looking at FSU, wait til we get to that week to talk about FSU. I dont blame you guys, im excited about this season.

Hope the house is packed this weekend vs GA Tech, I flew from California to Miami for the UF game and couldnt speak for a week after how loud i was yelling. I would do that every week if i lived back in Miami. dont let the student section show you up lol

CRYSTAL BALL

Georgia Tech at No. 14 Miami

" As previously stated, this one has lost some of its buzz (no pun intended, Yellow Jackets ... or is it?) but it's now a must-win game for different reasons. The Hurricanes, a potential national title dark horse, can't afford to lose with No. 8 Florid State still ahead; Georgia Tech needs this one to avoid all but falling out of the division race. Look for Miami to keep its resurgence going. "

" The Pick: Miami 35, Georgia Tech 27 " foxsportssouth.com

Posted by: Oakland CANE | October 01, 2013 at 05:13 PM
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post of the morning, day and or night!!

Miami 34

Bumbling Wreck 17

GT will be the "test" game. because FSU is looking to make a statement. The FSU game is beyond bragging rights. At this point in the season, it's now up to the D to make a name of itself. The real season starts here.

GT, like most of college football is pretty flaky this year. They beat a lousy NC team by 8 in the pouring rain (big disadvantage for NC's passing attack) and then lost to a good D/bad O VT team by 7 and we're only 5-6 point home favorites.

We are certainly capable of losing, but I'm surprised we aren't bigger favs.

I think Ga Tech's offense is the one offense (besides Navy, which is shut down) that Miami's bend-but-don't-break scheme really fits well.

If Ga Tech can't score off huge passing plays, they have no chance in this game.

They'll eat clock and keep Miami from putting up big points offensively, but they need to get points every time down the field and more touchdowns than three pointers.

Can't look ahead, lose this game and Va Tech will control it's destiny in the Coastal.

UM will throttle them by at least the line of the game.

This aint the gtech of Josh Nesbit, John Dwyer, and Demairus Thomas.

^^^^^

Double the line on the game

Winnable game, especially if we get up early.

I was impressed with GT's QB also. I do not like Frank Beamer or his teams although I am impressed with his DC, Bud Foster. The GT coach, Paul Johnson needs his distemper shots and soon. What a jerk!

I didn't see any VT domination there. The final score was 17 to 10 for Christs sake.
Someone better back off the Jiffy Store weed!
It should be a good game between VT and Miami. GO CANES!!!

The Fake/Troll Calvin--asking me to "back up what you say?

No No HTC, I meant that a S s. C'mon back it up so I can lay in it all night with the stroke victim D watching, loving every minute of it.

Gallo finally reveals his true color; he is a FSU fan that can't deal with his jealousy of UM. What a loser!

We need some ICE at the game! go Canes!

cut blocks causes injuries..

CANES have a capable backup in Williams...

WE spread the ball to 7 different receivers already this year...

DUKE is about to explode. This kid has a FIRE in him. His 2 fumbles will make him boil to make up for that mistake by PUNISHING GT.

OUR DEFENSE is getting better by the game...AND that's with the younger kids getting lots of gametime experience by the 2-4th quarters. More prepared to step in if the 1's get hurt...

NOT TALKED ABOUT is our special teams-- KICK RETURNS have been exciting.

TIGHT ENDS becoming part of our GAME AGAIN, after years of being invisible.

RUNNING GAME has now got the small, fast slasher, and the BIG BUS bash your face runner...

THIS TEAM IS STARTING TO ROUND OUT INTO CHAMPIONSHIP QUALITY, ALL PIECES STARTING TO COME TOGETHER...

I SMELL TOP 5 if not #1 COME END the 2015 BCS....

GO CANES OR GO THE F**** HOME!

LMAO @ UFraid Trolls....

21-16. No amount of Crocodile Tears will change it.

Uh, d, I think ufelons are the fumbling bumbling wreck! Cant rag my team anymore so now U are down to ragging my teams competition loser!

Lmao! Gallo is on life support with his lists. I think his list this time was really a ufelon list and with all the confusion from being wrong, now he is putting up his teams lists.lol

Moldy Caves, I respectfully disagree about the VT versus GT game. The box score says it was close, and the points say it was close, but watching the game, I saw a VT team that despite ten penalties were a missed FG from doubling the GT score, and a GT team that was never a threat to lead.

After little more than a quarter, they were up 14-0 and had more than double the yards, 126-60, but because they scored quickly, were losing time of possession 9:32 to 9:08.

But GT had two turnovers, and VT was dominating. This is the same VT that needed three OTs to beat Marshall.

Neither GT nor VT showed me much to be afraid of on offense or defense.

You can only beat the teams you play: the CANES have done that and done it well. I expect they will do it again on Saturday. CANES-35; JACKETS-9.

Yeah....they have been saying GTS offense will be a challenge for the last 5 years....

Sorry....

Canes will win this one 42-17....

Gallo...hahahahahahaha....classic....dude....glad to see you put your crayons and "long lists" away....

Every point you make is a joke....I love Randy as a player and D'Co.....however....if he were coaching here we would be 3-1 unfortunately.

GALLOOOOOOOO!!!! YOU A DUMMY!!!!

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