The Hurricanes’ practice “went well” Wednesday, UM coach Mark Richt said, with the Canes infusing some feistiness into the session.
Formerly injured (and likely still sore) starting defensive end Chad Thomas, starting cornerback Sheldrick Redwine, starting safety Rayshawn Jenkins and defensive tackle Gerald Willis practiced again, Richt confirmed, though he declined to comment about their progress.
“It got a little feisty out there,’’ Richt said. “Guys wanted to get after each other a little bit today, which was healthy.’’
*** Regarding the Miami running backs and perhaps using Gus Edwards and Travis Homer more, Richt said the Hurricanes “have the right backs in there’’ in Mark Walton and Joe Yearby.
“I’m not saying Gus won’t get any work, because he has practiced well this week. So he might get some playing time. But I don’t think there’s an issue with the runners. We just have to create more space and block better downfield.’’
***Richt said the Canes worked on third downs and red-zone play Wednesday – “third and medium, third and long, third and short; high red zone, low red zone, that was the main focus.’’
NOTRE DAME COACH TALKS UM SACKS ALLOWED
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly addressed the media on the weekly ACC coaches’ teleconference Wednesday.
When asked what stuck out to him about some of Miami’s struggles in watching the tape over the last few weeks, Kelly noted the “new system of offense’’ and how the Hurricanes “are doing some things differently there. I don’t think there’s any one thing particularly…’’ he said. …I don’t think there’s anything glaring. When you look at them you don’t look at it and say, ‘Wow, there’s a hole here or a hole there.’
A couple minutes later Kelly was reminded that last Thursday the Hurricanes gave up eight sacks and that his team had six sacks all season, and he was asked what that equation could mean in the game.
“Well, it means that we’re probably not going to get eight sacks if you go with the numbers. That’s for certain,’’ Kelly said, laughing. “I think Virginia Tech is a very difficult defensive scheme. You’ve got some inexperienced players. They’ve got some young talented players that are growing. Virginia tech can be an avalanche situation where [if] you get one, you can get a number of them. They play a lot of man coverage and if you don’t get rid of the football, some of those sacks can be not just on the offensive line, they could be on receivers, they can be on the quarterback
“[Virginia Tech defensive coordinator] Bud Foster does a great job of doing that against everybody. So I wouldn’t look at Miami in particular. He’s been doing that for 30 years to everybody.”
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN