The ibis has landed! For the first time in State of the U history, we were invited to attend the weekly football press conference with Al Golden and company. Taking place in the Edgerrin James press conference room at the Hecht Athletic Center on campus at the University of Miami, it was exciting to see who the State of the U was rubbing elbows with! Some players shuffled through, but then at 12:30 sharp it was the man with the flawless hair's turn. Coach Golden spoke for a little over 13 minutes on a wide variety of subjects.
"We have a great opportunity against Virginia Tech on Thursday night. I know [it's] one that our team is excited about," said Al Golden. Thursday night. ESPN. A primetime ACC foe. Who shouldn't be excited?
The rush defense. "The big thing with [Virginia Tech QB] Logan [Thomas], again, if I'm over there [in Blacksburg], he's had 10 days before this game and he's going to have 9 days in the backend," said Coach Golden. "I would run Logan a little bit more then he's [normally] been running." QB Logan Thomas, a junior, is going to be the third dual-threat quarterback Miami has had to face this season. Collin Klein, KSU QB, and EJ Manual, FSU QB, were the first two. So far in 2012, Thomas has passed for 1910 yards and rushed for 298. Last year the guy passed for over 3000 yards and ran for nearly 500, so this is a guy that could beat us on the ground. "This is an excellent quarterback and one that's going to be a great challenge. We can't let him get going," said Golden.
Hurricane Sandy, not affiliated with the University of Miami, was also brought up too. Virginia Tech has an indoor facility and their practice schedule will not be affected too much by the snow. Travel plans are still on track, according to Golden. "I have no idea what they're doing. I'm just trying to get through today." Brick by brick, day by day! It is important to note, though, that Golden's brother Shaun Golden is a sheriff in a town in Pennsylvania. From everyone at the State of the U, stay safe up there!
Regarding the remaining four games left, Golden had this to say: "We're really not talking about the next four games. We're just trying to concentrate on this game. This team that we're playing has done what we're trying to do. They've been in the championship game. They've won the division. They've won the ACC. That's our only focus right now is on the Virginia Tech Hookies." It's safe to say that Golden has his players thinking the right mentality and not getting caught up on any of this ACC hoopla (I've always wanted to put that in a sentence).
Sophomore running back Dallas Crawford is also going to be getting his first touches as a Miami Hurricane this Thursday. "Dallas Crawford has had a good week. I'm confident, as are the coaches, that he's ready for an opportunity... Dallas is excellent in pass protection. He's smart and he's tough." Golden also said that Crawford's position pals Mike James and Randy "Duke" Johnson are rested, healed, and ready to go this Thursday.
Speaking of Mike James, he was also available for some questions earlier during the press conference. Talking about the running backs being more involved in the passing game, "We make sure that Stephen can the check the ball to us if there's nothing open downfield." James had 8 catches against FSU. James had this to say about the remaining schedule and potential for Miami to win the Coastal: "Take a game one at a time. We have Virginia Tech then whoever comes after that." I suppose Golden doesn't put up the season's schedule in the locker room.
Everyone, from Golden to the players, had the same excitement in their voices for the upcoming game this Thursday against Virginia Tech. Win, and they control their own destiny to Charlotte in December.