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Letters To Al: Pre-Clemson Edition

In his weekly segment, Scott Salomon writes again to Al Golden and shares with him his thoughts on the upcoming game and his overall thoughts on the University of Miami football program.

Al Golden shaking hands with Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech last Saturday
Al Golden shaking hands with Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech last Saturday
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Al:

Well, we got the first ACC Coastal win out of the way.  That was a big step for the program after two heartbreaking and monumental losses on the road.  We have another big test coming up this week as Dabo Sweeney comes in with his sixth-ranked Clemson Tigers.

Clemson is going to come at us with all of their big guns and they will run and pass their way through Miami-Dade County if you let them.  This is where we need to have the pass rush and the line stacked to stop whatever they are planning on doing.  We need to rush five and have eight in the box at all times if you are going to try to stop them from putting on a show.

Last week against Virginia Tech our pass rush was only effective when you had five men on the line.  We need to bring more pressure from A.J. Moten and Kendrick Norton. That is when we get the most bang for our buck and when the quarterback has the most pressure applied.  We also need to use the corner blitz package that we used earlier in the season to bring additional pressure from the edge.

I think that it is also imperative that we have the best five offensive lineman out there who can help with pass protection and also try to set up some modicum of a ground game.  Pick your best five and go.  I do not know if I would include Odogwu in your best five and someone needs to teach Trevor Darling the snap count as he and Alex Gall get too many penalties for false starts.  Also, please teach Darling how not to hold.

Brad Kaaya needs to have more third and manageable situations.  His third down percentage is so poor because you make bad play calls on first and second downs that he is left in third and long too often.  You can not run the ball between the tackles.  You need to understand and acknowledge that.  They need to run around or behind the tackles and get to the edge.  Joe Yearby and Mark Walton are at their most dangerous when they get to the edge and not when they run behind a guard.

We need for you to pull a Dan Campbell and get these guys fired up and ready to play with some swagger. We have a noon kickoff which will make it nice and hot for our opponent and we need to be the best conditioned team on the field.

This is an opportunity for you to get that signature win.  You have a top ten team coming into our home stadium and it is on national television. This is a statement game for you and your staff, either way.  If you win, it makes a statement and you get your signature win.  If you lose, it speaks volumes for your inability to win the big game.

The choice is yours as to how you handle it. This is bigger than FSU and we need this more where we are right now. We can not go two games behind Duke and Pitt in the Coastal. That is too much ground to have to make up.

That is your mission should you choose to accept it.

Good luck.