Larry Scott knows that the shoe could have been easily on the other foot. When Al Golden was unceremoniously dumped as head football coach after the Clemson game, assistants could have been shown the door as well. Everyone expected Mark D'Onofrio to leave the team with his long-time friend.
Scott was spared and was given the title of interim head coach. He has led the Canes to a 3-1 record and the team has responded well to his tutelage. He knows what he has to be thankful for as the Canes head to Pittsburgh to celebrate the holiday as a squad before their final regular season game.
"I’m thankful for the opportunity to still be here. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be at the University of Miami. I’m thankful for the opportunity for my family and the situation that we’re all in," Scott said. "We’re still fortunate. Through it all, we’re still very fortunate to do what we do at such a great institution. We’re very fortunate and thankful for that."
After blowout losses to Clemson and North Carolina, Scott knows that his team still has an opportunity to play in a decent bowl game. Although he has no stated preferences, he is still grateful that Miami is being considered for some of the better non-New Year's Day games.
"No, we’re just fortunate enough to be in one," Scott said. "There are a lot of football teams that will be sitting at home watching bowl teams play. Fortunately enough, we’re not one of them."
The team will gather in Pitt for a traditional Thanksgiving meal before the game is played on Friday at noon. When the team meets for dinner on Thursday, they will have an opportunity to give thanks for the bounty that they have received this season.
"Together in a hotel getting ready to play Pittsburgh, that’s what we’ll do. If you think about it, even as a kid or just as a football fan, usually those are the days and those are the times you want to be playing football. Families are all together at home, they’re in front of the television and watching football," Scott said. "The University of Miami has another opportunity the day after Thanksgiving to put our brand on national TV and go out and represent our community, our school and our university. What an awesome opportunity for our kids."
Scott was asked if he had a problem playing on Friday, a day that many other teams are off and have a chance to digest their Thanksgiving meals. He said that the Canes will be ready to play, anywhere, anytime and against any team in the nation.
"Give us a time and we’ll show up. We have to get on the plane, get on the bus. Give us a time and we’ll adjust, as long as we know far enough in advance so we can move some things around to make sure the team’s ready to go," Scott said. "Give us a time. Walmart parking lot, Sears parking lot, wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just give us the time and date, the bus will pull off and we’ll get off. We’ll put our pads on and go to work."
Scott said that the team is having a good week of practice and is looking forward to playing Pitt and having an opportunity to collect win number eight. That would eclipse last season's win total by two games with the bowl game still to be played.
"[We had] another good afternoon. The guys came out and had a lot of energy. It was a spirited practice, a spirited hour and a half or so. They really attacked the day. We outlined it again for them, and they went out and did it, and they did it with a lot of spirit and a lot of energy," Scott said. "I just love where we are right now, and I’m excited about the week and continuing preparation, getting on that plane and going up and doing this thing and finishing the regular season the right way."