Good morning ‘Canes fans.
Today is 9/11, so I will start out today’s news by giving my sincere condolences to all of those people out there who lost someone special on that tragic day 15 years ago.
We all love sports, but we all should also take a moment to remember that day and all of the people who lost loved ones.
Since we are fortunate enough to cover, watch, talk about the team we love so much, let’s get back to it.
Here’s today’s Miami News, Notes, and Quotes:
Mark Walton had a break out performance 4 TD last night (first UM back with as many since Tyrone Moss) and a career high 155 yards. How did the sophomore RB feel after the game?
“It feels great. I’m trusting my o-line. They did a great job tonight. Without them, I wouldn’t have had four touchdowns. Believing in them, trusting them, trusting my reads, hitting my holes well and just running.......I wasn’t trying to put too much pressure on [myself]. I just wanted to be the guy who sparked the team tonight, and that’s what I did. I was just trying to play my game.
Walton would later add,
“It’s special for [Coach Richt] to call our number in certain situations, for him to be able to trust me, Joe [Yearby], all the running backs. No matter what the situation is, we go out there and run the ball hard and just do what we do in practice.”
What will he remember most? Did he have a favorite score or moment?
“The win. I don’t have a favorite. I’m just thankful to get the win tonight. I don’t have a favorite touchdown.”
Walton may feel that way, but this one stood out to me. Holy spin move....
Fellow RB Joe Yearby, who also went over the century mark, pointed out how the coaches helped both backs by talking to the guys up front. On the O line,
“The first half they had a slow start. But once the coaches started talking to them, they started playing better and focusing more.”
The other big story line last night, was the smothering play of the defense.
DC Manny Diaz was very proud of his group.
Diaz said that the injured players were “missed like crazy” but that “we just don’t believe in making excuses....”
You can see his full presser below:
Yes the Hurricanes are devastated at the LB spot.
But one of their key performers at the spot, returned to action last night. This is very good news:
LB Darrion Owens is in the game for Miami. First game action since his knee injury last year against the Owls. #Canes— Peter Ariz (@PeterAriz) September 10, 2016
UM should also get back both CB Adrian Colbert and DT Courtel Jenkins soon.
Earlier this week, Peter Ariz reported that Richt said of the two injured defenders, “neither one of these are too serious.”
Imagine what this D might be able to do at full strength.
Miami unofficially has recorded 10 sacks already this season.
They’ve also rushed for 652 yards through two games.
Defense and a stout running game will win you a lot of games at any level. So these are also both very, very good signs.
The passing game needs to pick it up though.
Bubble screens will only work for so long against better teams.
Brad Kaaya and the pass protection were certainly not on their games last night.
Kaaya gave credit to FAU for causing some confusion on his 1st pick, but also pointed out that Miami was able to adjust,
“Yeah. They came out with some looks that I hadn’t seen on film. On that first pick, I thought the MIKE [linebacker] was playing man on the running back. In film, they were usually in a Cover 1 look, but they kind of played a Cover 1 Robber look, which undercut that slant I threw. I didn’t see him. Just two different looks that we adjusted to, and eventually in the second half they were playing five-man boxes. We threw some bubbles out, spread those guys out and just diced them up with our running backs.”
Expect better play from the junior next week Vs Appalachian State.
Speaking of which, those of us who can’t go to the game, will not have to stream it online next week. Thank you ESPN.
That’s it for now ‘Canes fans.
Enjoy your Sunday and be sure to stop by SOTU often as we will have plenty more on last night’s win, as well as get you ready for App State in the coming days.