As the dust is settling after Miami’s 24-20 loss to Florida on Saturday night in Orlando, Miami’s Head Coach Manny Diaz, and Offensive Coordinator, Dan Enos, dished out their thoughts on last week’s contest. After a hotly-contested matchup that finished with some question marks coming from the Miami side of things, let’s see what the coaches had to say about this game.
Manny Diaz: "We didn't build this for August 24th... the idea here is to build monsters that last."— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) August 26, 2019
This might’ve been my favorite quote from the whole press conference. Coach Diaz is absolutely right. Did Miami let the game slip away? For sure. Does it sting to lose to a bitter rival? Absolutely. But TNM, or anything related to this program was not all about this one game. There is still a whole season to play, which can lay the ground work for future seasons to come. Miami is going to have growing pains, like they did on Saturday, but the most important thing is that the team progresses throughout the season.
Another topic that was heavily talked about after the game was the underwhelming play of Miami’s offensive line. The young OL allowed 10 sacks, which sparked some conversation about whether or not a change in the starters is needed. Diaz didn’t seem too discouraged with his lineman, saying, ““Payback’s a b**tch, and those freshman... they become seniors.” While the OL is a massive concern right now, Diaz basically is saying that at some point those lineman will get better and be on the other side of the beating they took on Saturday. Also, Diaz said the starting OL will remain unchanged, which might not be a bad idea, as the young lineman (in particular Zion Nelson and John Campbell), need game experience to improve. If their improvement stagnates, there are other options, but the freshman need to get game reps to improve.
"It wasn't a sadness... It was a little bit more of an edge and an anger," said Manny Diaz on the Hurricanes' reaction to the UF loss.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) August 26, 2019
It’s important for the team to use this game as motivation, not let it drag over the bye week and into Week 2 against UNC. If they use it like fuel like Manny suggests, that would be much more helpful as a tough road matchup awaits the Hurricanes.
One last thing from Manny’s press conference was the moving of Tate Martell from QB to WR. First off, Diaz believes Martell was very useful as a receiver. “He’s a threat. If you’re a defense, you’re going to want to know where he is at all times.” Diaz said Martell moving to receiver was “something he suggested,” which is a very good sign. Although Martell lost the QB battle, he could’ve easily packed his bags and left, but instead he suggested something that could help the team in other ways.
Now, OC Dan Enos might’ve had the more interesting press conference on Monday, as he talked all things Jarren Williams. Enos gave his honest opinion on Williams:
Dan Enos had tough love for Jarren Williams overall. Said he grades two ways... did you play good enough to win or did you not. Said Williams didn't play good enough to win. Said there were a lot of plays left on tape, receivers running wide open.— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) August 26, 2019
Here’s the bottom line, Enos knows how talented Williams is, but he doesn’t want him to get complacent; he wants him to reach the ceiling that he thinks Williams is capable of reaching. Enos said, “I don’t see Jarren as he is; I see him how he can be.” If you remember last year, Malik Rosier was constantly lauded for his maturity and experience by Coach Mark Richt, even though Rosier clearly wasn’t getting the job done. Williams absolutely showed flashes of brilliance, but Enos showing some tough love is only a good thing for the red-shirt freshman QB.
Enos also felt like Miami’s offense missed some key opportunities. “There’s a lot of plays on tape where we’ve got receivers running wide open, and either we can’t protect, or we can’t get the ball to them for some reason or another. The quarterback is not making the right decision.”
Enos did have some praise for Williams, saying, “... I thought one thing Jarren did do was compete. He showed some toughness, competitiveness.”
Ultimately, I think both Diaz and Enos are encouraged by the fight showed by their team on Saturday, but they acknowledge that there is a lot of work still to be done. It is now on to North Carolina for the Hurricanes.