At the end of Wednesday practice for the Hurricanes, the media had the chance to talk with tight end Will Mallory, quarterback D’Eriq King and offensive lineman DJ Scaife Jr.
Preparing For Virginia:
As Miami prepares to take on the 1-3 Virginia Cavaliers, the Hurricanes aren’t taking this game for granted, and are approaching Saturday with a focused attitude.
“Every week it’s a big game. Virginia is a good team. They won our division last year,” Will Mallory said.
“Virginia has a pretty good defense. They’re long and athletic. They can make plays in space,” said D’Eriq King.
As far as actual game planning, much of the focus offensively is the wide receiver competition that’s going on this week on Greentree.
“A lot of guys are getting reps. The way I look at it, any week, anybody could lose their job,” King told the media on Wednesday. “Everybody has to continue to get better. Opening the competition will push everybody.”
The veteran receivers, namely Dee Wiggins, Mark Pope and Mike Harley, haven’t been producing at the position so far, and coach Diaz decided it was time to give the younger WR’s a chance to start. So Jeremiah Payton, Dazalin Worsham, Xavier Restrepo, Keyshawn Smith, Marshall Few and Michael Redding III are battling this week in practice, with a starting spot on Saturday up for grabs.
Tight End Room:
Mallory spoke a little bit about the two younger tight ends for Miami, redshirt freshman Larry Hodgers, and true freshman Dominic Mammarelli.
“I think we feel really good with our depth at TE. I’m confident, I know our coaches are confident,” Mallory said. “They’ve been doing a really good job and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do.”
“Dom’s a strong physical guy. Larry, he kind of moves like Brevin,” Mallory continued. “I think all of us bring our own to aspect to the game. I think our whole tight end group brings something different to the game and we all complement each other.”
Head coach Manny Diaz said that Brevin Jordan remains the most limited injured player on Miami. Jordan sat out last game against Pitt. In 2020, Jordan leads the Canes in receptions (18), receiving yards (243), and is tied for first in receiving touchdowns (3).
Against Pitt, Mallory started at tight end in place of the injured Jordan, catching 2 touchdowns on 2 receptions in Miami’s 31-19 win.
Pass Protection Improving:
DJ Scaife was there to speak for the offensive lineman, who have seen much improvement compared to the 2019 season.
“It’s, of course, us getting better. But the offense helps us out a lot, everything ties in,” Scaife said when asked on why the pass protection has gotten better. Scaife also noted the scrambling ability of D’Eriq King at QB has helped in Miami giving up few sacks.
Another part of the o-line improving, has been the arrival new OL coach Garin Justice.
“Season is going good. Coach Justice helped me out with a lot of things. Everything really. Everyday he gives me something to work on.”
Finally, Scaife was asked on true freshman OL Jalen Rivers, who apparently is really coming along in his first season.
“I see him progressing a lot. He’s getting better everyday. He just listens,” Scaife said.