The Miami Hurricanes are 6-1 and ranked #9 in the nation, after a thrilling, come-from-behind 44-41 victory over NC State this past Friday. Head coach Manny Diaz spoke to the media today about that win, and their upcoming game against Virginia Tech this Saturday.
- Diaz started by talking about the linebackers, and noted Bradley Jennings Jr. had one of his best games of the season. He said Zach McCloud, while he struggled against the pass, was strong when defending the run.
- Diaz on the linebackers: “Overall, we were a lot better against the run. Our front played a lot better, and we got better as the game went on.”
- Coach Diaz says he wasn’t concerned about the Clemson-Notre Dame game on Saturday, and what that could mean for tiebreakers and the ACC Championship Game. He said the most important thing is going 1-0 this weekend against Virginia Tech.
- Coach Diaz on Mark Pope and the wide receivers: “For all those guys to make the plays they’ve made, their confidence is at a different level. These kids do develop and they do learn and we are in a new offense.”
- Coach Diaz said that striker Gilbert Frierson spoke to the defense at halftime, calming everyone down. “Gilbert got right in front of the defense and said, ‘This is not us.’
- Coach Diaz closed the interview by saying, “We’re proud of where we are, but there’s no one in this building, players or coaches, that’s satisfied.”
Rhett Lashlee and Blake Baker also spoke to the media, here’s what they had to say.
- Lashlee on the Virginia Tech defense: Not as big on the inside, but they do a good job in their scheme. As a defense, they have good length on the back end. They have some long corners and safeties as well.”
- Lashlee on the running game: “Sometimes it takes us a little bit to settle in. It’s not where we want to be, but we’re getting there.” Miami ran the ball for 189 yards on Friday night.
- Lashlee on Mike Harley: Since we’ve gotten here, he’s worked really hard. I credit Mike, and all those guys, for pushing through all that, continuing to work, trust the process. I think success breeds confidence, and you’ve seen that the last few weeks.” Harley had 8 receptions, for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns on Friday night.
- Lashlee on Will Mallory: We’ve missed having Brevin (Jordan), and Will has really stepped up. He’s not been 100% since game 1. Every week he comes to practice, and goes out and plays hard. He’s a winner.” Mallory had 6 receptions, for 78 yards and 1 touchdown on Friday.
- Baker on the 4th quarter defense: More than anything, I credit our guys. More than anything, they came together. The leadership on the sideline, it’s amazing what you can do when you play with one heartbeat.”
- Baker on Te’Cory Couch: He has a great confidence. He’s really gotten slippery when he gets there on the blitz. I think Te’Cory is playing at a really high level. I think it’s a confidence thing.”
- Baker on Nesta Jade Silvera: “He’s a tremendous talent, plays with phenomenal leverage. It’s a process of becoming a great football player, he does a good job with it.”