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Diaz: “Jose Borregales has changed our football team”

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The FIU transfer hopes to resurrect Miami’s kicking game in 2020

Miami v Florida State
Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz celebrates his team’s 27-10 victory over rival Florida State in November 2019. The Hurricanes open the 2020 season on Thursday at 8pm when they host UAB.
Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz was very complimentary of redshirt senior kicker Jose Borregales on Monday when he met with the media over Zoom ahead of Miami’s season opener against UAB on Thursday at 8pm.

Diaz acknowledged that kicking issues a year ago “cost us wins” and said that the 2020 team has confidence in Borregales to get the job done kicking field goals.

“Jose Borregales has changed our football team,” Diaz said. “Our inability to finish drives...and to make easy field goals and PATs, cost us wins. There is going to be a ton of tight football games this year in this conference... Jose provides a lot of confidence for everybody in our organization with that.”

Borregales was 21-for-29 (72.4 percent) on field goals for FIU in 2019 and just under 59 percent of his kickoffs went for touchbacks.

For comparison, Miami’s kickers were 12-for-20 (60 percent) on field goals in 2019 and just over 55 percent of kickoffs wound up resulting in a touchback.

Borregales has made four field goals from 50 yards or more in his FIU career, something that might help ease the stress of Rhett Lashlee depending on Miami’s field position on offense.

Mallory primed for a breakout season?

Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan are listed as the co-starters at tight end on the depth chart for the UAB game that Miami released on Monday.

Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said this is because of how well Mallory has performed in preseason practices.

“Will Mallory has had a very good camp,” Lashlee said. “He probably has been one of the most consistent guys on our football team.

Mallory has been behind Jordan since both came to Miami in 2018 but has filled in admirably when Jordan missed games because of injury.

It is unclear how exactly Lashlee will use the tight ends on Thursday night but don’t be surprised to see Mallory getting a decent amount of snaps against UAB.

“We kind of view those guys as co-starters,” Lashlee said. “Both are going to be very involved at what we do. Whoever is in the game, we don’t have to hold anything back.”

Four true freshman who may make an impact on defense

Defensive coordinator Blake Baker was asked Monday to name the true freshmen he would be most comfortable playing.

Baker highlighted linebacker Corey Flagg Jr., defensive lineman Elijah Roberts and defensive backs Brian Balom and Isaiah Dunson as members of the class of 2020 who have performed well very early in their careers in practice.

That does not necessarily mean you should expect them to play significant snaps on Thursday night, however.

“I think a lot of those guys just have to continue to develop and get better,” Baker said. “It says (a lot about) the guys that we have returning on defense as well.”

Baker called Flagg “a student of the game” and said Balom “has been phenomenal”.

ETC.

Diaz said Monday that Miami should not be missing any players because of injury on Thursday...Baker believes that a goal of double-digit sacks for Quincy Roche is realistic this season because of Roche’s success at Temple in 2019 and Miami’s scheme...The turnover chain will be back (with a new design) for the 2020 season, Diaz confirmed. He hopes it will make its debut Thursday night against UAB if “the guys do what they are supposed to do” and generate turnovers. He also noted that it will be wiped down and sanitized after each time worn this season.