There’s not a whole lot that would wow you on the latest depth chart released five days before the North Carolina game in Chapel Hill. It’s been unfortunate that Miami has been hit with season-ending injuries to tackle Marcus Forston and linebacker Ramon Buchanan, but that’s no excuse for the continued defensive woes.
The coaching staff has made clear that part of the problem has been players ‘freelancing’, meaning they are not sticking to their gaps and assignments. As has been pointed out on several occasions on this blog, the rush defense has been abysmal and is at its worst statistically since the 1995 season.
For the second consecutive week, the starter at Buchanan’s weakside linebacker spot is Jordan Futch OR Kelvin Cain. James Gaines is again at the middle linebacker spot, and Sean Spence is on the strongside. There are no surprises in the defensive backfield with JoJo Nicolas the starter at free safety and Vaughn Telemaque at strong safety. Ray Ray Armstrong is listed behind Telemaque. Brandon McGee and Mike Williams are the corners.
Adewale Ojomo has an undisclosed injury, but head coach Al Golden hopes he’ll be ready to go Saturday. He moves from left tackle to the right tackle spot, and is listed as the starter with Micanor Regis. Darius Smith is listed as the starter on the left side. At the defensive end spot, Anthony Chickillo is again the starter at right end and Shayon Green moves to the left and is listed as the starter with Marcus Robinson.
It’s worth noting that Golden told reporters that offensive lineman Jermaine Johnson has practiced as a defensive lineman and “would probably be the next man in if we lost somebody else,” according to Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald.