After suffering a 41-3 thrashing at the hands of Notre Dame, Miami returns home to Sun Life Stadium in an attempt to stay undefeated in ACC play. As the ‘Canes prepare for UNC, let’s have a look at what’s going on in the world of Miami football.
- Freshman WR Robert Lockart is expected to make his Miami debut Saturday against UNC. Said Golden, “He’s ready to go.” Lockart will be the 20th ‘Cane freshman to see the field this season.
- Penalties continue to plague Miami. Against Notre Dame, the ‘Canes were flagged nine times, totaling 76 yards. Golden reiterated that the “big stage” may have gotten to some of the Hurricane players and that they have been striving to improve since last year. However, “…right now we are going backwards a little bit…I have to do a better job of preparing them for that stage.” With big venues come big nerves, and penalties are to be expected from this young Miami defense.
- Speaking of defense, DE Anthony Chickillo has been somewhat of a disappointment this year, although he has managed 24 tackles with two sacks. Chickillo was hoping to end the season with double digit sack totals and Golden says that the opportunities have been there for him. “He has had some opportunities where he has beaten his man and he has let a sack get away. I think if he stays with the system those plays will come.”
- S Deon Bush is continuing to receive praise from Golden. The freshman plays physical and brings a toughness to the UM defense that is much needed. With a physical safety like Bush, Golden said that as a result, Miami’s tackling has improved with him on the field. Although that didn’t seem to be the case against the Irish.
- Defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio has received a lot of criticism following Miami’s loss to Notre Dame. Some have speculated as to whether or not the ‘Canes defense gave up against the Irish, but D’Onofrio insists otherwise. “I don’t think that’s the case. When you talk about the end of the game you’re talking about guys like [freshman LB] Raphael Kirby and Dequan Ivery in there. Those guys were playing their first football game. Those guys played hard.” Miami’s defense is ranked 118th nationally in total defense. Keep in mind that there are only 120 teams in the FBS. Miami has given up 1,670 yards in the past three games. Golden came to D’Onofrio’s defense saying that “they’re not watching it everyday like he [D'Onofrio] is…we’re moving the team forward, just keep moving forward…there’s no fifth-year seniors, no fourth-year seniors, only a couple, and there’s very few juniors…we’ll get there. I promise you we’ll get there.”
- Sophomore WR Phillip Dorsett is coming off of one of his worst games as a Miami Hurricane. He was held to one reception for six yards against the Irish. Dorsett made two crucial drops that would have resulted in Miami touchdowns – not to mention a change in momentum. In any event, following Miami’s loss, enraged fans threatened Dorsett via Twitter. Said Dorsett, “You know how sports fans are. Obviously, everybody has my Twitter account, so people are out there just talking. It doesn’t get to me.” That type of nonsense is completely uncalled for. Show some class, people.
- If the ‘Canes weren’t prepared for the big stage against Notre Dame, they better be ready come Oct. 20th. Miami-FSU has been scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Fortunately for Miami, the game will be played at Sun Life Stadium. But then again, I’m sure that FSU fans will outnumber Miami fans, thus, turning it into a home game for the ‘Noles. Hopefully I’m wrong.