Mark Richt Discusses the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Miami Hurricanes

TALLAHASSEE OCTOBER 7: Running back Travis Homer
TALLAHASSEE OCTOBER 7: Running back Travis Homer /

The Miami Hurricanes 7-0 start is their best in four years. That has still brought a lot of question marks amidst four straight close victories. Head Coach Mark Richt had his weekly appearance on the Joe Rose show to discuss where the Miami Hurricanes are at after their 7-0 start.

There is a lot of excitement with some skepticism after the Miami Hurricanes have started 7-0 for the first time since 2013. This start seems different. Although the last four victories have come by a total of 18 points there is a lot of cautious optimism with Mark Richt leading the program instead of Al Golden.

The national media have posed whether or not the Miami Hurricanes are better than the one-loss teams. Mark Richt discussed the offensive and defensive struggles on his weekly appearance on the Joe Rose show.

Miami’s run game on both the offensive and defensive sides have struggled. The Hurricanes rank near the bottom in ACC games in running and stopping the run. With Virginia Tech and Notre Dame up the next two weeks, the Hurricanes need to get the run game fixed on both sides of the ball.

Richt spoke to Rose about the struggles in the running game.

"“We’re not getting a lot of movement. And there’s times … there’s probably, I know there’s twice that we hand the ball off, it’s going to spring out big. One might have been a 70-yard housecall. You pop that one long run, that’s how it goes sometimes in the running game. You’re banging away, banging away, and all of a sudden, it spits out for a long one, just like that long touchdown run to finish the game against Syracuse. Every once in a while it takes a minute to find the crease and then all of a sudden, you’re going the distance and all you need is two long runs and all of a sudden, your run stats are different.”"

The running game hasn’t been the only issue offensively. Quarterback Malik Rosier has been spectacular in crunch time but has gotten off to slow starts during the first half. Richt wants more consistency out of his Junior signal caller.

"“Certainly we can’t continue to play this way the next couple weeks offensively and expect to not have another dramatic finish or even get ourselves where we can’t overcome whatever issues we have. I’ve just got a team that’s got a real positive attitude right now, they’re battling their tails off together. We’re going to work extremely hard this week and get a game plan that we believe in and try to execute it.”"

Rosier has been battling through a shoulder injury particularly in the victory over North Carolina. He missed some time in the second quarter before returning. Richt discussed Rosier’s play against North Carolina.

"“His shoulder, he definitely got slammed down on his shoulder early in the game and had to fight through the pain and finish the game for us. There might have been a ball off just here or there. There were so many ‘game of inches’ types of plays that we just missed a guy by a minute or maybe a guy didn’t run his route just right. …Malik, it was up and down. He made some great plays, some great decisions, some great throws. The throw to [Chris] Herndon? You can’t throw it any better than that. … He did some great things, he did some things that weren’t so great when it came to decisions in the run game.He pulled the ball and ran a couple of times when he should’ve handed it and probably slung one out there on little bubble screens once or twice. But for the most part, he battled his tail off and we got the victory.”"

Rosier made the big plays when he had to. The touchdown passes to Herndon, Thomas and Berrios defined the game for Miami. Add to it a 39-yard pass to set up the Berrios touchdown and that was what won the game for Miami with the turnovers defensively.

Miami is going to have to continue to make big plays offensively in addition to forcing turnovers on defense in order to keep the undefeated records intact. Although they haven’t won with style points, the Hurricanes are undeniably the hottest team in college football.

Next: What Do Miami Hurricanes Have to do Get Hype Back?

As Richt has said this is setting up as the biggest week in Miami football in about ten years. Miami play-by-play announcer Joe Zagacki has said the same. Virginia Tech and Notre Dame will invade Hard Rock Stadium the next two weeks. It should be an exciting time in South Florida.