The Miami Hurricanes cornerbacks have seen recent shifts in playing time.
Sophomore Te’Cory Couch appears to have passed junior D.J. Ivey as the Miami Hurricanes second cornerback. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, junior Al Blades led Miami with 57 snaps against North Carolina State last week, Couch played 44 and Ivey 35.
Blades struggled last week against the Wolfpack but leads the Miami CBs with 25 tackles and the team with seven pass breakups and two interceptions. The snaps might shift between Blades, Couch and Ivey but they are pretty locked in as the top three CBs with only five players at the position on the Miami roster.
Freshmen Isaiah Dunson and Marcus Clarke are the other two. Neither has received much playing time this season. Dunson has four tackles, Clarke just two assists in 2020. Couch had a sack on third down on the second to last drive for NC State and Ivey sealed the game with an interception on the next drive.
Ivey has 19 tackles, the interception and two pass breakups this season. Couch has 15 tackles, one tackle for loss, the one sack, three pass breakups and one forced fumble. Miami defensive coordinator Blake Baker spoke earlier this week about the contributions that Couch has made this season.
“Te’Cory’s playing at an extremely high level for us right now at nickel and at corner…Really proud of the way that guy competes every single day. You can see the growth over the span of the last year and a half and how much better he’s gotten…Te’Cory has got a great confidence about him,…
He’s like a chihuahua, man. He thinks he’s a lot bigger than he is. You like that as a defensive coordinator. He’s really gotten slippery when he gets in there on the blitz, and a lot of that comes, in my opinion, from a feel for it and not having any fear once he goes in there.”
The Miami pass defense has not given up many big pass plays this season, but opponents have taken advantage on intermediate plays. Miami is 10th in the ACC in pass defense allowing 245.9 passing yards per game. Virginia Tech will be a bigger test for the Miami defense on the ground.
The Hokies lead the ACC averaging 277.43 rushing yards per game. Virginia Tech is 14th in the ACC in passing averaging 187.6 yards per game. The Miami secondary is not likely to be tested by the Virginia Tech passing game, but they can not play complacent. Blades, Couch and Ivey all have to be counted on the rest of the season.