Canes Convos: Homer recovering well from injury, Wiggins on playing with Perry

Canes Convos: Homer recovering well from injury, Wiggins on playing with Perry

Stefan Adams
Junior running back Travis Homer missed practice all last week with a calf injury, but played in Miami’s loss to Georgia Tech, recording 11 carries for 30 yards, and adding 3 catches for 26yards as well. Homer made it through the game with no issues and has resumed practicing on a limited basis this week.

"I'm feeling good. It was manageable (on Saturday)," Homer said. “I feel a lot better (today). I know that my body feels a lot better for one. Two, we had a great today. I think the offense is really trying to step it up. I've been out here, but I've been doing a lot of treatment."

Third string freshman RB Cam Davis received his first real college action against the Yellow Jackets and shined, recording 6 carries for 48 yards and a TD.

"I was very proud of him,” Homer said of Davis. “I thought it was great for him to get his first touchdown. I hope there are many more to come."

Homer was a part of the 2016 UM team that lost 4 straight, and the Canes find themselves in the exact same position here in 2018. What kind of advice does he give to the freshmen like Davis and others during the tough streak?

"Really, we've been down this road before during my freshman year, losing four games in a row,” Homer said. “It's more about how you respond, never just to give up and sit there pouting and what not. You have to respond, you have to fight.

“They're going to have to (buy-in)... We're not going to let them just sit around."

QB N’Kosi Perry got his first start in about a month against GT and Homer sees him becoming more comfortable running the offense.

"I think he's a lot more comfortable with the position and I think that's going to help us a lot going into this next game,” Homer said on Perry. “What he was able to do on the ground, getting first downs and everything, really helped us out."

How has Perry been preparing differently?

"Just a different mindset and that leadership role that he's trying to take right now as the starting QB."

Homer’s backfield-mate DeeJay Dallas has been in a funk the past two games, putting the ball on the ground four times.

"Really, at that point, it's just a mindset thing,” Homer said. “We're telling him that you need to get that out of your head because this team needs you and we need him to lock in and we need him to focus.

"(He’s) a lot more focused this week. A lot more... I don't want to say energetic, but you can feel the intensity coming from his body."

With Virginia Tech next up on the schedule, Homer knows facing the VT defense will always be a challenge with Bud Foster on the sidelines.

"I'm just going to look at their defense like I would any other team because anything can happen any given day,” Homer said. “So I'm just going to keep preparing just like I would… I know they like to be physical, fast, strong. I know that they're young."

**Freshman WR Dee Wiggins had the best game of his young career last week vs. GT, recording 2 catches for 31 yards.

"I mean when coach put me in, I knew it was time,” Wiggins said. “I had to make plays and it was my time when he called me to get in. I knew it was time to make plays down field blocking and that was the main thing. Blocking is key. Without blocking, we wouldn't make plays."

A guy many expected to redshirt due to his slight frame, Wiggins has earned playing time mainly on the strength of his blocking. Ron Dugans has been tough on Wiggins to develop his blocking and has seen some tangible results.

"To be honest, [blocking] wasn't my big thing,” Wiggins said. “I wasn't really blocking in high school. When I got here, (Ron) Dugans was hard on me about blocking so I just sucked it up and started blocking downfield and being physical."

What was the call on his 24 yard catch from N’Kosi Perry in the game?

"It felt great when N'Kosi threw it,” Wiggins said. “I saw the safety over top. They were playing ‘Tampa 2,’ so I had a seam read and I stuck my foot in and caught the ball."

Wiggins has plenty of confidence in how Perry can lead this team, and felt Perry proved it on the final, 95 yard drive against GT that put UM in the endzone when Miami absolutely had to have a score.

"The final drive was great. He put the team on his back, basically,” Wiggins said on Perry. “He improves every day in practice and he improves every game."

With Miami out of the Coastal race and with nothing to play for other than a bowl appearance, one might think the team is slacking off. However, according to Wiggins, the team has been working harder than ever this week.

"Now we're just working on our craft and working even harder in practice,” Wiggins said. “Even though the season is not going well, we're working on our craft more… It's a process just to get better. Just work on my craft more and more and watch film more."

Although the offense is struggling, this week might be UM’s best chance all season to break out of their funk: Virginia Tech is the 105th ranked defense in the country, giving up 447.4 yards per game in total yards.

"Even though things aren't going our way, our main focus is Virginia Tech,” Wiggins said. “To win and to get the seniors into a bowl game. We're just going to work hard every day to get them to a bowl game."

**Freshman OT DJ Scaife has started the past four games at RT, but feels like his last game at Georgia Tech was his best yet.

"I think I did [well], but I still have room to improve a lot,” Scaife said. “I was physical. I probably made a couple mental mistakes, but I was still being physical."

Despite Scaife’s personal success, the UM O-line did not fare well as a whole: the unit was whistled for 5 penalties that set back many offensive drives and Scaife was the only starter to not be whistled.

"Really it was the crowd noise. Really, that's it,” Scaife said. “After we cut that down, I think we'll be good… At first it was kind of hard (to hear the QB), but you get used to it after a while."

With the team having crowd noise issues, Miami’s trip this week to Blacksburg, known for having a raucous crowd, could be one of their most challenging yet. How are the Canes preparing for the noise?

"Really, we just are in the indoor. We have the crowd noise with the speakers,” Scaife said. “They just keep us focused."

What were his expectations of his freshman season?

"I was trying to start, obviously, and I made my goal. I just have to keep going."

Comments (4)

Looks like Cam is going to be a stud like I thought coming outta hs...his vision, explosiveness and athleticism on film is the favorite rb recruit since Duke!
"Virginia Tech is the 105th ranked defense in the country, giving up 447.4 yards per game in total yards."
Try stopping our 7 offensive plays. It's almost as hard as stopping the wishbone. Oh...wait.
VT will be fielding a top 10 looking defense Saturday.