Canes Convos: Pinckney focused on dominating FSU, Finley talks first career TD

Canes Convos: Pinckney focused on dominating FSU, Finley talks first career TD

Stefan Adams
As a third year starter in Miami’s defense, junior LB Michael Pinckney has had his share of moments against the Seminoles in recent years, which is why he’s not phased by the pressure of the rivalry too much anymore.

“We just have to come out and dominate,” Pinckney said. “It’s a rivalry game, a big atmosphere. But we have to be focused on the job.”

What would a win over FSU mean for UM?

“It defines your season,” he said. “You can do a lot of great things, but a lot of people are going to ask you what you did in this game or did you win this game. So we have to come out and dominate, realize the atmosphere and how big this game is.”

Pinckney has made it his mission to take as much pressure of the offense and freshman QB N’Kosi Perry as possible in this game.

“You have younger guys like N’Kosi, he doesn’t have to do too much if we do our job,” Pinckney said.

What has Miami been working on this week to clean up the run defense after UNC busted free a few times last week?

“It was just letting everybody know `We could have done these things better, did small, detail things better.’ Of course, FSU is probably going to pick up on some of the things we didn’t hit on so we just have to do a great job of readjusting and doing our job that much better.”

Senior safety Jaquan Johnson is expected to return to the field this week after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury, and Pinckney is ready to have another leader out there against the Noles.

“We love him, have a lot of confidence that he’ll do his job, get everyone ready to go,” Pinckney said. “I’m glad he’s back.”

Even though Miami hasn’t beaten a top-tier opponent yet this season, Pinckney isn’t worried and says the most important thing is playing up to the Miami standard every week.

"I mean it's a game at the end of the day," Pinckney said. "I can't focus on who we play. They put them on the schedule, we have to treat every game the same. We have to come out and compete, couldn't care less who we play. As long as we play how we're supposed to play, it doesn't matter."


**Junior striker linebacker Romeo Finley has gone from a special teams guy to someone that is relied upon heavily each week by Manny Diaz in his defense. Finley made the first huge play of his career last week against UNC, jumping a slant route and taking the interception 80 yards the other way for a TD.

“I moved to it, picked it and it was off to the races,” Finley said.

With the Turnover Chain coming out six times last week, Finley noticed a difference in the atmosphere at Hard Rock Stadium.

“That was very different, and the crowd was lit, we were lit,” Finley said. “It was fun.”

With the Canes facing off against the arch-rival Seminoles this week, Finley feels that if Miami’s defense plays their game, there won’t be much the Noles can do offensively.

“I’m not afraid of them, we just do what we have to do and go from there,” Finley said. “They’re a good team, have some good slot receivers, a good running back. We’ll do what we have to do, go from there.”

As a native of Fort Walton Beach, FL, Finley has seen many Miami-FSU matchups over the years and says finally getting a chance to play a huge part in this season’s game will be exciting.

“I grew up watching FSU-Miami, all the wide lefts, wide rights, all that,” Finley said. “Now, to be part of it, in a big role on defense, it’s going to be a fun evening.”


**Junior LB Zach McCloud is aware that the Hurricanes haven’t beaten FSU in Miami since 2004, which is why he sees this season’s game as a big opportunity.

“It’s huge,” McCloud said. “We know the history of the game is so huge. We know we haven’t won at home since 2004 - we can’t keep repeating those kinds of mistakes. Miami, we’re getting back to where we should be and it has to show when we play FSU especially.”

Even though the Noles have struggled a bit in the early going, McCloud knows FSU will be playing their best game come Saturday.

“FSU comes to our house, they want to play us like they’re winning the championship that year,” McCloud said. “FSU plays Miami, no matter where the two teams stand it’s a battle, it’s a war. So I think it’s going to be the same every year. We have to strap it up like they do, hit like they do.”

The running defense gave up 215 yards to UNC last week, so making sure Miami’s defense is ready to stop FSU’s running backs has been a main focus in practice this week.

“It’s always a huge focus,” McCloud said. “For the past couple of years, we’ve done very well with (run defense). It’s something that we have to tighten up on, but the standard remains the same. This past week, it just didn’t show up in the game. This week we plan to show a difference in that.”

Manny Diaz’s defense is leading the nation in tackles for loss coming into this weekend, and the Hurricanes are licking their chops to face a underperforming FSU offensive line.

“Literally, if Diaz really wanted to, I’m sure he could calculate exactly how many we expect to have and he’d be off by one or two by the end of the game,” McCloud said. “He’s really calculated, knows what he’s doing and when it shows on the field it restores our faith in the coaches that much.”

Even though McCloud’s mother attended Florida State, he says she’s now a Cane.

“I made her a Miami fan,” McCloud said. He added, “My dad is from Miami, he’d been loosening the jar for all those years. When I made my decision, she stuck by me.”


**Senior safety Sheldrick Redwine isn’t worried that Miami hasn’t beaten FSU at home since 2004.

“I don’t think it bothers us at all,” Redwine said. “That wasn’t even a stat we really knew. It’s another game, that’s all it is.”

The defense has seemed to get better every single week, culminating in a six turnover, three TD performance against UNC last week.

“I think as the season is going along, we’re meshing and coming together,” Redwine said.

On FSU’s offense: “They have talent, we have talent,” Redwine said. “It’s going to be a clash of titans. It’s a rivalry game. You can really expect anything. They’re probably going to pull it all out… I don’t think we have any concerns. It’s mainly just us, we have to go out and play our game. It’s not who they are, it’s what we do. That’s really all it is.”

Redwine is a frequent wearer of the Turnover Chain, but says he doesn’t see anything wrong with another team having a backpack instead.

“We have our thing, they have their thing,” Redwine said. “It’s nothing that concerns us. They have what they like, we have what we like.”
 

Comments (8)

Let's hope they talk the talk and walk the walk. This game reminds me of the 2002 game with the exception of Miami being defending national champions.

I'm pretty sure in both games Miami was favored by 13.5 or 14 and everyone was expecting a slaughter, including FSU fans and Tallahassee local FSU radio. The local radio guy (jeff cameron) was all in on taking Miami -14 in 2002 without any worries and he did the same this year. The 2002 game came down to FSU missing a FG wide left and Miami winning the game on the final play.

On paper Miami should win this game with ease, but I can't let myself settle for that. I expect a nail biter and it shouldn't be.
 
Redwine is a frequent wearer of the Turnover Chain, but says he doesn’t see anything wrong with another team having a backpack instead.

“We have our thing, they have their thing,” Redwine said. “It’s nothing that concerns us. They have what they like, we have what we like.”

Lol I like this subtle shot.
 
Same here. Redwine took a jab at it without coming out and saying it directly. Look, if the defense is focused as they should be, feed off the pro-Miami crowd, and do their jobs - ain’t no way FSU wins this game. Or keeps it close. It’s about time we knew we were the better team here, stand up, and punch the snot out of the opponent. That’ll be another sign the U is “back”.
 
Let's hope they talk the talk and walk the walk. This game reminds me of the 2002 game with the exception of Miami being defending national champions.

I'm pretty sure in both games Miami was favored by 13.5 or 14 and everyone was expecting a slaughter, including FSU fans and Tallahassee local FSU radio. The local radio guy (jeff cameron) was all in on taking Miami -14 in 2002 without any worries and he did the same this year. The 2002 game came down to FSU missing a FG wide left and Miami winning the game on the final play.

On paper Miami should win this game with ease, but I can't let myself settle for that. I expect a nail biter and it shouldn't be.

28-27 yesterday and 28-27 in 2002....ironic.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
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WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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