Diaz praises team resolve following NC State comeback, looks to improve on D heading into VT

Diaz praises team resolve following NC State comeback, looks to improve on D heading into VT

Stefan Adams
After defeating NC State over the weekend, the Miami Hurricanes are on a 3-game winning streak, and head coach Manny Diaz has been impressed with how his team has responded since the loss to Clemson a month back.

“Very proud of the way that, really, the last three games, we found different ways to win games,” Diaz said.

The Canes have also been dealing with a depleted roster due to COVID-19 issues as well, having double digit players miss the contest with NC State this weekend. While Diaz did not comment on specific players, he did say he was optimistic that more players would be cleared to return heading into Virginia Tech this weekend.

“It’ll be better. We are getting guys back,” Diaz said. “It’s incremental as the week goes on. We’re still at the mercy (of COVID-19) throughout the week. We hope the lowest number of guys we’ve had (healthy), we’re past that. We had some guys back (Sunday) and hope to get some more guys cleared… There were a couple of position groups we had a week ago where we were a guy or two away from canceling the game."

In the win over the Wolfpack, Miami’s receivers again made their presence felt for a second straight week, collectively making a season-high 22 catches for 339 yards and 4 TD’s.

“All those catches the guys made… finally could take a breath and get some confidence that they could make those plays downfield,” Diaz said. “For all those guys to make the plays they’ve made, their confidence is at a different level. We have to prove ourselves again this Saturday… (We knew) we were going to get really, really good at this, and when we do, watch out. When you can throw the ball deep downfield, it changes things… That's a big part of what we're doing. You have to throw the ball to win in 2020, you just have to."

The traditional run game was better against NC State than in recent weeks, but was still lacking in big plays (23 carries, 87 yards, 3.8 ypc for backs).

“We have to go back to the running game, get more explosive runs because that has dried out the last few weeks,” Diaz said.

After struggling in giving up 404 yards through 3 quarters, Miami’s defense finally got it together in the final stanza, holding NC State to just 6 yards of total offense in the 4th quarter to allow the UM offense to pull ahead and win the game.

"It was tightening up - what we were doing, we were doing the right things, were doing them poorly," Diaz said of the defense. "And we were doing them poorly because we lost our mindset... We just weren't in the right mindset to play. The way I saw it, give credit to NC State, they started the game well, made some hard plays. That put some pressure on us on defense that we did not respond well to.

"It was weird, before we took the field on the first drive of the fourth quarter, what their conversations were to each other, the way they prepared for that drive, it just felt different. They took the pressure off themselves. They were letting it go. We explained to the player to see the mentality in how you play the fourth quarter vs. how you play the second and third. It's a good lesson... It is difficult to learn to deal with the perceived pressure of winning every week. It's been fun to watch our team learn how that works."

The Wolfpack mainly moved the ball through the air against UM, as the NC State went for 279 passing yards and 3 TD’s.

“There are three plays that 86 (Emeka Emezie) made that were extraordinary plays,” Diaz said. “86 can play for anybody, would start for Clemson. What was disappointing was when they made some high execution plays early in the game, certain guys we allowed that to get to us. And then, the way we play crossing routes for example - we started busting on those. Some of us let some plays affect other plays. That haunted us through the second and part of the third quarter. You have to be able to line back up and go play again.”

One player that helped bring the defense out of their slump was striker Gil Frierson, who gave a speech to the stop unit to help fire them up.

"Gilbert got right in front of the defense, said `This is not us,'" Diaz said. "We had lost our connection, the effort wasn't an issue, but we were like a car veering off the tracks, got out of our minds a little. He refocused everybody, said a couple of things I thought needed to be said and it felt different from then on."

Ultimately, Diaz said, the defense is not where he wants it at this point in the season, but there are still positive indicators of how the unit is performing.

“We’re not where we normally are in our standard, but we’re fourth in the conference in defense in yards per play, fourth rushing, No. 1 in yards per pass attempt," Diaz said. "We’re fourth in red zone, fourth in third downs. We’ve been good in situational stuff.”

Diaz also praised LT Zion Nelson, and credited his improvement in part to running fewer plays on offense, among other things.

"Zion, talk about development, give credit to our strength staff,” Diaz said. “Zion gets the credit too, he's put in the work."

The Canes also made a few negative plays on special teams, including allowing a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD and committing 3 block in the back penalties during the game vs. NC State.

“Our special teams was really the most disappointing aspect of the game,” Diaz said. “It was tackling. We felt there was a potential block in the back that wasn’t called. We missed three tackles.

“Very disappointing. You can’t let them get seven points on us in special teams. We were very uncharacteristic with our penalties on kickoff return, guys trying to do too much… That backed up our offense.”

The Canes will play Virginia Tech this weekend, and will be facing off against Hokies QB Hendon Hooker, who defeated the Hurricanes in his first career start a year ago. Hooker is second nationally among QB’s with 515 rushing yards, and is tied for first with 8 rushing TD’s.

“A big, strong guy, hard to tackle,” Diaz said of Hooker. “The quarterback, when you have to account for his legs, it really changes the way you play defense.”

Diaz was also asked about possibly playing in the ACC Championship Game: with Clemson’s loss to Notre Dame over the weekend, UM’s path to the title game was made more difficult.

“Go 1-0 this week, that’s all we can control,” Diaz said. “If we’re sitting around talking about what December looks like, we’ll get beat in November.”

Diaz also mentioned the team cut Sunday’s practice short due to the incoming tropical storm, but that they were able to get most of the work done they needed to. The Canes also have an extra day of prep coming off a Friday game.
 

Comments (49)

I wonder how the cornerbacks like Blades and Ivey feel about Rumph. Because, if you are not really a good recruiter (and he isnt), that usually is a sign that you cannot relate to young athletes.

Because Blades looked like Ivey on Friday. Just out of sorts, not fully locked in, maybe physically present but mentally somewhere else. It has been the same with Ivey last season and he even admitted that he wasnt locked in against UAB because he got hammered from fans. His play after UAB was almost a 180 degree turn compared to UAB.

Kinda reminds me of Bryant McKinnie last season, reporting about small groups within the Offensive Line, players not respecting the position coach, not paying attention in meetings to the point where they dont even know the plays that the O is running.

I wonder how Rumph is coaching them and how much they are paying attention to what he is saying and what they are bringing up during prep. Because, if you cant stand your boss, you dont really want to go to work and your productivity goes down.

Just my 2 cents.
 
Manny has gone off the rails.

Last year these numbers would of been in the country.

“We’re not where we normally are in our standard, but we’re fourth in the conference in defense in yards per play, fourth rushing, No. 1 in yards per pass attempt," Diaz said. "We’re fourth in red zone, fourth in third downs. We’ve been good in situational stuff.”

Signed,

Peruche
 
He's actually a very good QB. If we made Bailey Hockaloogey look like Johnny Unitas and Old Yeller look like a good college QB, then Hooker is going to feast. We'll be in another shootout because Vag Tech's D is trash too. This one could be 49-47.


Absolutely
Herndon is about to look like Auburn Cam Newton come Saturday afternoon. Amari needs to do what he does, sacrifice himself & take that kid out early.
 
The Defensive side of the ball needs a hard ass disciplinarian coach that will hold the Defense accountable.

It would be great if it was the HC or the DC, but neither one of them seem to have it in them to command respect from the players or enforce fear of consequences.

Most of the Defensive players know regardless of how bad they play, how many mental errors they make or how undisciplined they are, they are guaranteed playing time & won't so much as even get yelled at in the slightest if they fck up.

I've never once seen Baker, Patke or Rumph ever yell at a player for anything at all, like not even raise their voice a few decibels. It just seems we have a Defensive staff full of dudes who do not demand excellence & are perfectly okay with mediocre effort from their units.

The Defensive staff needs some fire, they need a coach who makes them uncomfortable & pushes them to compete relentlessly, right now the players run the Defense & they show up & play when they feel like it.
 
Gilbert Frierson??? Pretty sure I read his name on a list somewhere. I think it was a list of players that would never play here and should transfer.

Go Canes!
 
The Defensive side of the ball needs a hard ass disciplinarian coach that will hold the Defense accountable.

It would be great if it was the HC or the DC, but neither one of them seem to have it in them to command respect from the players or enforce fear of consequences.

Most of the Defensive players know regardless of how bad they play, how many mental errors they make or how undisciplined they are, they are guaranteed playing time & won't so much as even get yelled at in the slightest if they fck up.

I've never once seen Baker, Patke or Rumph ever yell at a player for anything at all, like not even raise their voice a few decibels. It just seems we have a Defensive staff full of dudes who do not demand excellence & are perfectly okay with mediocre effort from their units.

The Defensive staff needs some fire, they need a coach who makes them uncomfortable & pushes them to compete relentlessly, right now the players run the Defense & they show up & play when they feel like it.
Lock thread. Nothing more needs to be said.
 
The Defensive side of the ball needs a hard ass disciplinarian coach that will hold the Defense accountable.

It would be great if it was the HC or the DC, but neither one of them seem to have it in them to command respect from the players or enforce fear of consequences.

Most of the Defensive players know regardless of how bad they play, how many mental errors they make or how undisciplined they are, they are guaranteed playing time & won't so much as even get yelled at in the slightest if they fck up.

I've never once seen Baker, Patke or Rumph ever yell at a player for anything at all, like not even raise their voice a few decibels. It just seems we have a Defensive staff full of dudes who do not demand excellence & are perfectly okay with mediocre effort from their units.

The Defensive staff needs some fire, they need a coach who makes them uncomfortable & pushes them to compete relentlessly, right now the players run the Defense & they show up & play when they feel like it.
AMEN LCE. Wisdom.

Go Canes!
 
The Defensive side of the ball needs a hard ass disciplinarian coach that will hold the Defense accountable.

It would be great if it was the HC or the DC, but neither one of them seem to have it in them to command respect from the players or enforce fear of consequences.

Most of the Defensive players know regardless of how bad they play, how many mental errors they make or how undisciplined they are, they are guaranteed playing time & won't so much as even get yelled at in the slightest if they fck up.

I've never once seen Baker, Patke or Rumph ever yell at a player for anything at all, like not even raise their voice a few decibels. It just seems we have a Defensive staff full of dudes who do not demand excellence & are perfectly okay with mediocre effort from their units.

The Defensive staff needs some fire, they need a coach who makes them uncomfortable & pushes them to compete relentlessly, right now the players run the Defense & they show up & play when they feel like it.
This is 100% accurate. After 2 plays in the NCSU game, I knew we were in for a long night. I could tell simply by the casual approach the D was taking and how we were jogging around out there and not at all mentally prepared. Complete lack of intensity.
 
We need to make Hooker throw the ball.
VT’s offense is like one of those vintage ’90s Nebraska options teams. They would just kill you running, so you’d have to commit to stop it, and it would open up the passing game for easy throws that went for a lot of yards when they would fake the option. Their QBs would finish 4/6 for 120 yards and 2 TDs or something when they had the offense working. You knew it wasn’t working when their QBs had a lot of passing attempts.

We need to force Hooker to throw the ball close to 30 times on Saturday. If that happens it means we’ve stopped the running game on early downs.
 
The Defensive side of the ball needs a hard ass disciplinarian coach that will hold the Defense accountable.

It would be great if it was the HC or the DC, but neither one of them seem to have it in them to command respect from the players or enforce fear of consequences.

Most of the Defensive players know regardless of how bad they play, how many mental errors they make or how undisciplined they are, they are guaranteed playing time & won't so much as even get yelled at in the slightest if they fck up.

I've never once seen Baker, Patke or Rumph ever yell at a player for anything at all, like not even raise their voice a few decibels. It just seems we have a Defensive staff full of dudes who do not demand excellence & are perfectly okay with mediocre effort from their units.

The Defensive staff needs some fire, they need a coach who makes them uncomfortable & pushes them to compete relentlessly, right now the players run the Defense & they show up & play when they feel like it.

is this coming from DVD directly?

because i've heard it from someone else:

1) rumph is on a razor's edge as far as his long term future with the program, and he is disconnected more and more each week
2) patke is a nice kid but ....
3) baker is 100% the "administrator" of manny's defense, not the "coordinator"
4) manny did in fact take over the headset in the 4th quarter. we gave up six yards. you do the math
 
is this coming from DVD directly?

because i've heard it from someone else:

1) rumph is on a razor's edge as far as his long term future with the program, and he is disconnected more and more each week
2) patke is a nice kid but ....
3) baker is 100% the "administrator" of manny's defense, not the "coordinator"
4) manny did in fact take over the headset in the 4th quarter. we gave up six yards. you do the math
How reliable is this?
 
Manual is fortunate that NC State's players felt the need to hit us late a few times and extend some drives. NC State is so dumb they actually tried to push Harley UP a flight of stairs after catching a TD.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
WR
5'9"
190
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne Senior, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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