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Diaz recaps big FSU win, looks ahead to Louisville

Diaz recaps big FSU win, looks ahead to Louisville

Stefan Adams
Miami head coach Manny Diaz used his Monday afternoon presser to discuss the big road win over rival Florida State that took place over the weekend.

“Obviously it was a very buoyant mood yesterday, in meetings and in practice," Diaz said. "Our players were not just very excited to defeat their rival on the road, but there were a lot of aspects – the manner of our performance, the way that we played – we felt like we had had the best week of preparation leading up to this game. As a coach, you really want that to correlate. You want to see the execution in practice match up in the game. We had a little bit of a different demeanor about us the day of the game, at the hotel during walk-throughs. We had a little bit of a different demeanor during pregame warmups where you can tell the guys were really locked in and focused on the job at hand.”

The Canes outgained FSU 353-203 on offense and had 5 explosive plays of 20 yards or more.

“We outgained them by 130 yards in explosive yardage,” Diaz said. “Jeff Thomas’ touchdown for example: We threw a post one-on-one - what really stood out to us as a coaching staff, there’s five guys running a route on that play and all five ran the route exactly how it’s supposed to be run.”

On defense, Miami harassed FSU quarterback Alex Hornibrook all game, racking up 9 sacks, 16 TFL, and 2 INT’s

“A dominating performance,” Diaz said. “The defensive line was relentless. We felt going into the game they had not seen a defensive front like ours… Our guys, all of them, were relentless. The sack numbers are what they are. There were so many guys beating blocks and getting free that the quarterback had nowhere to go.”

The Canes also used a mismatch on special teams to their advantage, with both Louis Hedley and KJ Osborn helping give UM great field position via the punting game.

“This is the third week in a row where, the way that we calculate hidden yardage, has been over 100 yards in our favor. This week it was 266. That’s where their starting field position is compared to where our starting field position is multiplied by the amount of drives – how much further Florida State would have to go to score the points that we had to score. They’re basically starting the game 266 yards behind us because of how we dominated the field position.

“Louis Hedley becoming a massive weapon for us in the punting game, K.J. Osborn becoming a massive weapon for us – we’re now second in the ACC and 11th in the country in punt returns. We’re starting to understand that punting is always a bad thing to have happen, because every time we’ve punted the ball and we got it back on offense, we move closer to their goal line, which is what the game is all about. Some of the things that we thought have hurt us in the past, with field position, we now have that remedied.”

At the end of the day, the win over FSU was essentially Miami’s best all-around effort this season.

“Our most complete performance to date,” Diaz said. “Our players are starting to gain confidence, and we need it.”

Why did it take until November to feel like the team finally hit its stride?

“You’d love for it to just happen. But if things just happened, you really wouldn’t need coaches, right? If everyone just did the right thing all the time, which would be cool… the guys putting it together, being able to stay focused throughout the entire practice,” Diaz said. “I think a little more of the accountability that they’re having on each other… and not to accept anything other than the best, that’s why I always going back to player accountability being sort of the secret sauce in all of this.”

S Bubba Bolden injured his foot celebrating his third quarter interception with S Gurvan Hall this weekend; Diaz says the injury will sideline Bolden for the rest of 2019.

“Unfortunately, he’ll be out for the season, which is tough on our defense because he was really starting to play at a very high level,” Diaz said of Bolden. “We’ll have to do what we always do. We’ll have to rely on the depth we have at the safety position and move on.”

With 5 games played and having already taken a redshirt last season, it is unlikely Bolden can be redshirted this season, but Diaz said the team is exploring the possibility of a medical redshirt.

The team will have to rely more on guys like redshirt senior S Robert Knowles, who Diaz praised for his improvement this season.

“Rob is so important to our football team, a guy that faced a lot of adversity in his career,” Diaz said. “The last time we went to Tallahassee, was involved in Florida State’s go-ahead touchdown. He’s the guy that right now in college football is (usually) not sticking and staying, wants to leave on the assumption it would be easier somewhere else.”

Diaz said walk-on Camden Price will be Miami’s kicker moving forward; Price went 2/3 on FG’s missing his second, a 37-yarder, before coming back to hit a 32-yarder late in the fourth quarter

“It’s in Tallahassee, high pressure situations,” Diaz said.

Diaz mentioned he was FaceTiming recruits after the FSU win, and was asked if Miami will take an interest in any FSU commits left in limbo with the firing of Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart on Sunday.

“The feedback after the game was very positive,” Diaz said. “The guys believe in what we’re doing here, it’s fun to have it show on the field.

“In terms of our recruiting class, we all know how fluid recruiting is, how things can change between now and signing day. There are guys we have been recruiting at multiple positions, some committed, some may not be. We’re always trying as you approach singing day to get the class to be as good as it possibly can be.”

After a two straight road games, the team heads back to Miami with a two game winning streak to face-off against Louisville, but Diaz said he doesn’t see the brief success getting to his team’s head.

“What we need to be confident in is our work. What we need to be confident in is our attention to detail,” Diaz said. “Not confident in that we’ve got this figured out. That’s what restarts every week. The work restarts every week. The attention to detail restarts every week. So we give them some challenges, even on some off the field stuff, again to try to make some player accountability things happen.

“We’d be very foolish, with some of our past performances, to walk around and act like we’ve got anything figured out, other than we know that when we work very hard and we prepare at a very high level, our chances of winning go up. We should not be able to say anything other than that. We don’t have anything else figured out other than we understand that hard work and attention to detail gives us a chance to win every football game we play in.”

The Cardinals come into Miami Gardens at 5-3, and look much improved from last season’s 2-win team in new head coach Scott Saterfield’s first season.

“This Saturday, we play a very dangerous Louisville football team who had a week off to think about nothing but the Miami Hurricanes,” Diaz said. “They’re pretty dynamic in what they do on both sides of the ball. They’ve obviously got some very skilled weapons. All these guys playing for Louisville were all recruited when Lamar Jackson was there.

“Scott Satterfield has done a great job of re-energizing that program and getting them to play the way they’re used to playing up in Louisville. With the game being Homecoming, with the game being Senior Day, it’s just amazing to think that some of these guys will be playing their last game at Hard Rock Stadium. We hope to have a great crowd, we need to have a great crowd to make it as hard on Louisville as possible and to get around our fans and really cheer on this team that is starting to hit its stride in the month of November.”

Miami’s lock down defense of the past few weeks will be tested by a Louisville offense averaging 444.6 yards per game and scoring 32.8 points per game.

"They run the ball, they commit to running inside and outside zone and do a really nice job of that,” Diaz said. “There are skill guys that are really, really good players at Louisville. Coach has gone in there and got them playing at the level they were a couple of years ago. They can run, but where they trick you is they get you in play action. They're third in our league in rushing, No. 1 in our league in yards per pass attempt, and No. 6 in the country in yards per completion.

"They've got some dudes. This is a good football team."
 

Comments (26)

Miami head coach Manny Diaz used his Monday afternoon presser...ALL OF IT AND DEEP INTO THE EVENING...AND ALSO WAS STILL TALKING ABOUT IT TODAY...HAS HIS HOF SPEECH READY, THE BOOK SIGNING IS TOMORROW ACTUALLY... to discuss the big road win over rival Florida State that took place over the weekend.


Fixed it for ya^^....I mean this Diaz thinks he won the ship. Ain't shut up yet
 
I didn’t love the answer either. It looked like: “Hey, that’s why they pay us to coach! We’re doing a great job coaching these guys up and they’re finally coming around! Yay us!”
Well, Saturday will tell. Trajectory is everything in gaging a team’s progress. But, in all honesty, I do like his position on what the players (And the coaches’) assumption needs to be, moving forward, by this : “We’d be very foolish, with some of our past performances, to walk around and act like we’ve got anything figured out, other than we know that when we work very hard and we prepare at a very high level, our chances of winning go up. We should not be able to say anything other than that. We don’t have anything else figured out other than we understand that hard work and attention to detail gives us a chance to win every football game we play in.”
 
It seems to me that every time we are the underdogs we won besides the gator game.
 
IF we can win the next three and look decent in doing so, there is actually still the potential that Manny could build some real momentum behind this thing. Capping off your first season on a 5-game win streak (plus we'll see what happens with a bowl game), playing your best football of the year, and returning a lot of starters on a really young team is something you can sell to recruits and to the national media during bowl season.

Let's see what happens.
 
Waiting on "The Manny Diaz Show" breakdown segment to drop on youtube. C'mon!
 
Unfortunately, recent history tells us that we will come out flat against UL and be in for a major dogfight.
 
With Miami a win away from bowl eligibility, Diaz said, “It’s of massive importance. No. 1 just from a player development standpoint, just the extra practice and chance you have to get more reps for our freshmen who are redshirting or younger guys to get more experience of how to work, what our expectation is here. All that’s in front of us, in our control.”

Diaz said which bowl game UM might qualify for is the farthest thing from his mind.

“Right now it’s just the Louisville bowl, that’s all I’m concerned about,” he said.
 
With Miami a win away from bowl eligibility, Diaz said, “It’s of massive importance. No. 1 just from a player development standpoint, just the extra practice and chance you have to get more reps for our freshmen who are redshirting or younger guys to get more experience of how to work, what our expectation is here. All that’s in front of us, in our control.”

Diaz said which bowl game UM might qualify for is the farthest thing from his mind.

“Right now it’s just the Louisville bowl, that’s all I’m concerned about,” he said.

The Louisville bowl is the only bowl the team should be concerned with this week. Next game should always be most important game of season. Just hope the team developed that mentality
 

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