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Diaz speaks on Pitt win, personnel updates, and FSU rivalry

Diaz speaks on Pitt win, personnel updates, and FSU rivalry

Stefan Adams
After Miami’s 16-12 win on the road vs. Pitt, Miami head coach Manny Diaz spoke about the quarterback situation in his Monday presser. UM continued to play musical QB’s against the Panthers, as Jarren Williams came off the bench to lead Miami on a game-winning drive when starter N’Kosi Perry struggled to move the ball most of the day.

“What I’ll tell you is, we have a plan,” Diaz said. “Dan [Enos] and I have sort of sat down and sort of mapped out what we are going to do this week and what’s going to happen. We’ll do what we’ve done the last few weeks. We’ll announce our starter probably Wednesday after practice and let everybody know. We have an idea of what we’re going to do.”

The Canes were missing some key contributors vs. Pitt, but Diaz said WR Jeff Thomas (suspension) will be available to play this week against FSU, while RB DeeJay Dallas and LB Michael Pinckney (injuries) are looking good to see the field vs. the Seminoles as well. QB/WR Tate Martell has also returned to the team off what was termed by UM as a “medical leave of absence” last week.

“We’re very optimistic for getting DeeJay back. We’re very optimistic for getting Pinckney back. Jeff Thomas will be back this week. Tate Martell came back to practice last night. Hopefully, if things go well this week, we’ll have everybody available on Saturday.”

Heading into the Pitt game last week, Diaz mentioned both players and coaches had a candid team meeting where players spoke up and lack of accountability was addressed.

“I think our guys finally started to get it. There were some things said, players did speak, there were some hard truths mentioned,” Diaz said. “The biggest concepts our guys understood is we are all tied to one another. If somebody is not pulling their weight, it is hurting their fellow teammates... There’s that different type of peer accountability you have to have to take us to the next level. Leadership is starting to emerge on this team, our team has come closer together with all the adversity.”

Diaz felt the key to the Pitt game was Miami winning the special teams battle, an area where the Canes have shot themselves in the foot repeatedly this season.

“There were 13 drives in the game. We averaged 15 yards of field position better than Pitt,” Diaz said. “That’s 195 yards that they had to gain more on offense than we did, because of the field position.

“Our special teams dominated. Our punt game versus their punt game, our kickoff coverage was excellent. Our one chance we had at a kickoff return was excellent. We dominated in every phase you can dominate in special teams. In a game where everything mattered, I thought we got a lot of the little things right against a very good defensive football team on the road.”

An area Diaz really focused on in practice last week was correcting the missed tackling issues that plagued UM in their previous game vs. GT (29 missed tackles), and Diaz felt the defense definitely improved in that aspect against Pitt.

“What I was excited to see was our defense play outstanding,” Diaz said. “We talked in this setting a week ago about our tackling in the Georgia Tech game, and we talked about how we went back to work on that and trusted our techniques and our drills on that. We reduced that number to eight [missed tackles] in the game this past week, which is outstanding. We have a motto around here where we say, ‘The best tackling team wins the football game.’”

S Bubba Bolden made the first start of his Miami career vs. Pitt, recording 4 tackles and a forced fumble, and Diaz sees UM’s safety position beginning to solidify.

"He's such a positive person - he's getting confident in what we're doing,” Diaz said. “Gurvan (Hall) still played a ton. Rob Knowles made some great plays. The depth we have with those four kids at safety (Amari Carter also) gives us so much flexibility in how we defend people."

Up next this weekend is Miami’s yearly rivalry game against the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee. The Canes are on a two-game winning streak vs. FSU, and Diaz feels that the energy inside Hecht has ticked up ever so slightly knowing it’s Miami-FSU week.

“It’s Florida State week, which creates a little bit of a different atmosphere in the building, a little different sense of urgency,” Diaz said. “It’s one of those games that you come to Miami to play in, to coach in. It’s a legacy game. It’s a game that you’ll remember. You’ll always be asked what your record is against Florida State while you’re here at Miami.

“The last three years, it has been decided by three points. You factor that in, you factor a little bit about who we are, you factor sort of the craziness of 2019, the expectation of this coming to anything other than who has the ball last, or who makes a play, who makes a stop… I think you’d be foolish to expect anything less… Our guys understand, again, that the victory lies in the details. I think we’re learning that.”

Despite FSU sitting at 4-4 and still struggling to find footing in Willie Taggart’s second season, Diaz says Miami isn’t looking at the Seminoles any differently.

“It’s not going to affect the way that we prepare,” Diaz said. “I can’t speak for them, but obviously they had probably their best performance this past Saturday. They’ve been hard to beat at home since the opener… four straight wins at home… I know they’ve got outstanding personnel. I know they have game-winning type players that can beat you alone. They’ll have our full attention, and we don’t really pay attention to what their record is and it certainly shouldn’t affect us.”

Like Miami, FSU has gone back and forth with QB’s, and 5th year senior grad transfer Alex Hornibrook has been a big part of the equation for the Noles. Hornibrook was a key player in Wisconsin’s win over Miami in the Orange Bowl two years ago, and Diaz spoke on what he’s seen from Hornibrook in the past.

"He played outstanding that night, was great on third down," Diaz said. "He was very accurate, probably played as good a game as he has (that night)."

FSU junior RB Cam Akers has been one of the best players in the ACC this season, and is second in the conference in rushing yards (917) and first in rushing TD’s (12).

"Very talented, very gifted - outstanding freshman year, sophomore year for whatever reason (a down year)," Diaz said of Akers. "But he's come back his junior year and you can tell from the way he runs he's trained very well, he's physical, breaking through tackles, always falling forward. I see will, determination as a runner. He has a very low center of gravity and is just churning forward after contact… To me it's not giving up the explosive plays, letting him score touchdowns - that will be the big challenge."
 

Comments (63)

“Our special teams dominated. Our punt game versus their punt game, our kickoff coverage was excellent. Our one chance we had at a kickoff return was excellent. We dominated in every phase you can dominate in special teams. In a game where everything mattered, I thought we got a lot of the little things right against a very good defensive football team on the road.”

Shilling for Patke
which one of you porsters is Manny?
 
“Our special teams dominated. Our punt game versus their punt game, our kickoff coverage was excellent. Our one chance we had at a kickoff return was excellent. We dominated in every phase you can dominate in special teams. In a game where everything mattered, I thought we got a lot of the little things right against a very good defensive football team on the road.”

Shilling for Patke
which one of you porsters is Manny?
How in the holy fuq can you dominate on Speacial Teams when you can’t even kick PATs or field goals?
 
I don’t blame him for taking a lap after the Canes defeated Pitt. If he didn’t I would be concerned over his salesmanship. He’s not wrong when he said Special Teams dominated theirs. Hedley have multiple great punts, FG unit finally got a couple through the uprights, punt/KO did their jobs. I was very happy to see ST finally put up a rounded effort. Hoping to see more Price and Hedley keep the field advantage and points honest.
 
I don’t blame him for taking a lap after the Canes defeated Pitt. If he didn’t I would be concerned over his salesmanship. He’s not wrong when he said Special Teams dominated theirs. Hedley have multiple great punts, FG unit finally got a couple through the uprights, punt/KO did their jobs. I was very happy to see ST finally put up a rounded effort. Hoping to see more Price and Hedley keep the field advantage and points honest.

dominating means huge kick returns, blocks, and turnovers

we just didn’t **** up this week

manny continues to lower the bar in every phase
 
A lot of "sort ofs" 🤔

My point exactly; how do you “sort of” sit down? Lol. Imma call my boss & let him know I’m “sort of” driving to work & I’ll “sort of” be there in 20 mins, and maybe, possibly, I’ll “sort of” work while there. Smh.


Regardless; they r really handling this situation poorly w the QBs. Shame on them. I just rewatched the Pitt game, and Manny said “he has no plans on playing 2 QBs today, and Perry is the guy.”

U can’t trust anything Diaz says and maybe that’s why there’s no cohesion or semblance on this team.
 
My point exactly; how do you “sort of” sit down? Lol. Imma call my boss & let him know I’m “sort of” driving to work & I’ll “sort of” be there in 20 mins, and maybe, possibly, I’ll “sort of” work while there. Smh.


Regardless; they r really handling this situation poorly w the QBs. Shame on them. I just rewatched the Pitt game, and Manny said “he has no plans on playing 2 QBs today, and Perry is the guy.”

U can’t trust anything Diaz says and maybe that’s why there’s no cohesion or semblance on this team.

He didn't have plans to play him. Plans change when the offense can't get out of their own way. He made the right move (obviously) to go to 15, and it worked out.
 
“Our special teams dominated. Our punt game versus their punt game, our kickoff coverage was excellent. Our one chance we had at a kickoff return was excellent. We dominated in every phase you can dominate in special teams. In a game where everything mattered, I thought we got a lot of the little things right against a very good defensive football team on the road.”

Shilling for Patke
which one of you porsters is Manny?
Please tell me he’s just trying to find anything to give his team a boost and not setting it up to retain his horrid staph for next year.
 
This is the defining moment of the season.

We’ve looked listless, confused, lazy, unprepared etc

The coaches have been an embarrassment and the players have followed suit.

Even our worst coaches had this team playing like wild dogs against better FSU teams.

My mind is made up about Diaz but if he can’t get these guys prepared for this game him and Enos should quit as soon as the clock strikes 0.
 
He didn't have plans to play him. Plans change when the offense can't get out of their own way. He made the right move (obviously) to go to 15, and it worked out.

OBM, just stop bro.

Just b/c something “worked” doesn’t mean it’s the right move.

Allow me to refresh your mind to how we got here:


He pulled JW after a bad quarter against VT; he then says Jarren is still our guy, publicly, only to start Perry the next game against UVA.

He then says Perry started over Jarren b/c Jarren was dealing w a separated shoulder.

Perry struggles a bit against GT, gets injured, JW, miraculously, comes in, gets sacked, Perry comes back in after said injury. We lose.

No QB decision is made as to who starts against Pitt, although it was reported both QBs r dealing w separated shoulders.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a healthy Tate is not given any consideration, yet was promised a “fair” shot. He’s now gone on “medical” leave of absence.

OK, back to the corridors of Green Tree; Perry gets the nod, although Perry is injured, and JW is most healthy. Oh, did I neglect to mention that JW was given the approval that he was the man to start the season, that he wouldn’t have to look over his shoulders, and that was very important for a young QB to know he’s the guy? (Enos/Diaz words).

Alright, ff back to the Pitt game....Perry is now given the keys, and is not able to drive the car w two hands on the wheel. It’s OK, b/c he’s been given the nod to start, but all of a sudden, Perry is too injured, and JW gets the keys. Wait, let me back it up....JW was supposedly healthy, and Perry was injured, yet Manny went w the injured QB.

OK, OK, back to the Pitt game; Jarren comes in, leads a come back win. His reward? Wait to see if his efforts were good enough to get the nod to start at FSU come Wed.


NOTHING about this is appropriately handled. Diaz has no plans and that’s why we look like schmucks on the field, winning games 16-12 against ACC Corstal teams.
 
OBM, just stop bro.

Just b/c something “worked” doesn’t mean it’s the right move.

Allow me to refresh your mind to how we got here:


He pulled JW after a bad quarter against VT; he then says Jarren is still our guy, publicly, only to start Perry the next game against UVA.

He then says Perry started over Jarren b/c Jarren was dealing w a separated shoulder.

Perry struggles a bit against GT, gets injured, JW, miraculously, comes in, gets sacked, Perry comes back in after said injury. We lose.

No QB decision is made as to who starts against Pitt, although it was reported both QBs r dealing w separated shoulders.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a healthy Tate is not given any consideration, yet was promised a “fair” shot. He’s now gone on “medical” leave of absence.

OK, back to the corridors of Green Tree; Perry gets the nod, although Perry is injured, and JW is most healthy. Oh, did I neglect to mention that JW was given the approval that he was the man to start the season, that he wouldn’t have to look over his shoulders, and that was very important for a young QB to know he’s the guy? (Enos/Diaz words).

Alright, ff back to the Pitt game....Perry is now given the keys, and is not able to drive the car w two hands on the wheel. It’s OK, b/c he’s been given the nod to start, but all of a sudden, Perry is too injured, and JW gets the keys. Wait, let me back it up....JW was supposedly healthy, and Perry was injured, yet Manny went w the injured QB.

OK, OK, back to the Pitt game; Jarren comes in, leads a come back win. His reward? Wait to see if his efforts were good enough to get the nod to start at FSU come Wed.


NOTHING about this is appropriately handled. Diaz has no plans and that’s why we look like schmucks on the field, winning games 16-12 against ACC Corstal teams.
Upvoted amongst other reasons for use of a Yiddish word.
 

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