Diaz talks Louisville prep, OL change after Mon. drills

Diaz talks Louisville prep, OL change after Mon. drills

Stefan Adams
Following Monday’s practice, Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz spoke about the preparations his team has taken for UM’s ACC opener at #18 Louisville on Saturday, a squad Miami handled 52-27 a season ago in Miami Gardens.

“Good to be back in an actual full game week,” Diaz said. “We had a good weekend, practiced Saturday morning, and then last night, had an hour to get slightly ahead on Louisville.

“They were predicted to be the second-best team in the Atlantic before we were all locked up into one big pile. Their combination of quarterback, running back, wide receiver is top three with Clemson and North Carolina. They’re probably the best outside zone running team in America. The biggest thing watching them Saturday night is their defense made a big transformation. Their kids are a lot more confidence, playing more aggressively. They’re much more multiple than a year ago.”

With both teams now ranked (UM at #17), Miami’s matchup vs. Louisville was recently moved to the primetime 7:30 pm timeslot and will be featured on College Gameday this weekend.

“That’s exciting, our guys come to Miami to be in those kinds of atmospheres,” Diaz said. “The focus still has to be on playing a football game against Louisville, and all the sideshow stuff won’t matter once we get to kickoff.”

Of course, the Canes are coming off a few extra days of rest after defeating UAB 31-14 in their own season opener Thursday night. While Diaz praised his team’s demeanor against the Blazers, he admitted there was still things they need to work on moving forward.

“I liked the effort, intensity, attitude we showed,” Diaz said. “I thought the energy on the bench even when things weren’t going great in the first quarter or when UAB responded with a touchdown in the third quarter, guys were excited to get back out there… We have some errors that need to be cleaned up, though.”

With the win, the Canes won their first season opener since 2017 and are off to a good start, but Diaz wasn’t ready to make any bold declarations about the differences between this team and last season’s version that finished a disappointing 6-7.

“It’s too early to tell, I’m not going to throw a flag in the ground `Aha, we figured it out,’” Diaz said. “We know how difficult it is to win.

“Nothing we did a week ago matters, it always starts back at zero. If we don’t prepare the same way this week, we’ll get beat, get beat badly. There’s a respect of understanding it’s okay to accomplish hard things. Hard things never get easier, in fact get harder.”

Diaz was also asked about the relative strength of UAB compared to a usual “cupcake” opening opponent; the Blazers returned much of last season’s team that won 9 games.

“You learn a lot more about your team. [UAB] won’t lose many more games,” Diaz said. “We’ll be better for that for Game 2.”

In QB D’Eriq King’s Miami debut, he went 16-24 for 144 yards and 1 TD through the air vs. UAB. Although big plays in UM’s passing game were all but absent, Diaz said he wasn’t concerned.

“Passing game is about timing,” Diaz said. “We wanted to lean on this football team and run the football. We wanted to go really fast on offense and weren’t going to make it calculus. We wanted to make a statement, be simple, have very few missed assignments, and just get after somebody. The timing on some of the throws, dropback stuff, progression, I know all that will improve. I’d have been more concerned if we hit some of those big plays down the field and didn’t have consistency on some of the more bread-and-butter stuff.”

Miami also made a change on the offensive line in Monday’s practice, moving Jakai Clark ahead of Ousman Traore at first team left guard.

“Traore didn’t play poorly, it’s that Jakai Clark is a starting level player,” Diaz said. “Reviewing film, we thought Jakai might settle in a little better at left guard, but you’ll see six, seven, and eight guys be able to go in there.”

On freshman OT transfer Issiah Walker, Diaz said the team is still waiting to hear from the NCAA regarding his transfer waiver in order for him to play this season, and Walker is also dealing with an unidentified medical issue as well.

“We’re waiting for a medical clearance on Issiah as well,” Diaz said. “You have the eligibility, a medical thing as well - that’s where he’s at right now.”
 

Comments (9)

If Blake Baker can figure out how to call a defense we are fucked. If I’m remembering correctly Diaz took over the D for the last Louisville game last year
 
I like the fact he's not over-promoting. He's right about that zone running scheme of Louisville's. I'm not sure their defense has fully turned the corner, so we should score more than 30 on them. Let's hope our defense comes ready to play on Saturday, and holds them to 20 or less.
 
All he said is he was going to take a more hands on approach after the VT game, not the Louisville game.

I don’t remember ever reading he was calling plays for the defense at any time in the season.
If a headcoach at UM at any point has to start holding the d-co's hand, they don't belong here!
 
If a headcoach at UM at any point has to start holding the d-co's hand, they don't belong here!

Or Manny panicked and said something a HC shouldn’t have said four or five games into his tenure.
 
I wish we could just line up on D & play press man to man & rush 4. I think we would look so much better doing it.
 

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
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, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

Latest Predictions

by Stylie
Medium
by whoopingcane
Certain
by whoopingcane
Certain
by whoopingcane
Certain
by PhillDaCane
Certain

2020 Schedule

09/10
UAB
Miami Gardens, FL
W 31 - 14
09/19
Louisville
Louisville, KY
W 47 - 34
09/26
Florida State
Miami Gardens, FL
10/10
Clemson
Clemson, SC
10/17
Pittsburgh
Miami Gardens, FL
10/24
Virginia
Miami Gardens, FL
11/06
NC State
Raleigh, NC
11/14
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
11/21
Georgia Tech
Miami Gardens, FL
11/28
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
12/05
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL
Top