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Enos, Baker touch on Pitt win, go in-depth on personnel ahead of FSU

Enos, Baker touch on Pitt win, go in-depth on personnel ahead of FSU

Stefan Adams
The Hurricanes have frequently switched between QB’s Jarren Williams and N’Kosi Perry so far in 2019, and the starter is up in the air yet again after Williams relieved Perry late in the Pitt game last week and led UM to a win over the Panthers. OC/QB coach Dan Enos admired the poise Williams showed to come into a game down on the scoreboard and take control of an offense that had sputtered up to that point.

“It’s tough, I don’t think people realize how difficult those circumstances are,” Enos said. “A guy who is literally cold - raining and cold - I thought he did a tremendous job, handled it very well, came in and threw strikes. You could see his arm was back, the way the ball was coming out of his hand with exceptional touch, timing.”

On Monday, Manny Diaz stated that UM would name their starting QB for the FSU game on Wednesday after practice. What type of qualities does Enos look for in his starting QB?

“There’s not one specific thing, a lot of things put together,” Enos said. “One is preparation that needs to go into it each and every week to help our team win.”

Last season coaching at Alabama, Enos managed two QB’s that he felt were worthy of playing time in Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, but said this season at Miami hasn’t been quite the same.

“This is unique,” Enos said. “You do fall back on experience - every year there’s different human beings, different problems, issues. That’s one of the challenges as a coach is being able to adapt. I’ve had to adapt play calling, structure of things we want to do based on our personnel, defense’s personnel, the way the game is going and flowing.

“This really has been a challenge as far as dealing with these guys on a day-to-day basis just with their overall performance - one day someone’s up, one day injured. Jarren wasn’t playing for a while, N’Kosi wasn’t named the starter at the beginning, was the starter last year. I’m trying to make sure he’s ready to go if his opportunity comes… I try to set a culture in the quarterback meeting (room) that it’s preparation, mindset.”

WR Jeff Thomas will return this week off a 2 game suspension, but Enos said Thomas will not just be handed his old role back.

"Jeff will have to come in and earn it just like any other guy that's missed time for what he's missed time for,” Enos said. “He's going to have to go out in practice this week and show he's ready to play and mentally into it."

While Enos feels the receivers needed to have more production against Pitt last week, he also pointed to a few errant throws from Perry, and, overall, says he likes the young WR’s Miami has.

"I like the way they're progressing, the way Dee Wiggins is progressing, the same with Mark (Pope) and Mike Harley," Enos said. "Jeremiah Payton might be a guy we go to at some point, we see a bright future in him."

QB/WR Tate Martell returned to the team for practice on Sunday from what Miami termed a “medical leave of absence”.

"Tate was in a good place last night, we're here to support him," Enos said.

With Miami running a lot of two tight end sets, many expected #2 TE Will Mallory to have a breakout season; instead, he’s only caught 3 passes on the year through 8 games.

“It’s been a little bit of bad luck. Had him open, maybe an errant throw, protection issue… When it’s all said and done, you’ll hear `That was Will Mallory’s breakout game’ - that will happen at some point.”

UM arguably had their best game up front last week, with Miami’s OL holding the nation’s leading sack team in Pitt to just 2 in the game; the Panthers were averaging over 5 per game coming into the contest.

“Really pleased with the offensive line play,” Enos said. “We were a little loose on some third down things but… We’re being more physical, are playing harder… We're far from perfect, but we're getting better."

**In holding Pitt to just 12 points, Miami’s defense hunkered down in the red zone, forcing 3 Panther FG’s in 3 RZ trips. According to DC Blake Baker, that improvement came from lowering the amount of missed tackles (8) compared to the prior week vs. GT (29).

“Really the credit goes to all the players, I thought they did a great job trusting their technique,” Baker said. “We didn’t change anything we did as a coaching staff as far as drill work; all the credit goes to the players. The red zone, I was proud - Rob Knowles a huge play at the one-yard line and the next play a false start. All the credit to that kid - got his pads low and got him stopped at the one-yard line.

“I thought they all played extremely hard.”

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).

“Cam is the best back we’ve seen and probably will see all year,” Baker said. “He does a great job of pad level, explosive through the hole.”

Like Miami, FSU has gone back and forth with QB’s; 5th year senior grad transfer Alex Hornibrook and redshirt sophomore James Blackman have both been a big part of the equation for the Noles’ offense in 2019.

“Their offense is very similar when either is in the game, so from a preparation standpoint I don’t think one is a runner and one is a thrower,” Baker said.

UM gave up 176 yards rushing vs. Pitt, but still have the #17 rush defense in the country in allowing just over 100 ypg. Who have been the best D-Linemen vs. the run?

“They’ve all had some really good plays and some they’d like to have back,” Baker said. “Inside I’ve really been impressed with Chigozie (Nnoruka). But they’ve all done really good things. It’s hard to single out any one guy. Overall as a unit, we have to get more consistent from snap to snap, game to game, but they’re making progress. I feel good about 10 different guys going out there setting the edge and playing run defense.”

After struggling the past two weeks against UVA and GT, sophomore CB DJ Ivey make a bit of a comeback with two INT’s vs. Pitt, both of which were essential in UM’s win over Pitt as they led to 10 points for Miami.

“DJ, to see a kid that did not panic from all the negativity surrounding him outside these walls, bounced back, showed his maturation,” Baker said.

Redshirt freshman DE Gregory Rousseau had a career game vs. the Panthers, sacking the QB 3 times.

“He gets better and better and better each week,” Baker said. “The sky is the limit for him.”

Senior LB Zach McCloud played his first game in 5 weeks vs. Pitt after sitting out to take a potential redshirt.

“I thought he played great,” Baker said. “We were cutting back his reps in practice the last three weeks. From a physical standpoint he was phenomenal, and conditioning level. For three weeks, to not get many practice reps and come out and not skip a beat? I was really happy for him.”

Manny Diaz has already said in the past that the team intends to redshirt each of the freshman DT’s (Jared Harrison-Hunte, Jalar Holley, and Jason Blissett), and Baker sees a bright future coming for each.

“All three are ultra-talented - they’re going to be huge,” Baker said. “I think all three of those guys will have phenomenal careers here.”

Comments (11)

Hope he’s touching up his resume for his next “opportunity”
I think Baker might be getting better. We shall see what transpires Saturday

Enos though. LMFAO
I think Baker might be getting better. We shall see what transpires Saturday

Enos though. LMFAO

Yea our D is still playing winning football. The offense again this year is killing us. But in saying that we are a kicker away from 7-1 6-2.
Defense gave up 12 points dummy. The defense is not the problem.
Why is it an either or? The offense was putrid. The defense did a good job of keeping them to FGs but the run defense has been a problem. They are not mutually exclusive of one another, though the offense did the defense no favors with all of the three and outs.
Go check visions post, the defense is still bad and the defense still does stupid blitzes, doesn’t cover the slot, and drops DEs into coverage way more often than once or twice a game. It’s bad.
Also psyched they didn’t change anything up coaching to fix tackling they were just crossing their fingers and hoping. Awesome