Richt talks team, injuries, Toledo

Richt talks team, injuries, Toledo

Stefan Adams
After Tuesday’s practice, Mark Richt previewed what the Canes will be going up against in the Toledo Rockets next week.

“Jason Candle, in his third season at Toledo, is doing a great job," Richt said. "He has already got 22 victories. [Toledo] was 11-3 last year, he was [MAC] Coach of the Year last year. They won their league last year – great job by him and his staff. Of course we played them a year ago, it was our first game off [Hurricane Irma] and it was a barn-burner. It was a battle to the very end. They did a great job and our guys fought like mad too, and we ended up winning it. It was a great battle, and we expect the same [Saturday]. We’ll have to do battle in their house (this time).

“Their offensive and defensive coordinators are back. Three years, they’ve all been there together, so he’s done a good job of keeping his staff together…they’re really good at what they do. They’re what you’d expect from a team that wins their conference. They’re what you’d expect from a team that wins 11 games. I think they’ve gone the last six years and never won less than nine [games]. They’re winners because they execute. They’re winners because they believe in what they do and how they do it. I think they’re winning because they’ve kept their staff intact and the kids know what to expect. They do a great job. We have to travel there, wake up early and get ready to rock and roll.”

On what he expects from the road atmosphere at Toledo: “It’ll be wild,” Richt said. “We’ll get everything they’ve got. I’m sure they’ll have every single seat sold and they’ll be standing room only. Their fans are going to be ready for a great battle. They’ve been excited about this for a while.”

Toledo has had an extra week to prepare for the Canes, coming off a bye week last week.

“The coaches had time to get ready for two weeks, and the whole offseason,” Richt said. “We really don’t know, for sure, what we’ll get. The only thing we do know is, historically, they don’t try to make up a whole bunch of stuff. They just line up and win. They just line up and execute. With that much time, we have to expect that they’re going to be doing a few things a little differently – and a few curveballs on both sides of the ball and the kicking game.”

Last week in the Canes’ 77-0 win over Savannah State, Richt gave playing time to all four of his QB’s. After the game, he reiterated that Malik Rosier was still his starter, and he did so again today.

“The bottom line is we’re going to play who we think gives us the best chance of winning,” Richt said. “That’s what we’re doing, bottom line. As long as [Rosier] is that, he’ll start. If we think someone else gives us a better chance to win, we’ll start that guy.

“You throw better when you’ve got a cleaner pocket. You throw better when guys run good routes. Your passing percentage gets better when you have guys that will make a tough catch here and there. It’s everybody. It’s not just one guy.”

N’Kosi Perry was the second QB in the game, played the most of any of the QB’s, and tossed 3 TD’s. Although Richt said Perry played well, Richt declined to officially declare him the backup.

“We haven’t defined that,” Richt said of the backup QB race. “I thought [Perry] did well. On the first play, he got fooled a bit on the coverage. We saw a bit of a two-deep look and I kind of planted the seed that it might be a split safety look and that first progression might be in good shape – ‘make sure you take a peek at it.’ They looked just like that [pre-snap] and then on the snap, they rotated. For a freshman quarterback, to say all that to him beforehand, was not very smart. I felt like I set him up for failure on that particular play. But everything else, he did extremely well.”

Both of his freshmen tight ends in Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory caught TD’s last week and Richt sees the pair getting better every week.

“They’re getting better fast because they’re playing,” Richt said on Jordan and Mallory. “Obviously, when Michael [Irvin II] got hurt, it accelerated it even more. But we felt like even with Michael healthy, we were going to play both those guys. We had no thoughts on slowing down on their ability to get in a game. But now they’re first team in our two-tight end set and they’re first- and second-team in our one-tight end set. They’re doing a really good job.

On Mallory’s TD catch: “You see Mallory jump up and come down so strong with the ball, with a guy got his arm in there raking it out - most veteran guys don’t hang onto the ball in that case. That was a big-time play. You see those plays and you get enamored with them.”

Jordan is still ahead of Mallory on the depth chart as of now, and Richt said that it mainly comes down to blocking ability.

“Brevin is ahead of Mallory, right this minute, in the blocking phase,” Richt said. “There’s times you have to block in this system, too. Mallory has a tougher job because Brevin is basically playing one spot (the F). That one spot has a lot to learn, but if it’s one-tight end set, he’s the guy… It’s tougher for Mallory, right this minute, because he has almost double the assignments (playing the F and Y).”

RB Lorenzo Lingard was another freshman standout in last week’s game against the Tigers, recording 82 yards and 2 TD’s on just 4 carries. Lingard was rewarded with 3rd team reps in drills today during practice (up from 5th), and Richt praised him for his maturity in waiting for his moment.

“He’s another kid that wants to play,” Richt said on Lingard. “He is very mature, in that he doesn’t sit there and go, ‘I’m a five-star, I should be playing.’ He’s like, ‘I know I have to get better at certain things.’ So he’s working at it. To his credit, we’re really proud of that kind of attitude. Not all of our freshmen are that way, but a majority of them are. And the guys that were maybe thinking that playing time is a right rather than something you have to earn, a lot of them learned that you do have to earn it.”

Despite some struggles to get a push up front against an FCS team last week, the starting five O-Linemen remained the same. A few backups have earned more playing time, though. Praising DJ Scaife, Richt said he could rotate in at tackle "sooner or later" and also singled out Venzell Boulware as someone he is comfortable subbing in to rest the guards.

On the situation at offensive tackle: “Tyree (St. Louis) is handling (the adjustment to left tackle) better than Navaughn (Donaldson at right tackle) right this minute."

Richt added that Zach Feagles remains the starting punter.

Both Demetrius Jackson and Ahmmon Richards sat out last week against Savannah State. Richt said that Jackson “should be good to go” for Toledo after practicing in full today, while Richards missed practice and is still “day to day.”

Richt also announced the captains for Saturday’s game against Toledo, which kicks off at 12 noon ET: Hayden Mahoney, Joe Jackson, Sheldrick Redwine, and Al Blades.
 

Comments (85)

Wonder who the freshman are with not so good attitudes.
The only position that is deep enough to create such conflict would be WR. We have 4 true freshman (Ezzard, Pope, Hightower and Wiggins) vying for playing time behind a handful of studs. Only other position I can think of would be offensive line, but that's not in their nature to complain.
 
The only position that is deep enough to create such conflict would be WR. We have 4 true freshman (Ezzard, Pope, Hightower and Wiggins) vying for playing time behind a handful of studs. Only other position I can think of would be offensive line, but that's not in their nature to complain.
The freshman back-up punter
 
The only position that is deep enough to create such conflict would be WR. We have 4 true freshman (Ezzard, Pope, Hightower and Wiggins) vying for playing time behind a handful of studs. Only other position I can think of would be offensive line, but that's not in their nature to complain.

Cam Davis ?
 
The only position that is deep enough to create such conflict would be WR. We have 4 true freshman (Ezzard, Pope, Hightower and Wiggins) vying for playing time behind a handful of studs. Only other position I can think of would be offensive line, but that's not in their nature to complain.

Thought the same. Ezzard and Wiggins might be headed for a redshirt. That leaves Pope as possibly disgruntled. Purely a guess.
 
Need to add that the Feagles thing completely baffles me - he is absolutely going to cost us this year. Punting is about the easiest position to grade - why is he being given endless chances?

Quick test - Punter #1 has a max distance of 70 yards but his range is 25-70yds. Punter #2 has a max distance of 50yds but his range is 40-50yds. Who do you start? No one on this board would choose #1, right? Well that's where we're at right now with Feagles.

EDIT - I just went looking for his stats and the Miami athletic site has the following:
Punted five times in season opener against LSU (Sept. 2), with two punts going more than 50 yards, including a long punt of 54.
It's almost as if they are purposefully protecting him. They don't even have his 2018 stats listed; only 2017 where he averaged 39 yds/kick.
 
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Need to add that the Feagles thing completely baffles me - he is absolutely going to cost us this year. Punting is about the easiest position to grade - why is he being given endless chances?

Quick test - Punter #1 has a max distance of 70 yards but his range is 25-70yds. Punter #2 has a max distance of 50yds but his range is 40-50yds. Who do you start? No one on this board would choose #1, right? Well that's where we're at right now with Feagles.

Did the backup punter get in the game? What happened to if you don't play well competition will beat you out???
 
So is AR made of balsa wood, serving a double secret probation, or both?

My guess for Freshman disgruntled is Frierson. He's seems like he's irrationally confident (in a good way) but has been eclipsed thus far by Ivey and Blades which probably doesn't sit well with him.
 
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“They’re getting better fast because they’re playing,” Richt said

So.... does that mean he should play Nkosi more ?
 
So is AR made of balsa wood, serving a double secret probation, or both?

My guess for Freshman disgruntled is Frierson. He's seems like he's irrationally confident (i a good way) but has been eclipsed thus far by Ivey and Blades which probably doesn't sit well with him.
i was thinking the same thing!
 
“They are getting better fast because they are playing.”

I wonder if the same would hold true for young QBs.

This man gets it. There is no upside with Rosier. The other guys can do things he can’t. And here’s the important thing.....next year if at least one of them doesn’t play meaningful snaps against quality opponents this season. We will have a deeper, better team ready to make a run.....and a qb with little experience. Gotta live in the moment AND think big picture.
 

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"
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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

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