After the win over FSU, OC Dan Enos praised the play of his QB, Jarren Williams, who hit on multiple big throws in a 21-37, career-high 313 yards passing, and 2 TD effort against the Noles.
“I think Jarren is really improved as a quarterback over the last couple of months,” Enos said. “Last week, we had a moment where I was showing him on film how different his lower body and footwork is, N’Kosi (Perry) as well. (I told them) all the footwork drills are slowly but surely turning into your DNA, you’re turning into a quarterback from your waist down, and that’s where you can make a difference on your timing and accuracy on throws.
“Jarren is getting better, more comfortable with the offense, where his eyes need to go so he can make quicker decisions. But also, his feet are allowing him to make throws. Both those guys, I’ve seen a lot of real improvement.”
One of Williams key throws vs. FSU came with Miami up 17-10 early in the 4th quarter – first play of the drive, Williams connected with WR Dee Wiggins for a 56-yard TD to blow the game open.
“A lot of guys either have that ability to do that or they don’t,” Enos said, referring to the deep ball TD. “He was not perfect either, missed some things. He’s a freshman, sometimes is casual coming out of the huddle with the play clock. But the real positive is we see a guy improving from day-to-day, week-to-week.”
Like Williams, Wiggins also had a career day vs. the Noles, reeling in 4 catches for 74 yards and a TD. Enos said Wiggins was being held back because of the mental side of the game, but that he’s slowly improving in those areas as well.
“Dee Wiggins played his best game,” Enos said. “And not just the post (for a TD)… The way he’s blocking on the perimeter. Dee in particular on Saturday really, really played his best game. You can see the growth, comfort level he’s starting to have in the offense… His techniques, fundamentals are getting better.”
Enos also gave props to the offensive line, who allowed just 2 sacks for the second straight week and gave Williams a ton of time to operate.
“Butch Barry is an outstanding coach,” Enos said. “They all grew really, but I will say Zion Nelson in particular is looking much more comfortable out there. That’s tough sledding. We went through some tough times, Florida he got run by - you see a guy gaining confidence, the reps are starting to add on.”
With Tate Martell back at QB and Brian Hightower transferring recently, there has been more playing time available at WR, which freshman Jeremiah Payton took advantage of against FSU last week; Enos expects Payton to continue to see time this season.
“He’s been doing a really good job the last month or so when he’s gone to scout team,” Enos said of Payton. “Defensive coaches rave about his effort, playmaking. We got him on our field and he’s done the same thing. We think he’s got a very bright future, is going to be able to help us this year.”
Miami scored 27 points, their second most vs. FBS competition, on the road against their biggest rival, and seemingly left more points on the field vs. FSU; did Enos feel he called his best game of the year?
“To be honest I always try to do the very, very best I can,” Enos said. “I really believe this - someone said `Great call.’ It really wasn’t a great call, it was great execution of the call. (Other times) you drop a pass, a guard gets beat, it was a great call.
“I’m trying to put our guys in the best position for success, am also trying to make sure I’m making the proper adjustments as the game flows.”
**Miami’s defense attacked FSU relentlessly in the win, with Blake Baker’s unit racking up 9 sacks and 16 TFL while harassing Alex Hornibrook all day.
“Anytime you get nine sacks and 16 TFL - it’s a little more sweet against your rival,” Baker said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the way we competed on Saturday. I felt we were by far the most physical team.”
S Bubba Bolden is out for the season after injuring his foot against FSU celebrating his interception.
“It’s a huge loss, especially the way we lost him was very unfortunate. It was one of those freak deals,” Baker said.
With Bolden out, Baker said to expect to see more of freshman S Keontra Smith.
“It might be five snaps, might be 25 snaps. His role will increase,” Baker said of Smith.
DE Gregory Rousseau had 4 more sacks vs. the Noles, putting his season total at an ACC-leading 12 despite starting in just 4 games. Baker’s NFL comparison for Rousseau was former Hurricane DE Calais Campbell, and the Miami DC continues to see progression from Rousseau.
“You always saw the ability,” Baker said of Rousseau. “He has some really God-given talents that he does a great job of utilizing. There’s not a lot of guys in college football that can do the things he can do.”
Senior LB Shaq Quarterman may have had his best game of the season, leading the team with 9 tackles and 3.5 TFL to help shut down FSU star RB Cam Akers.
“I really think Shaq, dating back to after the Virginia Tech game, has been a different monster,” Baker said. “From a preparation standpoint, he’s done everything with a different purpose - you see the fire inside. He’s stepped up his leadership role significantly from that point.”
Defending the Louisville Cardinals this week will be a different challenge for Baker and his defense; they’re the highest scoring offense Miami’s played this year, averaging 32.8 points per game.
“They’re very committed to what they do,” Baker said. “They are excellent in the run game. Their outside run game is second to none. Their offensive line is very good, their LT is a first-round draft pick. Their back is very good, a one cut back, shifty and elusive.
“They have a really good slot receiver and their outside receiver is a really good player. When you look at them personnel-wise, they’re very talented.”
Whenever Enos talks about the fundamental and technical aspects of coaching QBs i always think about what jon richt would have been saying or teaching them. Say what you will about Enos but he can coach QBs is nothing else