After Sunday’s practice, OC Dan Enos discussed N’Kosi Perry’s performance in the win over UVA in his Monday presser.
“He played good, well enough for us to win,” Enos said of Perry. “First drive a couple of great plays. He brings us a little element of mobility. He has some things to clean up as well. He competed, played really hard, was composed throughout the entire game and did a really good job with his teammates as well. Not a perfect performance, but he gave us a chance to win and made some crucial plays late in the game to help us win the football game so I was really proud of him.”
Perry finished 16-27 (59%) for 182 yards and a passing TD vs. the Cavs, along with a game-sealing TD run late in the 4th quarter. Despite Perry leading UM to their first Power 5 victory of the season, though, head coach Manny Diaz reiterated his support of Jarren Williams as Miami’s QB1 when he’s able to return from a shoulder injury. Enos gave his take on the QB battle thus far, saying he’s comfortable with either QB at this point.
“It’s not always easy,” Enos said. “(Williams is) battling through an injury, you have to weigh that with how healthy they are, who is playing the best. Both have played well enough for us to win a game. I also believe these things have a way of working themselves out. We’ll take it day-by-day. Both these guys have a pretty good frame of mind, a good place emotionally.”
In terms of running his offense from under center or through the shotgun, Enos continues to believe that a mix of both is beneficial instead of favoring one or the other.
“We can run most everything from center or under the gun - there’s advantages from being under, in the gun, we utilize both and both have been very good to us this year,” Enos said.
Freshman LT Zion Nelson continued his struggles vs. UVA this week, but the coaches have been steadfast in their belief in Nelson’s potential and getting him experience. While a change at LT is not imminent, Enos was asked who he see’s as the #2 LT if Miami did have to make a change there.
“I don’t know,” Enos said. “(DJ) Scaife, (Kai-Leon) Herbert, (John) Campbell. We tried a lot of different options there since the spring - I don’t know, 50 different options. These five give us the best chance to win.”
With college football offenses scoring more points than ever in 2019, Enos gave his thoughts on why exactly that is.
“I think college football is evolving, we put a lot more on quarterbacks every year to make plays,” Enos said. “When the quarterback plays well you see more explosive plays - one thing I’ve seen in college football over the years is the amount of things we asked quarterbacks to do compared to 10, 15 years ago (is greater).”
**The Canes defense was noticeably charged up and making more plays in the win over UVA, something DC Blake Baker attributed to the leaders on the defense.
“(It’s about) accountability,” Baker said. “There’s a great deal of pride in that room, a standard set long before I was here, coach Diaz was here. They took it upon themselves. Really impressed with some of the leadership that came forward last week, just the focus, attention to detail.”
UM went from giving up 42 points to VT the week prior to holding UVA in the single digits (9)
“I’ll go back to last week in practice, I think something we’ve always said around here is if you want to be a great defense you have to be great practice players,” Baker said. “And (Mike) Pinckney and Trajan (Bandy) by far had their best weeks of practice, put together their best games. Overall when you talk about attention to detail, accountability to each other, there’s more than those two. Overall a lot of guys stepped up and played much better… We know what to do, now we have to get better at how we do it.”
While DE Gregory Rousseau added another sack to his total in his first career start last week and continues to lead the team in that regard, he also showed he could be an asset in run defense, shutting down a 4th and 1 one play at the line of scrimmage; it was UM’s first 4th down stop of the season.
“He’s come a long way since fall camp. He’s such a long leverage guy, he’s really powerful,” Baker said of Rousseau. “He’s a force to be reckoned with run or pass. He’s gotten better and better and better, and you’ll continue to see him play more and more and more.”
DT Jon Ford had 4 tackles and his first career sack last week and has also been a key component to Miami’s #7 rushing defense up front.
“Jon has played really well,” Baker said. “He just missed some opportunities (previously) that he capitalized on Friday night.”
Referring to CB DJ Ivey letting up two third and longs last week, Baker said he didn’t feel Ivey did anything wrong, and it was UVA just making a superior play.
“He played it just like we coached,” Baker said.
Baker also felt that UM’s D-Line played their best game of the season vs. UVA and that the return of Nesta Silvera has allowed the Canes’ to enjoy some quality depth on the DL.
“If we can roll eight, nine, 10 defensive linemen, they’re going to stay fresh, play a lot better,” Baker said.
Speaking of the freshmen on his defense, Baker said he sees the three DT’s redshirting, but says he is looking to get LB Sam Brooks more reps in preparation for a major role in 2020.
"We need Sam to play. He's getting better and better and better,” Baker said. “I think you'll see more of Sam as the season progresses. Going to high school he was a defensive end, he's starting to adjust to the learning curve."