Hurricanes Defensive Line Embrace Expectations

umhurricane2511

Always Faithful
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
7,943
Hurricanes defensive line embrace expectations ahead of new season - Sun Sentinel

They see themselves these days as seasoned veterans, players that have developed under a new coach.

And that development has placed on them high expectations, expectations that members of the Miami Hurricanes revamped defensive line are embracing as they continue preparing for a new season.

Throughout spring workouts, Miami’s defense – led by that stalwart front – dominated in practice. With players such as Chad Thomas, Demetrius Jackson, Kendrick Norton and RJ McIntosh returning Joe Jackson emerging as a budding star and Anthony Moten continuing to develop, expectations are that Miami could have one of the best defensive lines in the Atlantic Coast Conference next fall.

And the Hurricanes, eager to build off last season’s success, say they are embracing that challenge.

“It excites me, one — because I already know what we’re capable of, and two — because I’m just excited to see me and my teammates have a blast on the line,” said Jackson, an end who led Miami with 11.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks as a freshman last season. “I even go around saying – you’re not supposed to, but – I know we’re going to do something great this year. I can’t say what it is yet, but I just know we’re going to do something great. That’s how much faith I’ve got in my teammates and our defense.”

Ahead of last season, Miami’s defensive line – and its defense as a whole – faced a ton of questions.

With veteran defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and linebacker Jermaine Grace mired in an investigation into their dealings with a luxury car rental agency, no one knew if either would play come fall. A trio of freshmen linebackers pushed for playing time in spring practice and throughout camp, but no one was sure if they could really deliver once the spotlight was turned on them in games. And Miami’s defensive line had had its share of struggles in recent seasons. Could a new coach in Craig Kuligowski undo years of frustration and get the Hurricanes back to dominating up front?

Turns out he could, his line turning in a solid season, with Jackson emerging as a star and finishing with 32 tackles to go with his sacks and tackles-for-loss, McIntosh adding 47 stops and 9.5 tackles-for-loss, while Norton had 39 tackles, including 10 for loss and Thomas finishing with 4.5 sacks.

In all, the Hurricanes totaled 37 sacks, 11 more than they had a year earlier. And they were eighth in the nation with 108 tackles for loss, as players thrived in the new aggressive scheme implemented by Kuligowski and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.

“We know we’re going to be an attacking front. Now, everybody says they’re going to attack, but what does that mean? Well, we’re going to penetrate,” Kuligowski told the Sun Sentinel earlier this year about his vision for the defensive line. “If in doubt, I want them rushing the quarterback. I want them to blow up and disrupt the backfield. We’re going to create havoc. Our front four is going to make it a bad time for the offensive line, and the running back when they hand it to him. We’re going to come at them with a whole bunch of different guys who have talent and speed. … In my mind, we’re going to be a game-changing type of defensive line.”

It’s been an approach that has energized Miami’s defensive linemen.

Combine that with the fact so many of them are juniors and seniors familiar with each other’s strength and weaknesses, and the Hurricanes feel ready to challenge their ACC opponents, starting with the likes of Florida State and Virginia Tech, two teams Demetrius Jackson says got the best of them last season.

“We’re entering the season with a clear goal: we want to be the best we can be,” the former Booker T. Washington High standout said. “We let a lot of teams off the hook last year that we shouldn’t have, whether it was because of injuries or just missing a couple of plays. That’s no excuse. We’re looking to be the best we can be, day in and day out and dominate. … We don’t want to have regrets, no second thoughts. We just want to do what we’ve been coached to do and go get it.”

They’ll have their first chance on Sept. 2 in Miami’s opener against Bethune-Cookman.

ccabrera@sun-sentinel.com; On Twitter @ChristyChirinos.
 
Advertisement

Zbrod95

Thank God for the Columbus Mafia
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Messages
24,577
I love the exuberating confidence in the guys, we haven't seen that kind of confidence in a while
 

rok

Great Poster
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
22,279
That UNC game is seared into my brain.

They'll get held, tackled on every play and there's nothing we can do about it.
 

kryptonite

AARP
Joined
Dec 13, 2012
Messages
13,838
“We know we’re going to be an attacking front. Now, everybody says they’re going to attack, but what does that mean? Well, we’re going to penetrate,” Kuligowski told the Sun Sentinel earlier this year about his vision for the defensive line. “If in doubt, I want them rushing the quarterback. I want them to blow up and disrupt the backfield. We’re going to create havoc. Our front four is going to make it a bad time for the offensive line, and the running back when they hand it to him. We’re going to come at them with a whole bunch of different guys who have talent and speed. … In my mind, we’re going to be a game-changing type of defensive line.”


...that right there is a wood inducing paragraph.
 

Rellyrell

Heisman Winner
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
27,318
Let's be clear...if that boy JJ didn't get held dang near all game, he would've had at least 12 sacks.
 
Advertisement

KrazyCane

SAVAGE
Purgatory
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
Messages
11,663
I love how Coach Kool aint holding back with no maybe this maybe that bs...

We’re going to create havoc. Our front four is going to make it a bad time for the offensive line, and the running back when they hand it to him. We’re going to come at them with a whole bunch of different guys who have talent and speed. … In my mind, we’re going to be a game-changing type of defensive line.”


:U5PyXda:
 

ajkreider

Sophomore
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
2,508
I wouldn't be shocked to see the defense's production take a step back, even if the players improve - if only because ACC offenses have had a year of tape to look at Diaz schemes.
 

ThomasM

Senior
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
15,912
Two things I am excited for this season. Seeing how good our D will be, and seeing how bad Houston's D will be.
 

TerragonSix

Itsa Me, Mario!
Joined
Aug 5, 2015
Messages
3,884
"If in doubt, I want them rushing the QB."

....God damn right

Sent from my SM-J320P using Tapatalk
 
Advertisement

337CaneNation

Sophomore
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
1,179
This DLine will wreck havoc on every team Miami play!! Teams will be blown away once they play THE U.. Miami's 2 deep with their DLine will have OC's scratching their heads, "Man where the hell these animals come from"..
 
Top