Nov 9, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Willie Byrn (82) returns a punt past Miami Hurricanes defensive back Ladarius Gunter (37) in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
The return of Thursday Night football to Blacksburg is a day away as the Virginia Tech Hokies will host the Miami Hurricanes in an important ACC Coastal game for both teams at Lane Stadium. This is definitely a big showdown but we know that we do not have the most knowledge of the current Miami football team.
We would like to thank Juan Toribio of Canes Warning for joining us this week to give us his insight into Miami football. Now, here is his look at the current state of the Hurricanes.
Q: Will Al Golden keep his job beyond this season?
A: I do believe that Al Golden sticks around in Miami after this season comes to an end, unless the ‘Canes finish 4-8, which I don’t think will happen. However, I do expect a lot of changes to the staff this offseason, starting with the defensive coordinator job.
Golden has an extension that goes to 2020 and the buyout would hamper Miami’s ability of hiring a really good coach with money still tied up to Golden. For that reason, I expect Golden to stick around, but they’ll be changes in Coral Gables.
Do you think true freshman QB Brad Kaaya can handle the very tough environment of Lane Stadium on a Thursday Night?
A: If this game was the first game of the season, I would probably say yes. But the fact that Kaaya has already played on the road against Georgia Tech, Nebraska and Louisville (all on primetime), I don’t expect Kaaya to be nervous. He’s shown tremendous poise as a true freshman and I think he’ll be confident and he’ll handle yet another tough environment with a lot of poise.
Q: How much will the Hurricanes rely on Duke Johnson?
A: Duke Johnson is averaging 15 carries a game this season and although the coaches want to keep him fresh and avoid injury, I would like to see that number hit the low 20’s, especially on the road. I think the staff will run the ball with Duke and freshman Joseph Yearby a lot, but they’ll open up the game by throwing the ball because of the staff’s continued trust in Brad Kaaya.
The Hurricanes have used Johnson a lot more this season in the passing game and I fully expect them to spread him out wide and try and carve up a linebacker in open space.
Q: Who is Miami’s best receiver in the passing game?
A: If you’re talking about talent, I would say Stacy Coley. The only problem is that Coley has been terrible for Miami this season. After a tremendous freshman season, Coley seems to be suffering from the “sophomore slump”. During his struggle, Phillip Dorsett is continuing to torch opposing defenses down the field and his speed will give the Hokies secondary some problems on Thursday. Herb Waters is another really talented receiver on the Miami roster.
Q: Why has Miami’s defense been average despite the fact that they have some fairly talented players including Denzel Perryman?
A: Well this goes back to some of the scheme decisions by the defensive coordinator, Mark D’Onofrio. Miami fans have been calling for change because of the passive aggressive style Miami has been playing on defense. If you look at the team, there are some talented players like Denzel Perryman, but there’s some work to be done on the defensive line. Anthony Chickillo has been solid, but he hasn’t been the dominant force a lot of people expected him to be. Between defensive line issues and scheme issues, Miami hasn’t been able to figure it out on defense.
Q: Who do you think will win and why?
A: I think Miami is due for a big road win so I’m going with the Hurricanes. I don’t think it’ll be an easy game for Miami and if they get off to a slow start in front of that crowd, they may get blown out. I expect the offense to put up enough points and help Miami (and Kaaya) get their first road win of the season, 31-21.
Once again, we would like to thank Juan Toribio for joining us this week to give us his insight into Miami football.
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