With adrenaline still coursing through their bodies and ninth-ranked Notre Dame less than a week ahead, the Miami Hurricanes were “bouncing’’ around the Hecht Athletic Center on Sunday — a day after another heart-palpitating triumph in the final seconds of their 44-37 victory over the Wolfpack.
“All I can tell you is that as exhausting as [Saturday] was, there were a lot of guys in the building [Sunday] making sure they watched the tape, or taking care of their training room or study hall,” UM coach Al Golden said. “And those that I did encounter seemed good.
“It wasn’t like, ‘Oh my goodness, Coach! I’m exhausted.’”
The coaches? Not so bouncy.
“I think if anything the coaches were exhausted. The coaches were cramping all night,” Golden said.
When asked if he has ever coached two games in a row quite like the last two (including UM’s 42-36 overtime win at Georgia Tech), Golden said, quite simply, “No.”
Added the coach: “You can’t hold up to too many like that in a row.”
Fortunately for the Hurricanes, after surrendering 664 yards of total offense to the Wolfpack, Golden said they will be getting back top linebacker Denzel Perryman (high-ankle sprain) on Saturday to face the Irish (4-0) — as well as fellow linebacker Raphael Kirby (leg), a freshman who has yet to play.
The bad news, however, is that right tackle Ben Jones, who made his first career start Saturday as a fifth-year senior, will not play against Notre Dame. “Ben is going to be out this week for sure,” Golden said in his weekly tele-conference. “I don’t know the extent of his foot injury, but he’ll be out.”
That leaves tackles Malcolm Bunche, Seantrel Henderson and Ereck Flowers to rotate at the position, a blow after Jones contributed depth by excelling in more than 50 plays at Georgia Tech.
Also of note: Golden mentioned that starting defensive tackle Olsen Pierre, who has 13 tackles and a forced fumble this season, had sustained an unspecified injury.
“We’ll know more about Olsen Pierre [on Monday],”’ Golden said. He added that reserve safety Rayshawn Jenkins “seems like he’s going to be OK.” Jenkins’ injury was not revealed.
The Canes (4-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) will be facing a well-rested Notre Dame team that had off last Saturday. They play 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The Irish, with the nation’s third-ranked scoring defense and 15th-ranked total defense, last faced Miami in the Sun Bowl to end the 2010 season. UM lost that game 33-17.
Golden had already been named the new UM coach to replace Randy Shannon, but Golden watched from Sun Bowl Stadium strictly as an observer.
“It definitely seems like a million years ago,” Golden said. “It’s hard to judge anything from that game because of the unique circumstance. … That’s history.”
Golden hopes kicker Jake Wieclaw’s 0-4 field-goal slump (last attempt at Georgia Tech and three Saturday) is also history.
He said Wieclaw “needs to relax and get back to being focused and compete. He had a bad day. I don’t want to make it more than that. … Sometimes complacency precedes a performance like that. I’m not saying Jake was complacent, but he’s clearly an incumbent right now.
“… I just want to make sure he keeps his edge, he competes. We’ll have him with [kicker Matt] Goudis all week and we’ll see which direction it goes. I know Goudis is looking for an opportunity.”
As for quarterback Stephen Morris, each of his last two performances now rank among the Top-10 single games by a UM quarterback.
Morris’ 566 passing yards Saturday set a school and ACC record, and his 436 yards at Georgia Tech put him at No. 6.
“What can you say about Stephen?” Golden said after the game. “He’s growing up before our eyes.”