Before the news broke concerning the announcement of the impending NCAA sanctions, Al Goldens Miami Hurricanes began preparing for their next game against Wake Forest by trying to block out the outside noise of being ranked seventh in the BCS as well as the mega-matchup with BCS No. 2 Florida State a week from Saturday.
I wouldnt say [there has been] slippage, but its a challenge, Golden said of blocking out the distractions.
There is cheese all around them. Dont take the cheese. Dont take the trap. You have a guy here or there that all of a sudden theyre seduced by it. They want to hear about it. They want to talk about it. It has nothing to do with the outcome. Doing your job, preparing, asking questions, being engaged, doing your role all those little things, thats what we need to focus on. Thats what we need leadership for.
Golden said he completely ignored the movement up the polls this weekend, went out to dinner with his wife Saturday night and didnt watch any of Florida States blowout win at Clemson.
Were going to continue to ignore it, Golden said of the polls and hype surrounding the team. I need the coaches to do that. I need the players to do that. I need anybody that touches a Miami Hurricane to do that. Families, academic support, strength and conditioning, training room, it doesnt matter. We got to make sure were all on the same page and keeping the guys focused on what we need to do because the rest of it doesnt matter. The rest of it will take care of itself if we take care of our business and do our job every day.
That challenge figures to get harder Tuesday. Two hours after the NCAA makes its sanctions public to the media at 10 a.m., Golden and his players are scheduled to meet with reporters again around noon.
Starting safety Kacy Rodgers was the only player injured last week at North Carolina aside from receiver Phillip Dorsett (expected to miss four to six weeks with a slight tear of his MCL) to not practice on Monday.
Kacy is probable right now, Golden said. Were being careful with him early in the week because hes still in the recovery phase, if you will. Once they take him from taking it slow in recovery to the rehabilitation phase well know more, which will probably be Wednesday. Im hopeful for Kacy.
Quarterback Stephen Morris (ankle), running back Duke Johnson (head), running back Walter Tucker (lower extremity), safeties Deon Bush (leg) and Rayshawn Jenkins (leg), and receiver Rashawn Scott (shoulder) were all fine [Monday], Golden said.
• Offensive guard Danny Isidora (foot) went to see a doctor Monday to get cleared to play, Golden said.
Johnson, who suffers from migraine headaches and has been tested for concussions on the sidelines in previous games, confirmed he was injured last Thursday when he took a knee to the head trying to make a block.
I came back the next drive and kind of felt a headache coming on, Johnson said. Because I suffer from headaches, I wasnt trying to [play] after that.
Johnson said he has been working with the training staff to eat the right foods so his diet doesnt trigger his migraines. Johnson said his mother also battles migraines.
• Offensive coordinator James Coley said Morris ankle is still tender, and his four interceptions last week were a combination of that and receivers not always running routes the way they should have.
The common thread is hes out there competing, and he wants to make a play, Coley said. Sometimes, making the play when something breaks down is do the next best thing and get the ball out of your hands and throw it away and have your coach call another play.
• Defensive coordinator Mark DOnofrio said the breakdowns in coverage UM had against North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron (199 yards) were the result of too much freelancing. He said members of the secondary in zone coverage didnt have their eyes on the quarterback enough either.
We were trying a lot of different things; I know it didnt appear that way, DOnofrio said. We had a lot of different things to try and combat him, but hes a great player, he made some plays. We had some unforced errors, we hit a couple 10 rows deep over the net.
We helped him move up in his ranking. I hope he appreciates it.