Sophomore cornerback Corn Elder didn’t play against Louisville in last December’s 36-9 blowout loss in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
A torn meniscus in his right knee turned Elder into a spectator the night Teddy Bridgewater shredded the Hurricanes, then mocked them when he threw up the “U” and performed a throat-slit gesture following a touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The memories still sting, Elder says, for him and his teammates. And they’ll be carrying it to Louisville for the rematch on Monday night.
“Honestly, I just remember them trying to run the score up — just disrespecting us pretty much,” Elder said. “I just feel like they were out there talking a lot of trash or what not because they’ve got a lot players on their team from here [in South Florida]. It’s a competition thing.”
Louisville, entering Atlantic Coast Conference play this season, has 19 players on its roster from the Miami-Dade and Broward area. Asked if there has been any more trash-talking leading up to the game between the teams, Elder said: “No. Not really. We don’t really focus on that.”
Still, there’s no question what happened has served as motivation all offseason for Miami.
“First game, they’re new into the conference, we ended last year with a loss to them,” Elder said. “Playing against the team you lost to in your last game — that’s a good thing.”
MUHAMMAD ABSENT• Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad missed Tuesday’s practice dealing with what coach Al Golden said was a personal issue. Asked if Muhammad would play in the opener, Golden said: “Absolutely.”
• Seven offensive linemen were in orange jerseys designated for starters Tuesday including freshman Trevor Darling, who didn’t have one on Monday.
Darling played right tackle most of camp but is now backing up junior Ereck Flowers at left tackle.
“I’m very impressed with Trevor,” Flowers said. “He never even played left tackle in high school and he’s working both sides, building versatility on both sides. He knows his plays very well. He’s getting more into his groove.”
“I assume the battle never stops,” Gadbois said. “I’m just going to keep pushing forward with what I’ve got to do. In the end, it’s coach’s call. But like I said when we go to Louisville I’ll be the starter.”• Redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Olsen, expected to be suspended for the opener, was running the scout team offense Tuesday. That tells us senior transfer Jake Heaps and freshman Malik Rosier will be making the trip to Louisville to back up freshman starter Brad Kaaya.
• Senior Ryan Williams will also be making the trip, but won’t play because he hasn’t been cleared for contact since having surgery in April. Golden said Williams is “cleared to progress with what he’s confident with” before adding “to say he’s ready for a middle dog blitz at him, or the ability to step up with somebody coming at him, those are things that have to be determined by the doctor.”
• Miami did a lot of special teams work Tuesday, but Golden was not ready to name a starter at punter. So the battle continues between redshirt senior Ricky Carroll and redshirt sophomore Justin Vogel, a walk-on transfer from Florida.
• With Duke Johnson concentrating solely on offense, Golden said Elder, Artie Burns, Phillip Dorsett, Stacy Coley and freshman Braxton Berrios are the five competing to be Miami’s return men on kickoffs and punts.
• Redshirt sophomore receiver D’Mauri Jones switched his jersey number from 15 to 17 to allow Kaaya to wear 15.