Junior Tyriq McCord, once only a third-down specialist last season, is evolving into a more complete player as a starting defensive end/rush linebacker for the Hurricanes.
“That was his best game I thought last week, a very mature game,” coach Al Golden said Tuesday of UM’s win against Duke. “It’s not easy to play defensive end against these [option] teams. Your whole life as a defensive end you run up the field as hard as you can. Now you play these read-option teams, you run upfield, the quarterback pulls it and he’s going for 20. So you really have to be disciplined, pin the hips, stay square, play the quarterback or the dive – whatever we ask them to play – and then get in the alley. Then there are certain downs where he has to go rush the quarterback.
“I thought it was his most disciplined game. I thought he prepared better last week than he ever has. I think his strength is up, his conditioning is probably the best it’s been in his career. Now, we need to go to Atlanta and do the same thing, except we’re adding the pitch to it. We all have to be locked in, we really do.”
▪ Senior Phillip Dorsett was held without a catch against Duke, but Golden is hoping he’ll bounce back against the Yellow Jackets. Dorsett has a history of scorching Georgia Tech. He had his best game last year (four catches, 66 yards, 1 TD) against them and caught nine passes for 184 yards and a TD against the Yellow Jackets the last time Miami was in Atlanta.
“We didn’t get him the ball enough last week, but he impacted the game by taking the top off and really being unselfish and blocking,” Golden said. “But yes, we’d like to get him the ball more this week. Phillip is just one of a number of guys we have to get the ball to. [Quarterback] Brad [Kaaya] is doing a great job distributing it, which we have to continue to do that. Hopefully, Phillip will be a big part of that.”