Rashawn Scott isn’t thinking of the last and only time the University of Miami played Florida Atlantic in the 2013 season opener, when he made an acrobatic 26-yard catch in the fourth quarter that brought the Hurricanes to the 2-yard line — and broke his shoulder.
He’s not even thinking about the 100 receiving yards and pretty touchdown he garnered on six catches in the Canes’ 45-0 win Saturday against Bethune-Cookman.
He’s thinking of the next time he plays FAU (0-1) — at 8 p.m. Friday in Boca Raton — and how he’ll help compensate for what could be the loss of talented slot receivers Braxton Berrios and Stacy Coley, injured in Saturday’s season opener.
“I need to step up,” the fifth-year senior said Monday afternoon at Greentree Field, where a torrential slop of a day limited practice to just over an hour in shoulder pads. “I’m going to play for [Braxton] and Stacy.”
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As will fellow receivers Herb Waters and Malcolm Lewis and tight end Stan Dobard, and any other Hurricanes who touch the ball through the air.
Eight Hurricanes caught at least one pass Saturday for a combined 184 yards and two touchdowns on 17 catches. Coley caught two passes and Berrios one as their injuries occurred on UM’s first drive.
“Those guys were a big part of our passing game and we’re going to play our hearts out for those guys,” said Dobard, who scored his first career touchdown against BC-U.
Said redshirt junior slot receiver Lewis, who fought off an Achilles’ injury this fall camp: “I don’t feel any pressure. We have a lot of guys that can play any position.”
Coach Al Golden, who has been vague about the injuries but said Sunday the two players were “day to day,’’ added Monday afternoon that Berrios (left knee) and Coley (left hamstring) “weren’t going to be in the mix” for practice. “We’ll evaluate it every day and see where they’re at. But obviously, we’re very blessed, we’re very fortunate right now for those guys and we’ll see where it goes.’’
Are they doubtful for Friday?
“I have no idea,” Golden said. “They weren’t even on the table to do anything.” He said Monday “was about getting them as many treatments as we can, getting them elevated, getting them off their feet and getting them ready to go.”
Quarterback Brad Kaaya, who shares a home with Berrios, said Monday he felt guilty about his errant throw that caused Berrios to twist his knee. After the game Kaaya said he told Berrios, “It’s going to be fine, man. God is with you. Everybody here has got you. No matter what happens, you’re going to be fine.’ ”
Added Kaaya: “Good to see Rashawn back out there, see him healthy again. Now let’s see who steps up.”
Scott, 23, had a strong sophomore year in 2012 (512 receiving yards, three touchdowns) but sat out all but four games in 2013 and the entire season in 2014 with another shoulder/clavicle injury.
“It sucks to watch,” he said recently of the past two seasons. “My mindset is winning with this team. …We want to show ourselves, show our family who we come out and fight for.”
When told on Saturday that he must feel pretty good about his overall performance, Scott’s staccato-like response: “Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah. I dropped one, so that’s all I’m thinking.”
Golden said Scott “played big.”
“He’s physical in the run game,” the coach said. “You could feel him out there in the run game. He cuts really well. He ran after catch.”
On the touchdown, Golden said Scott “opened up his hips and went and got it. I’m pleased with him. We missed him last year.”
Golden said he’s also happy with Waters, who had two catches for 10 yards Saturday and practiced at slot Monday. “We have to get more opportunities for him. You can argue he’s had the best camp. It will translate to plays. He’s just got to stay patient.”
Waters, a senior with 890 career receiving yards and eight touchdowns, said he’s trusting in Golden’s plan. “When it’s my time, it’s my time.
“Just pray that we have them Friday,” Waters said of Coley and Berrios. “We just keep a positive attitude and rely on everybody.”