Nuggets from UM’s football availability on Tuesday:
• Mark Richt said quarterback Brad Kaaya, who has been battling a sore shoulder, “threw a lot better than I thought he would throw” at practice Tuesday. “I wouldn’t have known his arm was bothering him. He zipped the ball well. I don’t think there’s an issue.”
Running back Mark Walton said he expects Kaaya to play Saturday against visiting North Carolina.
• Defensive end Trent Harris, who had to play with a club on his injured hand, said defensive end Chad Thomas will now do the same. Richt said Thomas will play Saturday.
But Richt said defensive tackle Gerald Willis (knee) will not play Saturday.
• Richt, on Sam Bruce being thrown off the team: “It’s always sad to have to part ways. I wish the very best for Sam. I think Sam is going to get it right and finish strong in his career. A lot of guys who [have problems at their first school] come out a better man for it. As we see with Ahmmon Richards, freshman can play if you bring in the right freshmen. Receiver numbers can be solved with this next class.”
• After losing to Florida State in recent years, the University of Miami went in the tank. In 2013 and 2014, they lost two straight by wide margins after losing to the Seminoles. Last season, they beat Virginia Tech after the FSU loss, then were drubbed 58-0 by Clemson.
Nobody around UM expects that to happen under this new staff.
“That loss has motivated a lot more people,” Trent Harris said. “After this loss, we’re going to make someone pay.”
• Asked if he wants to maximize the skills of David Njoku more, Richt suggested he feels no particular need to, and that UM doesn’t have a lot “him” routes: “We’ve done a good job spreading the ball to those guys. The coverage does dictate where the ball goes a lot.”
• Richt on the FSU game: “If I saw a lack of effort, I would be alarmed and really upset. I am not happy with amount of undisciplined plays we had.”
• Richt was concerned by practice Tuesday: “I didn’t see a lot of energy on offense [at practice]. We had too many plays we had to repeat. We kept them after practice and kept the scout team out there. I let them know how I felt about it. It’s not uncommon guys will struggle. They want to be great. We didn’t practice great in the beginning.”
• President Julio Frenk addressed the players and told them “he appreciated their effort, how they played,” Richt said. “I didn’t even know he was coming.”
• UM coaches were upset with pass protection against FSU. “One was max protection and two guys got beat; that’s inexcusable,” offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said. “We have to demand more out of our own players.”
• Richt, on North Carolina: “Got a veteran group of offensive players. At wide receiver, they’re loaded. Mitch Trubesky, their quarterback, has three games over 400 yards, runs their system great. Really stretches their defense.”
• ABC is regionally televising UM-North Carolina and Nebraska-Indiana at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Those parts of the country that don’t get the UM game on ABC will get it on ESPN2, with Dave Pasch and Greg McElroy on the call.