A six-pack of UM notes on a Wednesday:
• As the Dolphins’ head coach early this century, Dave Wannstedt told everybody that it’s “no sin to punt.”
But now in his role as a Fox college football analyst, Wannstedt doesn’t particularly care for UM’s conservative play-calling the past two weeks.
UM coach Mark Richt “has a really talented quarterback and they're playing it so close to the vest,” Wannstedt told WQAM’s Joe Rose and Curtis Stevenson this week.
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“…You've got a really talented quarterback... I think we need to loosen up the offense a little bit more. You need to score enough points, then run it, then play defense and close it out.”
• Some number on Brad Kaaya’s junior season, which has fallen short of expectations at the midway point.
According to Pro Football Focus, among passes thrown at least 10 yards against North Carolina, he hit just 1 of 7. He threw for 214 yards against FSU, 224 against North Carolina.
He has 10 touchdowns and four interceptions, compared with 16 and 5 all of last year.
His completion percentage is up slightly, from 61.2 to 62 percent, but his yardage is down. His passer rating of 150.8 is up from 142.1.
Here’s how he measures statistically against other FBS quarterbacks: He ranks 23rd in yards per attempt at 8.7, 27th in rating at 150.8, 47th in TD passes with 10 and 56th in passing yards with 1373.
He hasn’t killed his team by any means but he hasn’t necessarily elevated them, either. It would help, naturally, if he had better pass protection.
• Cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph likes how freshman Malek Young is developing and said he wants to get him more playing time:
“Malek is doing an amazing job, a kid that takes everything in. He applies it to practice every day. Most kids come in young, they kind of don't understand stuff. He understands everything going on. He's urgent about how he does it. I'm excited to try to get him some play time on the field.”
Corn Elder has clearly been UM’s best cornerback, and Mark Richt calls him the most improved player from spring to the fall.
Who has UM’s second-best corner been?
“They’re neck and neck right now,” Rumph said of Adrian Colbert and Sheldrick Redwine. “Those guys are doing a good job. When AC is down, Redwine steps up. When Red has been down, AC steps up.”
• Some perspective on what this injury-plagued defense is doing: UM has 63 tackles for loss in six games, which leads the nation. The Hurricanes had 66 all of last season.
They’re 25th in pass defense, 30th in run defense. They’re tied with LSU and Army in points allowed per game (14), which trails only Michigan, UF and Ohio State and ranks ahead of playoff contenders Washington, Alabama and Clemson.
• Though offensive line coach Stacy Searels overall isn’t happy with his pass protection, he liked how Tyree St. Louis played in the absence of right tackle Sunny Odogwu, who is out indefinitely with a knee injury:
“He did a heck of a job. He did good, especially for his first start against a good opponent.”
• Couple non-football notes: Jim Larranaga, on his highly-touted freshman class: “They’re all showing signs they can help us. Bruce Brown is a very athletic player, a high energy guy, smiles all the time. He reminds me of Durand Scott in a lot of ways. Dejan Vasiljevic is an outstanding shooter, he can handle the ball. He’s just very good offensively. Dewan Huell everybody should know was a three-time state champion at Norland High School, a terrific athlete, really a fun kid to be around. And then Rodney Miller, 7-0 from Oak Hill Academy doing a very nice job as well.”…
The next great UM athlete you probably haven’t heard of? Dewi Weber.
We don’t write much about UM’s non-revenue sports but the sophomore golfer deserves recognition: She was national runner up at the NCAA women’s Tournament last year, won her second tournament title this past week at a competition in Austin, Texas and looks primed for a pro career when she leaves UM.
If you missed my story on the end of UM’s NCAA probation this week, and issues that still need to be resolved, please click here... . Twitter: @flasportsbuzz