After its only open weekend of the season, the University of Miami football team (3-0), which rose one spot to No. 14 in the Associated Press and Amway Coaches Poll, will practice again Tuesday in preparation for a road trip to Georgia Tech (3-1) and its first Atlantic Coast Conference game.
The Yellow Jackets are coming off a nasty 26-7 loss at home last Thursday to No. 3 Clemson. Georgia Tech’s offense had 124 total yards, the lowest output since triple-option coaching wizard Paul Johnson took over in Atlanta in 2008.
But Canes quarterback Brad Kaaya said Friday at the unveiling of the plans for UM’s indoor practice facility that “it’s always a dog fight every time’’ between the two teams and that he’s “sure this past loss to their rival is going to give them fire coming into this week. We can’t underestimate anyone.’’
When asked that night about his take on the Clemson-Georgia Tech game, UM coach Mark Richt, diplomatically, said, “Obviously, Clemson’s defense just did an unbelievable job. They kept it from being a contest.’’
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Richt said quarterback Brad Kaaya’s knee, which was injured in UM’s victory at Appalachian State, is getting better. “A bruise, a bone bruise, however you want to say it, no matter what you do, even if you run and it gets sore, it’s going to heal and it’ll feel better. It’ll feel a lot better Saturday.’’
Richt mentioned Monday on his weekly radio show on WQAM 560 that Kaaya “looked a thousand times better [Sunday] – we actually practiced [Sunday] – than he did early last week.’’ The coach said the Canes will be “getting some guys back. I know [cornerback] Adrian Colbert [knee surgery] is coming back.’’
Richt said Monday on WQAM that linebacker Darrion Owens, who has played in two games since undergoing reconstructive surgery for a severe right-knee injury early last season, “had a little something going on.’’
The coach said the Hurricanes are “on target’’ in many areas this season, including “effort, perimeter blocking, guys hustling to the ball on defense, on special teams guys flying down the field…’’
Added Richt: “But are we good enough to go through the conference play and really be truly competitive? We’re going to find out. But to this point we’ve done a nice job of doing the things that takes to be a good team.’’