University of Miami

Gold ‘turnover chain’ leads to UM flag, but Richt is cool about it

Sheldrick Redwine, shown working out with weights at Killian High just before reporting to UM, is the latest Hurricane to earn the ‘turnover chain.’
Sheldrick Redwine, shown working out with weights at Killian High just before reporting to UM, is the latest Hurricane to earn the ‘turnover chain.’ Miami Herald staff

University of Miami safety Sheldrick Redwine got to wear the gaudy (but beautiful to Canes and their fans) gold “turnover chain” Saturday that goes to the player who gets the last turnover, but coach Mark Richt said UM was penalized because Redwine (fumble recovery), in his excitement to don the gold, “popped his helmet off before he got to the sideline.’’ The coach said lightheartedly during his Monday-morning weekly radio show with UM’s flagship station 560 WQAM that “the guy in charge of the chain has got to stay back in the bench area. He was wanting to go on the field and give it to him.’’

The “guy’’ in the opener against Bethune-Cookman was former Canes offensiv lineman Joel Rodriguez, now the director of player development. And it appears that in an Atlantic Coast Conference video that it was Rodriguez again on Saturday.

And some great news for the offense: Hurricanes wide receiver Ahmmon Richards, a freshman All-American last season, is expected to play Friday night at Duke, Richt said.

Richards was dressed in uniform and took part in pregame warmups Saturday, but nonetheless was ultimately sidelined during the Hurricanes’ 52-30 victory against Toledo.

Richt last week used the word “severe” for the first time since fall camp in describing the hamstring pull that Richards sustained about a month ago.

“That’s a long time for a pull,’’ Richt said while his team stayed in Orlando after Hurricane Irma. “But when it happened, we were just thankful that when we did the MRI we didn’t have something worse than it was. We’re all being cautious, but on the other hand, somewhere down the line you’ve got to let it go. Hamstrings are the ones that you’ve just got to be careful with.”

Richt told WQAM’s Joe Rose that Richards “practiced Sunday night and he looked good.”

“We didn’t do a lot on a Sunday but he seems to be doing fine. My guess is he will be ready to go.’’

The Hurricanes travel to Duke for an unusual Friday-night game, though the Canes also play this year on the day after Thanksgiving.

Duke is 4-0 and in first place in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. This will be Miami’s first ACC game of the season. From here on out, it’s all ACC games, except for Notre Dame on Nov. 11, in the regular season.

Some other notables from Richt on WQAM:

▪ While he knows his guys were somewhat struggling conditioning wise Saurday after initially 10 days off from practice and then practicing in weather not quite as steamy as Miami, he was pleased that “everybody was playing hard.’’

“For the most part they were playing hard, playing their guts out,’’ said Richt, who told his players at halftime to “calm down’’ and trust their protections, trust their habits “and things will begin to turn around. And thankfully they did.’’

▪ Mark Walton, who ran for 204 yards Saturday despite an injured ankle, did not practice Sunday night. “His ankle I think will be fine,’’ Richt said. “He’ll get a lot of treatment [Monday] and we expect him to practice tomorrow. “He’s one of the best, just total, football players I’ve been around...He loves the game. Just proud of him.’’

▪ Backup running back Travis Homer “had some sneaky yards’’ and is “a good runner,’’ Richt said, adding that he’s starting to finish runs with power, he can catch, he can pass protect and is just a good overall player. Homer finished Saturday with eight carries for 32 yards and two touchdowns. He caught three passes for 46 yards.

▪ The coach, as he did Sunday night on his teleconference, said graduate transfer cornerback Dee Delaney (who has been beat multiple times this season) “is doing fine.’’

“Part of the problem with Dee Delaney,’’ Richt said, is that “he’s kind of like a 5-star recruit that comes in and everybody expects them to be a world beater...They’ve got to learn what to do. They’ve got to get comfortable. They’ve got to get used to just exactly the techniques we’re teaching and what we’re asking and even the coverages as it relates to down and distance sometimes. Just the little nuances of the game. I think because he came as an All-American on the FCS level and all the stuff everybody wanted to brag about, I mean, he’s got to learn. In some ways he is brand new and we’ve got to understand that. The guy is doing well and he’s going to only get better and we’ve got faith in the kid.’’

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