University of Miami senior left tackle Kc McDermott was asked this summer what he expected of himself in his final season.
“I’m hoping to be the best left tackle in the ACC,’’ said McDermott, the 6-7, 300-pound offensive-line leader who mostly played guard last season. “I want to be one of the best tackles in the country. It’s something I’ve been working for since the end of last year, throughout the offseason, through this summer. It’s been a high goal I’ve set for myself and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to accomplish it.”
Anyone who watched McDermott block on that game-saving, 33-yard touchdown sprint by Travis Homer against Syracuse last Saturday knows the Hurricane out of Palm Beach Central High has been doing just fine en route to his goals.
UM O-line coach Stacy Searels said this week that McDermott “has improved probably every game’’ and “has been the most consistent grader and has started to eliminate the bad play. Even on Saturday, he made a great play on that touchdown run by picking up that outside blitz.”
Said McDermott of watching the tape on that touchdown block: “I enjoyed it a lot. Kind of upset with myself [that] I had an opportunity three or four times before that to make that same exact block. I wasn’t thinking about doing that exact cut at the same time, but I figured it out at the end of the game and it ended up leading to a touchdown and ultimately helping us win.’’
McDermott’s 27-game streak as a starter is the team’s longest. He, left guard Trevor Darling, center Tyler Gauthier and right tackle Tyree St. Louis have started all six games this season. Freshman right guard Navaughn Donaldson started the first four games before sustaining a right-ankle injury, but he should be back Saturday at North Carolina (1-7, 0-5 Atlantic Coast Conference).
McDermott said before training camp that Searels “wants to see tough, hard kids that want to go out there and just bury people and use great technique...’’
Asked how his body is feeling after a lot of wear and tear, McDermott said Tuesday that he’s “feeling pretty good.’’
“Taking care of myself,’’ McDermott said.
No. 8 UM (6-0, 4-0) is ranked 26th in the nation in passing offense, 46th in rushing offense and 21st in total offense, averaging 474 yards a game. UM is 40th in scoring (33.3 points a game) and 57th in sacks allowed. The Canes have allowed 11 sacks this season.
“Our offensive line is so much better than a year ago,’’ UM coach Mark Richt told WQAM on Monday.
Searels said Tuesday that the offensive line “will never reach our potential.’’
“There’s a standard at the U of playing championship ball. There have been a lot of great players here and we want people to say, ‘That’s a great offensive line.’ To do that we’ve got to, as coach [Richt] said, impose our will on people.
“We’ve got to dominate the line of scrimmage.
“Are we getting better? Yes. Are we there? No, and I don’t know if we’ll ever be there.’’