University of Miami football coach Mark Richt addressed the media today before the last home game against Virginia at noon Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.
First shocker was the last thing he said when I asked him about the fan situation for a noon game, and I noted how appreciative he has been of the fan support this season.
“I’ve heard there’s just a thousand tickets left,” Richt said. “It’s pretty spectacular for a noon game — and we’ve already won the Coastal. And the next week is going to be Thanksgiving week [when UM students have off].”
Richt was wrong — and likely gleefully wrong.
There are 800 tickets left, a UM spokesman just told me.
Additionally, UM Athletic Director Blake James, when asked whether what Richt said was accurate, just texted me with this: “We have under 1000 in the stadium plus some suites.’’
Richt made sure to talk about Saturday being Senior Day, when UM seniors will be recognized during on-field festivities before the game.
“It’s a big day for us for a lot of reasons,’’ Richt said, adding that UM wants to honor them before the opening kick. Hopefully we’ll honor them [by] the way we coach and the way they play.”
Richt said that every senior “will have a ‘C’ on his jersey. … All seniors eligible to dress will be considered captains.”
The No. 2 Canes are 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and have clinched a spot in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 2 against Clemson.
▪ The captains for this week’s games are offensive tackle Kc McDermott, defensive lineman Chad Thomas, defensive lineman Trent Harris, and receiver/punt returner Braxton Berrios.
▪ Congratulations to senior Chris Herndon, named Tuesday a semifinalist for the Mackey Award, which goes to the top tight end in college. Richt said Herndon also got invited to the Senior Bowl, “which is a big deal. I’m proud of him.”
The coach said he always thought Herndon was “a great player” and will be a really good pro.
▪ On quarterback Malik Rosier’s mobility: “Malik is a threat to run, which makes it a little bit tougher” for opponents. … He’s sharp enough to handle it and he’s a good enough athlete to run. And he’s been durable, thankfully.”
▪ Richt said he likely will not watch tonight’s College Football Playoff rankings at 9 p.m. on ESPN. “Somebody is going to tell me,” he said. “I doubt I’ll watch the show.” He said he figures the Canes will move up from their No. 7 ranking last week. (That’s an understatement, or there might be riots in Miami.)
▪ Richt praised freshman DeeJay Dallas, who switched from receiver to running back after Mark Walton sustained a season-ending ankle injury. Dallas has played receiver, running back, kick returner, and wildcat quarterback.
“It’s not easy,’’ Richt said. “I can’t tell you how many times [offensive coordinator] Thomas Brown and I were like, ‘Should we do it? Should we not? Should we do it? Should we not?’ ” the coach said of debating the position switch. … Then in camp, ‘Ah, maybe we’ll be OK.’ Then Mark gets hurt and we had to move him. … He’s done a really good job though. Coach Brown is a good teacher.”
▪ Richt, on the dominating victory against Notre Dame: “It was a game everybody in the college football world was watching. You can’t ask for a better result in a big moment.”