University of Miami

UM did little wrong in romp. Mark Richt said the O-line is not to blame for one problem

Hurricanes Coach Richt talks about the 77-0 win over Savannah State

Miami Hurricanes Coach Mark Richt speaks to the media after the University of Miami defeats Savannah State 77-0 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Saturday, September 8, 2018.
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Miami Hurricanes Coach Mark Richt speaks to the media after the University of Miami defeats Savannah State 77-0 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

Using four quarterbacks, each of whom accounted for points, the University of Miami hung about a million on poor Savannah State.

OK, so it was actually a school-record-tying 77 during a suffocating shutout of a Tigers team that has now lost both its games by a cringe-worthy combined score of 129-0.

On Sunday, UM coach Mark Richt, who reiterated, when asked, that “Malik [Rosier] is our starting quarterback,’’ said there were still some things the now-No. 21 Hurricanes (1-1) didn’t do well, but not a whole lot of them.

Richt was asked how much the 77-0 result had to do with the level of opponent.

The Canes travel to Toledo to play the Rockets (1-0) of the Mid-American Conference at noon Saturday.

“If you score that many points and you get a shutout, you’re doing a lot of things good, a lot of things right,’’ Richt said. “If you don’t have any penalties, that’s really positive. But there were still enough things to coach, believe me, enough things to correct.

“...We use the term, ‘The film doesn’t lie.’ And we’re not going to hide from it. We’re going to see it. We’re going to correct it and we’re going to reinforce the good things that happen.”

The coach cited “a few missed assignments’’ among veterans, but he didn’t specify who. “When they miss an assignment and it’s nothing new, it’s bothersome. But you get young guys in there and, my gosh, and some of them are playing for their very first time in their lives in a collegiate game. You tend to figure there are going to be a few mistakes.”

UM kept its main offensive linemen in for much of the game, and in the first half the Canes only had 43 rushing yards of its eventual 239 total. Richt said a culprit Saturday was at times a lack of perimeter blocking.

“I thought they did a good job,’’ Richt said of the line. “From a physical standpoint we didn’t struggle at all offensively. Our offensive line, actually our pass protection, was the best it’s been in a long time.

“There were a couple things in the run game that might look like an offensive line issue but a lot of times it’s the perimeter blocking. I thought, actually, our perimeter blocking, meaning our wide receivers and sometimes tight ends blocking out the DBs, the cornerbacks, the nickel safeties and all that kind of thing, we didn’t block up to our standard and we took a lot of pride in that. We would have had a bunch of a lot bigger runs if we would have blocked a lot better on the perimeter.

“ There were a lot of times our line got us to the edge and then we faltered out there blocking. A lot of it is effort, a lot of it is technique and a lot of it is caring enough to do it. And we didn’t do a great job of it, and that’s going to be a big point of emphasis for us.”

Richt said Rosier, who came out for good early in the second quarter and finished 8 of 12 for 131 yards and two touchdowns, was not the only player who had to deal with adversity last week. “It was rough on everybody,’’ the coach said. “A quarterback certainly gets the majority of the attention, good or bad. ...People in positions of leadership are the ones that get the most praise and the most criticism. All of our quarterbacks have to understand, it’s part of what they signed up for.’’

Richt did not give an update on the injury status of starting receiver Ahmmon Richards and key defensive end Demetrius Jackson, who each sustained a knee injury in the opener against LSU. “They’re still day-by-day. We’ll know more soon.’’

The coach said true freshman defensive end Gregory Rousseau, who had an excellent spring and fall camp according to staff, sustained an ankle injury Saturday. “Rousseau hurt his ankle and we’re trying to figure out how serious that is. He won’t be practicing [Sunday]. We’ll know more as the day goes on.’’

True freshman Nesta Silvera “did a great job,’’ Richt said. “He ran through the personal protector on the punt team and knocked him into the punter. Then he went and made a block to try to help [Scott] Patchan score. He played hard. The downs he got in there he made an impact and played with a lot of energy.’’

Richt said “there’s no doubt’’ freshman tailback Lorenzo Lingard, who ran for 82 yards and two touchdowns on only four carries, will “be getting more reps in practice and continue to get to the point where in a very highly contested game we feel we have that comfort level.’’ Lingard, a five-star recruit out of Orange City, had been practicing fifth string recently.

The Hurricanes rose one spot in each of the major polls — to No. 21 in the AP rankings and to No. 20 in the Amway Coaches Poll.

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