The Miami Hurricanes didn’t quite make it through their 63-0 blowout win against the FCS Bethune-Cookman Wildcats unscathed. Mark Pope and Romeo Finley both went down with injuries in the second half at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, putting into question their initial statuses for Saturday against the Central Michigan Chippewas.
Miami returned to the practice field Tuesday in Coral Gables after a day off, and at least during media viewing, Pope and Finley were still held out.
Running back Lorenzo Lingard was absent, too. Lingard missed Miami’s win against Bethune-Cookman with an undisclosed injury he suffered Wednesday. Coach Manny Diaz said Saturday the injury was not related to the knee injury which cut short his freshman season in 2018 and he expects him to play Saturday against Central Michigan.
“By all accounts he should be good to go for Central Michigan,” Diaz said Monday. “But it’s a shame, we really wanted to see him play” against the Wildcats.
Finley went down with an undisclosed injury in the second half at Hard Rock Stadium, while Pope suffered an injury to his lower left leg. Pope limped off the field in the third quarter with two trainers after being tackled at the end of a 21-yard run.
Diaz said Monday the Hurricanes (1-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) would know more about their situations Tuesday.
Pope, a sophomore, accounted for more than 100 all-purpose yards Saturday in Miami Gardens, leading the team with 92 yards on three catches to go along with his 21-yard run. A former five-star wide receiver in the Rivals.com rankings for the Class of 2018, Pope now has five catches for 104 yards — and 20 yards on two carries — this season.
“He looked great, man,’’ offensive coordinator Dan Enos said Monday. “For the first time in a game, except for a couple flashes in practice, he looked like the explosive, fast receiver that I had heard a lot about when I first got here. One of the big things with Mark is he is starting to feel more comfortable.
“He is understanding. If guys don’t know where to line up and know what to do, right away you’re going to play a little slower because you’re thinking too much. When you play fast is when you know what to do.
“We’re seeing an example of Mark understanding what he is supposed to do and then we’re seeing his athleticism take over. I thought he ran some very good routes, ran the ball great on a dash, got north, made a guy miss. That was awesome to see him do that just for him, because I know he’s been working very hard.”
Finley had three tackles in the blowout win and now has nine this season with three tackles for loss and an interception. The senior has started all three games for the Hurricanes. Fellow striker Gilbert Frierson is listed as Finley’s backup on the two-deep depth chart.
Tight end Brevin Jordan did practice Tuesday. The sophomore left the win early due to dehydration, but Diaz said he returned to practice Sunday.