With Miami Hurricanes strong-side linebacker Darrion Owens awaiting season-ending knee surgery, weak-side backer Jermaine Grace assured Wednesday that senior Tyriq McCord will have to compensate in Owens’ absence.
“Tyriq is going to stand up and do his job,’’ Grace said. “We’re just going to have to play for each other, play for the guy that’s hurt.’’
Grace added that his teammates tape their wrists with the numbers of all the players out with injuries written on the tape “to support those guys.’’ Grace said he will continue to play weak-side, “so I can help the young guys behind me. But if it comes down to anybody else, God forbid, [getting] hurt, I have to adjust somewhere else.’’
▪ Middle linebacker Raphael Kirby will have backup Juwon Young in the lineup for the first time this season after Young recovered from a sprained foot.
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Kirby was asked about his on-field support of defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio when a fan began heckling D’Onofrio from the stands at FAU. Kirby put his arms around a visibly upset D’Onofrio, who began addressing the fan after McCord also shouted back. The rest of the defense huddled together around their coordinator.
“Coach D is my coach,’’ Kirby said. “I have the utmost respect for Coach D, because I know he respects me and he respects the rest of the staff. …I just let him know I have his back through whatever.’’
Kirby acknowledged that it was a good example for the younger players.
“They’re going to have to do it one day,’’ he said. “There’s going to be adversity in every game. For them to see me do it, I feel like they learned something. You can’t get caught up in the crowd noise.”