He doesn’t have a lot of support from the fan base, but Hurricanes defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio is one of 40 nominees for the Broyles Award, given annually to the top assistant coach in college football.
D’Onofrio, in his fourth season, has made significant progress this season — at least statistically.
UM ranks 15th in total defense (324.6 yards per game), 22nd in opposing QB rating (111.0), 31st in run defense (136.0) and 39th in scoring defense (23.4 points per game).
Last year, the Canes ranked 90th in total defense (426.4), 59th in opposing QB rating (125.71), 78th against the run (176.54) and 66th in scoring defense (26.8).
▪ Coach Al Golden said safety Deon Bush (hamstring) didn’t practice Wednesday, but didn’t rule him out for Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh. “It's going to be close for Deon,” Golden said. “Right now we're prepared for him not to go, as we were last week.”
▪ Left guard Jon Feliciano, who has had a cast on his left hand and wrist all week, should be fine to play Saturday, Golden said.
▪ Golden said receiver Herb Waters (strained beck) will miss the Pittsburgh game, but should be back in time for the bowl game.