Barry Jackson

Virginia: UM beatable and would be different without chain. Here’s UM’s response.

Miami Hurricanes defensive back Malek Young (12) wears the turnover chain after intercepting in the second quarter as the University of Miami Hurricanes host Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Hard Rock Stadium on Sat., Nov. 11, 2017.
Miami Hurricanes defensive back Malek Young (12) wears the turnover chain after intercepting in the second quarter as the University of Miami Hurricanes host Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Hard Rock Stadium on Sat., Nov. 11, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of UM football notes:

▪ After UM’s 44-28 victory against Virginia on Saturday, Cavaliers receiver Joe Reed said this, via the Associated Press, about Miami’s defense: “They are very beatable. The chain is what gives them the spark. I think without the chain they’d be a whole different defense.”

UM people were amused by that comment.

“It does back up a little bit what I sort of suspected a week ago,” defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said Tuesday when asked about the comment by WQAM’s Joe Rose. “It does seem to get in the heads of the other team. It’s funny. During the course of the week, you would be amazed how little we talk about it during the week. Nobody sees the chain during the week.”

Asked by WQAM’s Zach Krantz about other teams using their own facsimile of the chain, Diaz said: “That’s what Miami did. Miami was a trend setter back in the day. Everybody secretly deep down inside wants to be a Hurricane. It is funny. Pretty much everyone else who plays college football is envious and wishing they were Hurricanes.”

▪ Coach Mark Richt said Ahmmon Richards has been dealing with three injuries this season — hamstring, ankle and an Achilles’ injury that was “problematic a little bit. He’s still not 100 percent. He looks good so far” this week.

Richt said Richards is “doing well when he’s in there. He looks good this week. When he changed his direction, he’s running better.”

Richards had 49 catches for 934 yards in 13 games last season. He has 21 catches for 392 yards in six games this season.

▪ Richt, on a couple of offensive players who have been vital to this season:

Though he didn’t say Travis Homer has exceeded expectations, Richt said when UM signed him nearly two years ago, “I didn’t know how big he would get or how strong he would get. He’s a little bigger than what we thought. For his size, he’s pretty powerful back. He’s a physical back, good pass protector. Good game speed, good vision, ball security excellent. He’s a high quality back.”

On electrifying freshman receiver Jeff Thomas, who has displayed an ability to run short and intermediate routes the last couple weeks after displaying his acumen on vertical throws earlier: “He’s learning every week. It takes time. It’s not easy to perfect your trade in a short amount of time. He’s constantly perfecting routes and being 100 percent sure of what the signal is. It’s a lot to learn for a kid.”

▪ Malik Rosier said he speaks daily with former UM quarterback Brad Kaaya but rarely about football; he and Kaaya and David Njoku play X-Box. Kaaya is on the Detroit Lions’ practice squad, while Njoku is with the Cleveland Browns.

Rosier said he has a lot of football discussions with Dolphins and former UM receiver Rashawn Scott.

Rosier, incidentally, has become something of a rock star locally. He couldn’t finish eating his meal at the Big Cheese restaurant on Monday night because seven people mobbed him for pictures.

“It’s nice to see how much love this city has for us now,” Rosier said. “It’s been crazy, honestly.”

Rosier said when he was out with a friend recently, a “guy that was near me wanted to sit down and have a 20-minute conversation with me about football.”

▪ UM offensive coordinator Thomas Brown envisions running back Deejay Dallas being able to contribute as a running back, receiver and returner as his UM career unfolds. “He has to continue to get better from a pass protection standpoint,” Brown said. …

Asked who his best linemen have been in the last month, Brown mentioned Navaughn Donaldson and Kc McDermott.

▪ ABC assigned Bob Wischusen and Brock Huard to Friday’s UM-at-Pittsburgh game at noon.

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