A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday:
▪ Hurricanes fans aren’t the only ones exasperated by their team’s predicament. So are some of their former star players.
Several have expressed frustration in recent days, and Randal Hill is so angry with the Canes that he oddly threatened to reveal state secrets if Mark Richt doesn’t make changes.
“I will give him [time] to make changes,” Hill, a former Homeland Security agent, said in a rant on WQAM’s Marc Hochman and Channing Crowder show on Tuesday. And if he doesn’t, “then I will start [divulging] what I really know. What can they do to me? I’m already in the [UM] Hall of Fame.”
Hill said of Richt: “If you do the same thing and expect different results, you are crazy…. That’s a clear cut sign of insanity. Make some changes. You haven’t changed anything. Ask Al Golden and Randy [Shannon] how that went for them…. Shame on them.”
After Crowder noted that Richt did change quarterbacks, Hill indicated that he should have done it once and stuck with one player.
Hill said when he’s at other stadiums, “people are laughing at me for the [Canes] colors I have on. It’s embarrassing…. My grandmother is rolling over in her grave.”
I asked Richt on Wednesday if he’s committed to his longtime offensive system or whether he might consider a spread offense in light of South Florida high schools having speedy skill position players who would thrive in that offense. Richt said he would not answer questions like that at this time.
Hill isn’t the only Cane venting. Warren Sapp has taken shots on Twitter: “It’s official!! The U is Dead Under Mark Richt.” And last Sunday, he said: “Good morning, I was built for Saturdays but at this rate I’m about to switch to Fridays! 4 passes and [Georgia Tech] wins?!”
Former All-American offensive lineman Joaquin Gonzalez asked on Twitter: “So why aren’t we winning? 1. Development of Players 2. Special Teams 3. Offensive Scheme 4. Play Calling 5. Game Management It ain’t about the kids not putting in the work, they work their tail off! We have a ton of talent but last coach to develop it, is doing it on 8th Street!!” He was referring to FIU coach Butch Davis, Gonzalez’ coach at UM.
Former Canes linebacker Jon Vilma tweeted this whimsical fictitious exchange:
“Canes fan: Vilma wat’s wrong w our Canes?!?
Me: The Offense sux.
Canes fan: We need to fire every offensive coach!!
Me: Too soon
Canes fan: Wait...U were on the search committee who hired Richt... U need to stay off all search committees Vilma.”
And former start linebacker Jon Beason ranted on WQAM 10 days ago.
▪ I asked Richt if he’s tempted to get Jarren Williams or Cade Weldon some playing time this weekend to get them some experience.
“I’m tempted to try to win the game, how about that?” Richt responded. “I guess people don’t see that as a premium but I do.”
Might Williams play at some point this season?
“Before the season’s over we’ll probably get him in there, might get him in there,” Richt said. “If it’s 14-14, I’m not going to slip him in there because the rule says he can. He’s growing.”
Williams showed some considerable in the summer but we’re told he lost a bit of focus after he lost out in the battle for the starting job.
▪ Asked if N’Kosi Perry turned the corner against Georgia Tech on Saturday, Richt said: “I think he’s turning the corner. I don’t think he has turned the corner. He did a lot of really good things. I like how he threw the ball with confidence. He made the right decisions for the most part. I like his demeanor during the game. He was on top of it. In the Virginia game, I didn’t see that. I thought that moment got too big for him.”
In fact, Richt said on WQAM’s Hurricane Hotline that “at times against Virginia, I didn’t like his look [and I concluded that] it’s time to get a grown up in there” – meaning Malik Rosier.
▪ With the possibility of Shaq Quarterman, Mike Pinckney and Zach McCloud turning pro, who among the backup linebackers has played the best?
“Mike Smith, for sure, has played the best,” defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said. Problem is, he’s a senior.
Among younger players, “we’re still encouraged with Bradley Jennings and Waynmon Steed.,” Diaz said. “It’s hard to take Pinckney and Quarterman off the field. But we believe we have two guys in that role who can play like Hurricanes.”
▪ UM privately has griped about some ACC decisions for years, including officiating, and here’s one that seems unfair:
For three consecutive cycles, UM had to play at Pittsburgh on the Friday after Thanksgiving, meaning no Thanksgiving at home. But when UM plays host to Pittsburgh, the game has been on Saturday, meaning Pitt doesn’t have to fly to Miami on Thanksgiving.
▪ Quick stuff: UM players are in disbelief they’re in this predicament of still needing a win to be bowl eligible. “I’m definitely surprised,” safety Jaquan Johnson said. “I’m shocked.”… UM will be playing FIU on Nov. 23 next year (their 11th game), and talks with Marlins Park continue to progress about holding the game there, with FIU expected to make a final decision in December or January. Hard Rock Stadium is in the other option… ESPN assigned Mark Jones and Dusty Dvorak to Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game.