Hurricanes QB Jarren Williams says the team needs to play faster
A six-pack of Thursday Hurricanes notes:
▪ As deficient as the Hurricanes’ quarterback play was last season, one area where they weren’t completely delinquent was on deep balls.
On passes that traveled at least 20 yards, Malik Rosier completed 10 of 30 passes for 383 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, per Miami Herald data correspondent Daniel Gould.
N’Kosi Perry was 11 for 34 on such passes, for 329 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Getting more out of the vertical passing game — along with better work in the red zone — are the next frontiers for this offense and Jarren Williams.
On balls thrown at least 20 yards, Williams so far has completed 1 of 5 passes for 38 yards.
Coaches have cited several plays in which receivers were wide open downfield — including Jeff Thomas on multiple occasions — but the throw was never even attempted. The reasons? Either the protection broke down or Williams didn’t spot the opportunity.
“My deep passes; the deep ball is definitely something I have to work on every day if I want to be efficient with that,” Williams said.
▪ Center Corey Gaynor cautions not to be deflated from an 0-2 start.
“It’s a culture shift,” he told WQAM’s Hurricane Hotline. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
He cited improved teaching, noting that under offensive line coach Butch Barry, “I know coverages better than I ever did. I know blitzes. [Barry] has done a great job of teaching.
“I watch the Jacksonville Jaguars do same pregame warmup we did. We’re getting a feel of what it’s like to be at the next level. [Strength coach] David Feeley is amazing. He’s been truly a blessing to this program.”
But it will be immensely disappointing if UM doesn’t emerge from this long homestand at 5-2, though the Virginia home game will be difficult.
▪ Tight end Brevin Jordan told WQAM’s Joe Zagacki and Don Bailey that “a lot of the other players, even defensive guys, respect” Tate Martell for offering to play receiver after losing the starting battle at quarterback.
“Even in high school, he was such a competitor, loves the games so much,” said Jordan, his former high school teammate in Las Vegas.
Receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield has been working with him on the nuances of playing receiver.
“We’d expect his role to continue to grow whether it’s him playing receiver, quarterback,” offensive coordinator Dan Enos said.
▪ UM remains hopeful that safety Bubba Bolden will be cleared by the NCAA to play later this season, and he could challenge Gurvan Hall to start if Hall doesn’t become more consistent.
“I raised Bubba to be the athlete he is today,” Jordan said of his buddy from the Las Vegas prep ranks. “That’s why he’s so skilled. He’s so long, very athletic. He played quarterback in high school. He’s so instinctive, knows what receivers are trying to do. He doesn’t shy from contact.”
▪ Here’s what coach Manny Diaz told his players after an 0-2 start:
“Coach Diaz ended up our meeting by saying we’re a pretty good team with a bad record,” Jordan told Hurricane Hotline. “I agree with him. The little mistakes we’re making, not knowing what to do. If we clean up little things, and execute, we will be pretty hard team to beat. I know our fans are a little discouraged, disappointed in us. But they will see positive things [this weekend]” against Bethune-Cookman (4 p.m., ACC Network).
▪ We mentioned this week about Diaz putting new requirements in place for recruits, while declining to elaborate.
A local high school coach elaborated this week, citing these are two requirements conveyed by UM:
If a player is going to commit, there must be oral confirmation from the player and a parent.
Players who have orally committed to UM have been strongly advised by UM not to take any more visits after the last week of camp season (summer of their senior years). If you do visit after the summer of your senior year, you leave yourself open to being dropped or replaced by UM.