Tuesday Q&A with Al Golden

Read on to see everything Miami head coach Al Golden was talking about on Tuesday afternoon, just a few days before his team travels to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech in a key ACC Coastal game.

On Georgia Tech:
It’s another undefeated team on the road. They’re averaging 36 points a game, over 32 minutes with time of possession. They’re doing really well on third down. Their quarterback is running for more than 100 yards a game. They’re an excellent team. Penalties are down. Turnover ratio is up. They have six interceptions on defense and I like their two inside guys on defense. The secondary has been around for awhile. They have an excellent kicking game on top of it all. There are a lot of challenges schematically. We have to work overtime in the next 48 hours.

On Brad Kaaya:
I’m pleased with his progress. He didn’t make turnovers. Hopefully he’ll continue to make progress, continue to stay humble and focused.

On the O-Line injuries:
We’re moving forward without Taylor and Kc. Trevor Darling and Gall was better today. Darling, Gall, Hunter Wells, and Sunny Odogwu – those are the nine guys we’re getting ready to go in the game. If we get any new information from the medical staff (on the two injured players), we’ll update that.

On Duke Johnson’s ankle:
I think he’ll be fine. We’re just protecting it right now but he should be fine by tomorrow.

On getting Joseph Yearby more carries:
I don’t know. Joe did a great job last week and warrants more but a lot depends on Duke. It’ll be those three like it has been – Duke, Gus, and Joe.

On the kick return struggles:
We have to work on it better. We’re working on it hard. We have to coach it and execute it better. We have to give them more room to run and the returners have to hit it better.

On Justin Vogel’s season:
Vogel has worked very hard, has poise. He’s always answered. From that standpoint, he’s given us some toughness maybe I didn’t know about him. Him and Badgley are going to fight it out on kickoffs. The coverage was probably the best it’s been last week but we have to kick it better.

On Matt Goudis’ status:
Goudis is making progress but he was really behind when he was out medically. He’s still in the rehab phase right now. We have to get him caught up.

On playing so many young players:
Our recruiting was good last year. Chad, AJ Moten, Darrion Owens, Courtel Jenkins, Calvin, Kc, Trevor, Linder, all those guys are playing for us, Yearby, Brad, Braxton, we’re playing a lot of guys. We talked about here in August that if freshmen are playing it’s because they’re good and making us better. A lot of those guys are competitors. They want to play and make a difference. We have to get the other guys to improve as well now.

On Yearby’s progress:
He’s gotten better every week. Duke is pushing him in practice. Joe runs really good tracks. He’s able to see it. Joe’s getting better. His conditioning is good. We have to get him stronger and put weight on him.

On Tyriq McCord:
I thought that was his best game. It’s not easy to play defensive end against these teams. As a defensive end, you’re used to running upfield your whole life. Now playing against these read option teams, you gotta be disciplined. He prepared better last week than he ever has. His strength is the best it’s ever been.

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