What are some keys for the offense in going up against Florida State's strong defense?
They'll have some wrinkles for us and we'll have some wrinkles for them. Chud does a real good job of balancing us often. They are so tough against the run, 80-90 yards against the run. To me, if we can go past the 100-yard mark, I know that doesn't sound like very much, but when you play Florida State and they are playing Florida State defense. You make 125 yards and you carry the ball 35 times, that will open us up and be able to avoid disastrous situations.
If you turn on the computer and you look at second-and-long and third-and-long, it is unbelievable. They got everybody in long yard situations. They are just beating them to death with blitzes and games. If we get into that kind of game where we are just getting out butts kicked and we are always in second-and-12 or third-and-10, it's going to be a long night. We will not win. We have to establish some sort of yardage on first down even if it is a yard or two. If we can get second-and-eight then we will be able to move the ball better. If that happens we will be able to dictate to them as opposed to them dictating to us.
Have you been satisfied by your run blocking?
No I am not. I'll tell you what I am somewhat pleased with our effort. We are a lot closer than we appear because we are only rushing for 150 yards. I see us as a team that is about to bust out. We lost Frank Gore and that will hurt, but I like these other three guys that we got so we'll see what happens. I know this, when you run the ball against Florida State get the ball, make one read, get your pads at the goal line and run. Be ready to get hit. You have to play football like that. If you think you are going to be cute and run east and west like you are in the Shrine Bowl, you are going to get your butt kicked. We have to go north and south and get two yards, three yards, four yards. If we do that, then we will have a good day. It's a big if though. Ask the other teams they played against and allowed just 80 yards. Most of that was in mop-up duty in one-back plays at the end of games when they have been getting their butts kicked. They are tough to run on, but we better find a way to run.
Is there one key guy on the offensive line for this week's game?
I don't know if there is one guy because I think all four of their guys are good. I think (Darnell) Dockett and (Jeff) Womble are a pain in the butt. I think both (Eric) Moore and (Kevin) Emmanuel are a load. That's the thing about Florida State that humbles you offensively. You can play somebody that is not as good and one or two guys miss a block, you can still have positive yardage. If you do that against Florida State, miss a couple blocks, make a mental, turn a guy loose and get beat underneath, it could be second down and 14. Your chances of getting a first down then are about 12 percent.
How has Kellen Winslow been doing with so many guys on defense paying attention to him?
He loves attention (laughing). This guy needs seven guys covering him and he would beat all seven of them. After he would beat them he would taunt them all if we could. He knows that. He caught 10 balls against West Virginia and caught a ball that if he didn't catch we probably would have gotten buckled. You watch him everyday in practice he works his tail off. He is a fierce competitor just like his dad. I guarantee you Florida State will show him a lot of attention.
What does the non-offensive touchdowns do to help the offense?
That is what won us a national title. When you look at that year, we had 12 or 14 non-offensive touchdowns. That helps your scoring average too. It's amazing what that does for you. The offense gets a little frustrated because the defense is going out again. It's an awesome thing to see Sean Taylor, D.J. Williams and those other guys making big plays. It is going to be a factor in the game against Florida State. Holding onto the football. There is going to be a key exchange in the game and someone is going to buckle. We'll see what happens.
Florida State has already recorded 22 sacks in five games and you guys have only allowed three sacks so far this year, something has to give. What have they been doing to be so effective?
They put so many people in bad down and distance situation where now it is not just a straight rush. Now you could do all sorts of things. They tend to do a china-down-down-all-the-way-around, and then you have a two-tackles up and the ends underneath and then blitz the sam and the will off the edges. I'm telling you, you can work on it for hours and still not be able to get it. You can even know its coming. The key to this football team is to protect the football and you can't take penalties. You can't overcome them against a good football team. If you get a holding penalty and have a second down and 20, you think you are going to get a first down? You're not.
How do you prevent penalties?
I have gone from five up-downs to 10 up-downs and now we are up to 25 up-downs if you commit a penalty in practice. I am jumping on my kids all the time for getting their hands outside their framework of the body. Sometimes we have a problem with the cadence. We come in for practices, even during two-a-days; Chud keeps charts of mentals, penalties and turnovers in practices. We are always emphasizing it. I just believe we are not where we should be yet. You hate to go into this game like that.
How is Joe McGrath doing?
He is doing good. Hopefully he will be emergency ready. I don't know if he is quite ready for this. He is getting closer and closer. We are breaking him in slowly.
Are you happy with the five that you have right now?
Yeah, somewhat. Ask me after this game. I am happy with their effort. They are playing hard. When you get good effort, eventually everything else will come too.
You show a lot of enthusiasm on the practice field, during the games, during meetings, interviews. What is the best part about your job?
The best part about my job is that I am at the University of Miami and we win a lot. We have great coaches and the players are awesome. We are in an area where we have unbelievable players. We are also an attractive university beings that we are private and in a dynamic city. We can also go around the country and get a Kellen Winslow, a Scott Covington, a Kenny Dorsey, and a D.J. Williams. We can go to Texas and get Bubba Franks. We can go to New Jersey and get Bryan McKinnie and Martin Bibla. We can go to Canada and get Brett Romberg. Down here we have phenomenal players. But I think we do a good job with them. I think with our offensive system, what Randy does with the defensive system our special teams with Donnie, what Andreu Swasey does in the weight room, I think it all works. And Larry Coker, he is a smooth kind of a guy. He is a very even-keeled, has a positive demeanor, just a great person. And these guys play hard for him. He lets us all coach. We are all different because not everyone is all keyed up like I am. He lets me do my thing and lets everyone else do their thing. That's a big key to this.
How much do you love the game of football?
I love the game of football every day of my life. I love being a Miami Hurricane every day of my life too. This week, playing Florida State, there is not anything better in the world. It's everything you ever wanted. Its parties, Christmas presents, dates with beautiful girls, its all that. Its whatever you can get. When Florida State University and Miami tee it up, it's the best.
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