Hill: 'Offense is Improving'

This spring Quadtrine Hill was moved from fullback to running back because of depth issues at the position. Hill would like to remain a running back for the 2004 season, a position he was originally recruited to play at Miami.

Hill is battling with sophomore running back Tyrone Moss who gained 511 yards on the ground a season ago backing up Jarrett Payton and Frank Gore. Moss has taken some heat this spring from running backs coach Don Soldinger because of his work ethic.

Last year Hill started six games at fullback rushing for four yards on one attempt. He is a viable option out of the backfield and has 26 career receptions.

"This spring everything is going pretty good. I twisted my left ankle one week and my right ankle the other week. I have been a bit injured, but I have been playing a bit banged up lately. Other than that things have been pretty good."

Hill, a perfectionist, strives to improve his overall game and does not want to be known just as a guy that can catch the ball out of the backfield.

"I am not concentrating on any one area. I am a perfectionist and I want to be good at everything. I don't want to leave one aspect of my game behind. The main thing I felt I needed to focus on in the spring was my pass protection and picking up blitzes. So far I feel I have improved in that area this spring."

On Friday, April 2 the Hurricanes held a scrimmage in Fort Lauderdale. The defense dominated the offense all night long registering 10 sacks on the night. Hill was extremely unhappy with the poor performance by the offense.

"I think the whole offense was poor. I think we had a lot to work on after that game. Nobody should have been happy about it. Personally, I was in a bad mood because we got beat in every aspect of the game by the defense."

The running backs combined for 97 yards on 26 carries, 3.7 yards per carry average. Hill had 10 carries for 24 yards with a long of seven.

"The running game did not perform the way we should have."

Last year the Hurricanes averaged 180 yards per game, which ranked 33rd in the nation. If the Hurricanes are going to compete for the national title this year, they must be able to run the ball. Hill was encouraged by the effort of the running backs in practice this week.

"I am seeing better strides this week. We have gotten better with the run game. On Friday we got beat up by the defense, but I think we dominated on Tuesday's practice."

The success cannot stop there with the offense.

"We have to continue to get better. If we don't continue this then we will have problems during the season. I think everyone is picking their game up after what happened on Friday."

The passing game was not much better on Friday especially with the receivers. There were 33 passing attempts and only four receptions by wide receivers. The inability to get open downfield is an area of concern for the Hurricanes. Hill and the rest of offensive teammates were not pleased with their performance.

"Everybody knew how we were doing. I was saying something, but everyone knew what happened. We were going through the scrimmage and we were getting our butts whipped. We knew that if we didn't change something then we were going to continue to get our butts whipped and that is exactly what happened. After that scrimmage people were disgusted over the weekend after a terrible performance by the offense."

Although the offense is struggling, Hill was willing to give credit to the defense.

"I think the defensive line has been doing a lot of good things. They are getting in on a lot of tackles and beating our offensive line a lot more than our offensive line are supposed to be beat. We have a good offensive line, but I am just giving a lot of credit to the defensive line."

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@grassy.com.

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