Practice Report - 10/28

The Miami football team practiced in shorts and helmets on Thursday at the Greentree Practice Fields in preparation for Saturday's 7 p.m. contest with North Carolina at Kenan Stadium on ESPN2.

"Today was a really good day," Miami head coach Larry Coker said. "This week has been a good week of practice for us. What is encouraging is that I have seen improvement this week, which is nice to see this time of year because sometimes you can get a little stale. I don' think we are. I think we know we have work to do and that we need to get better."

Center Joel Rodriguez has practiced at full strength the past two days and will start on Saturday against the Tar Heels. Redshirt freshman Derrick Morse has practiced at right guard all week and will make the first start of his career in Chapel Hill in place of injured junior Tyler McMeans.

"He (Morse) is doing good," Coker said. "He is a redshirt freshman and he has a ways to go. He won't play his best football Saturday, but he is ready to play. The thing about Derrick I like is that he really plays hard."

Miami goes to Chapel Hill to face a North Carolina team that will present the Hurricanes with a pretty stout test defensively. "I think we are going up against, really, a good offensive football team," Coker said. "Their defense is a little misleading from the standpoint that they have given up some big numbers, but they have played some really good offensive teams."

North Carolina has also been much more successful in night games at home this season, with wins over Georgia Tech and then-No. 25 North Carolina State. "What I have seen is that their night games at home, they tend to win," Coker said. "They have beaten two very good teams there in North Carolina State and Georgia Tech."

The Hurricanes will depart for Chapel Hill on Friday afternoon.

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