Coker Press Conference

Miami is in preparations for Wake Forest this Saturday (noon, ESPN). In part one of Larry Coker's press conference he discussed the offense, Wake Forest, and finishing the season strong.

Opening statement:

"It's certainly good to be back at this press conference with a win. The sun always comes up in South Florida, but it has been a little brighter the last few days. We have a tremendous challenge this weekend against Wake Forest. The biggest loss they have had this season has been seven points and they have lost a couple of games in overtime. They beat a very fine Boston College team and they are doing some things very well. Jim Grobe is an outstanding football coach. I read somewhere that nobody knows that he may be the best college football coach in the country. I think people are starting to figure that out, because he does an excellent job. They do a great job rushing the ball and they lead the league in rushing. Chris Barclay is an outstanding football player. He is not big, but he's very fast and explosive. They do a great job at the quarterback position. Offensively, they are very high in a lot of categories in the ACC. They have a great punter. They present some real challenges for us. I think this is the first time they have gotten on an airplane this season, while we have been on several. Its good to be home in the Orange Bowl and we are excited about the game."

On playing tough games each week:

"It is football reality. We are playing tough games and we are going to have to play well every week for an opportunity to win. I think we have an opportunity to win every game, but we have to play as well as we can. Anything less than that will not be good enough."

On finishing the season strong:

"The key for us is to finish, not just the games, but to finish blocks. I think that will be a key phase for us the rest of the season. We can't take anything for granted."

On if there are any significant injuries:

"Not that we are aware of. We have some guys that are nicked up and need to heal up. We should be relatively healthy. We hope to have OL Tyler McMeans back. He practiced last week on a limited basis and hopefully he will be ready to go. LB Tavares Gooden also.

On QB Brock Berlin:

"I read an article the other day that he is the front-runner for ACC Player of the Year. He is leading the league in passing and total offense and he is second in the league in passing efficiency behind Hagans from Virginia. He has played very well this season. The thing that has been impressive about him to me, being around him everyday, is that he really hasn't changed. When he was maligned and made mistakes and interceptions, he just continued to go to work and brought his hardhat and lunch pail. He put the criticism behind him and was a tough kid with no anger or bitterness that I could detect and I don't see that he is any different now than he was then. He just wants to win. He is the most unselfish quarterback I have ever been around."

On QB Kyle Wright not getting a lot of game experience this year:

I am very disappointed because we need to know. We would have loved an opportunity to see him play and not just in mop-up time. We would like to see him in valuable situations. Just as we started that process in the Georgia Tech week he had the injury. I feel like he will be cleared to play this week. He practiced some last week, but we didn't feel he could play. We feel the progress he has made he will be able to play.

On RB Frank Gore:

"It was good to see Frank do well. He has been around here a few years and they guys that have been here awhile tend to be more mature and more seasoned and they know what it takes to win. It was good to see him have almost 200 yards rushing. His confidence has really soared. He feels very confident in his legs and he is getting better each week, which is encouraging to us as a football team. Wake Forest is a team that is difficult to run against. They are a little undersized in some areas on defense, but they are very quick and they put a lot of people up front to stop the run. We will have a challenge this game"

On FB Talib Humphrey:

"That is a good story. Guys that go into the NFL, that is tremendous for them, but the guys that battle and battle every day and finally get the opportunity is a great story. I don't know if those three plays were worth all of the effort and time he has put into playing the game, but I think he would say yes. I am very happy for him. He was able to respond to the opportunity he had and he got the job done."

On the improved performance of pass protection:

"Any time you are a quarterback you better have protection. That is a key. It is such a team game and the guys have done a great job of protecting Brock. If you take out a couple of the drops, which is uncharacteristic for any college team. We had 5-8 drops. Some of them were difficult, but still very catchable balls. We could have really had a great day."

On WR Roscoe Parrish's season:

"If you are a receiver and you want to complain about not getting balls. Well, why don't you get the balls? When I see really good football players I get excited in practice. When I watched Barry Sanders in practice I would get excited just watching him run off-tackles. Roscoe is one of those guys. He is starting to practice that way. Now that I have seen that in practice the last 3-4 weeks it is a great example of what you have to do. We are in pre-game warm-ups and he dove three yards to catch the ball. I told him not to do that, but that is what he is doing now. That is the mentality he has and the only way he knows how to operate. That is what you'd like from your whole team—an aggressive mentality. That is the example he is showing our team."

On all of the dropped passes during the Virginia game:

"I tried two approaches towards the receivers during the game. The first approach is to tell them it's all right you will have another chance. Then after a couple of more drops, you smile because you may be on TV, but grab them and tell them to catch the ball. We work extremely hard at passing and catching the ball. We will get back to work on catching the ball and I will be surprised if the guys don't step it up, because they are embarrassed. I told them the game was on TV and there would be a lot of people watching and they were embarrassed to have so many drops."

On the performance of the offensive line against Virginia:

"I think we did a good job and we had a good plan along the offensive line. Their 3-4 defense concerned me. We haven't played against a 3-4 in years. That is a different structure and what they do is grab and hold when you look like you have a nice hole to run, but then they are right there. I think Art Kehoe did a good job of maintaining and getting in guys faces to give Frank a crease to run through. I don't know if we dominated, but I thought they played hard and finished. I thought we had a good plan of attack."

On the versatility of OL Chris Myers:

"He has been very valuable to us. He is smart, tough, and he cares. I think this is very important to him and that just speaks volumes. He has been a tremendous leader and has been selected as one of the captains by his teammates. I think he has been huge for our team."

On if OL Tyler McMeans will regain his starting right guard position replacing OL Derrick Morse:

"I don't know if he is going to replace Morse because he is now where McMeans was. McMeans was a work in progress and was getting better and better. That is where Morse is right now. We would like to get McMeans back in the fold. To say he is healthy and throw him back in there is hard to do. Just having him back will be a plus with us. Getting Brandon Sebald back will help also. He has been a bit of a journeyman for us. We have moved Brandon to tackle and I expect him to play on Saturday some."

On if K Jon Peattie's struggled could cause him to lose his position:

"No. Jon Peattie is our kicker. I tell you one thing about Jon and I have said this before. He does a great job of correcting. He doesn't get too down, obviously he is disappointed. He knew why he missed and he corrects it and moves on. I like that and not many kickers are that way. So many will just go in the tank and get down on himself. Has he had the year he had last year? No. What is really odd is that he is healthier now than he was a year ago. His leg is stronger now and he is not quite as accurate. Some of those have been long field goals, but he has the range."

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

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