O-Line Preparing for Clemson

Embarrassed by the school-record nine sacks his offensive line gave up would be an understatement for the very animated offensive line coach Art Kehoe who has been through the good and bad as a coach at Miami.

It was an unimaginable amount of sacks to give up and was certainly a major reason why UM lost its season opener to FSU, one that has Kehoe irritated, but at the same time, the past must be forgotten and the squad must move on to what awaits it this Saturday.

It's a new test as the #13 Miami Hurricanes head to Death Valley to take on the #20 Clemon Tigers who have found a way to win their first two games in the fourth quarter over Texas A&M and Maryland.

Once again though the battle starts up front as the ‘Canes offensive line will do battle with a very good Clemson defensive line, one that draws comparison to Florida State.

"Clemson is very similar to Florida State on the line," Kehoe said. "They have two real good defensive ends. One is big and powerful, number 93 (Gaines Adams) that works on Rashad (Butler), and they got a speedy guy number 86 (Charles Bennett) on the other side who is a pain in the ass. Their inside guys are real good too.

"They don't stay blocked long and are real similar type athletes, and run similar schemes to Florida State. We are going to see lots of movements, angles, slants and missiles and have to be ready to handle all that stuff."

Adams was named ACC Player of the Week on the defensive line after posting 8 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 2 ½ sacks against Maryland so Butler will definitely have a long day.

But even with all the problems, Kehoe still had some positives twists to the way the line played as did head coach Larry Coker.

"We also did a lot of good things to build on as well," Kehoe said. "We are going to try to accentuate the positive as hard as it is for me to do at this point."

Those positives included running the ball down FSU's throat in the first half as running back Tyrone Moss rushed for over 100 yards in the game, most of which came in the first half before he started cramping up in the second half.

"I thought they did well blocking for the run, although much better in the first half than in the second half," Coker said. "Any time you have a 100-yard rusher against Florida State, that's a real good day."

But improvements are needed and it starts with senior leader and All-American Eric Winston who struggled a bit keeping up with FSU's Kameron Wimberly, but all the practice in the world couldn't have prepared him and his reconstructed knee to game speed, let alone FSU game speed and intensity.

"Eric Winston is going to get much better as the season goes on which is par for the course for anyone who's had knee surgery," Kehoe said. "He hasn't missed any practices, and he's been trying his ass off."

Added to the mix is Tony Tella who missed a lot of fall camp with an injury. He played a lot spelling Andrew Bain in the fourth quarter during the final long drive and quite likely will find his way back into the starting line up in the near future.

"He's an older player, a veteran player who will help our pass and run blocking and give us depth," Coker said.

But Kehoe is still irritated with the way his line gave up nine sacks and doesn't want to relive that.

"We gave up nine sacks," Kehoe said. "That's embarrassing. You better believe that I did address that.

"But you have to bury your pride and move on and find a way to win."

It starts Saturday.

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat is a Staff Writer with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at rudy@canestime.com

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