Olsen Provides Spark

The University of Miami has had a string of tight ends that any school would dream of having. Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow II are all playing in the NFL, but the best one of them all might very well be wearing the orange and green this year as Greg Olsen lines up at the position for the ‘Canes this season, and is still but a sophomore.

Even so, Olsen's performance against Florida State gives ‘Canes fans plenty to be excited about even though Miami lost to FSU.

Greg Olsen, after having a case of the dropsies in the first half against the ‘Noles, looked like a basket for quarterback Kyle Wright to drop balls into.

If it was near Olsen, he caught it, and came up with some sensational grabs at that over the middle of the field, particularly on a 3rd-and-6 from the 21-yard line when his 15-yard reception gave the ‘Canes a first down.

Three plays later it was Olsen catching an 18-yard pass from Wright on third-and-seven to gave the ‘Canes another first down.

Then on 3rd-and-19, Wright found Olsen again, this time for 26-yard to give the ‘Canes another first down.

Three plays later, it was Olsen again for the first down.

The ‘Canes were unable to punch it into the end zone, but they wouldn't have even had a chance to do so without the play of Olsen who finished with the best tight performance in yards since 1985 as he had eight catches for 137 yards, an average of 17.1 yards per catch, a rather remarkable stat for a tight end.

How did he turn his game around so quickly after dropping a few easy ones in the first half?

"I never doubted myself in the game," Olsen said. "Those things happen. I dropped a pass, which is unacceptable, but you can't throw in the towel in the first quarter. You have to put those things behind you."

Just as he put those negatives behind him, Olsen and company must be in the same frame of mind when it comes to preparations for Clemson where Olsen will get another chance to show the country how incredible of a talent he is even if he doesn't think so.

"We came in after Florida State and obviously everyone was disappointed," Olsen said. "We felt we threw that game away and didn't feel remotely we played remotely close to what we are capable of doing. We watched the film and learned from our mistakes.

"They (coaches) told us the moment we got on the practice field, Florida State is over and we have to move on to Clemson."

But he knows his squad was better than the way it played in Tallahassee.

"I just think if there is any silver-lining, that last drive just showed what we are capable of doing," he said. "Now we have to go out there and be more consistent."

Obviously, the Tigers who welcome the ‘Canes to Death Valley Saturday have seen plenty of film on Olsen and have seen exactly what he can do and how he can take over a game.

But that doesn't worry Olsen who has studs lined up around him like Ryan Moore, Sinorice Moss, Lance Leggett and others to make plays if Clemson decides to double-team him.

"The second they do that we have five or six other guys that will beat them. Hopefully, they do that and try to keep an eye on me. They will have a long day because we have some other guys that they haven't seen do anything yet."

However, he was complimentary of the Tigers as well who come into the game at 2-0 with late fourth quarter comebacks.

"They have a very good defense," Olsen said. "They have a bunch of good players. We have a tough task ahead of us. But we have said two-a-days that if we get ourselves right, we don't have to worry about what other people do."

With the ‘Canes having been off last week following the loss, Olsen and his teammates are definitely revved up and ready to play again and look to get a chance to redeem themselves and get this season going in the right direction.

"Everyone is excited to go back out there and play another game," Olsen said. "It was kind of rough not having a game this weekend and watching everyone else play. We are excited to get back into game week and play on Saturday."

But coming away with a win is the key against Clemson especially after the Tigers beat Miami 24-17 in overtime at the Orange Bowl last year coming back from a 17-0 deficit.

"They came into the Orange Bowl and beat us, but now this is our chance to redeem ourselves," Olsen said.

And if the ‘Canes bring their "A" game to Death Valley, Clemson won't be too happy when the clock strikes zero.

"Going back to spring ball our mentality has been getting Miami to be the best Miami we can be," he said. "If we do that, we feel we play with anybody."

There's no debating that.

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

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