DC Randy Shannon on the Peach Bowl

Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon commments on the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Opening statement…

"We are looking forward to a good game against LSU. They got a lot of skill guys. They do a nice job with their schemes trying to get the ball to their receivers. Also, they do a great job of running the ball. They are missing their starting quarterback, but I know coach Fisher and coach Miles will line up and do their scheme. Guys are recruited to be at LSU and they are going to play the best they can play to win the game."

On the defense…

"I have been here five years and this is probably the best defense collectively. Even the year (2001) when we won it. Just because of the depth of the talent on defense and having a lot of people playing. We play about 22 guys every game. To have that many guys playing without a let off, it is hard to do. You have to credit the players because they are the ones that get the job done. That is why they are the best defense I have been around, not stats and all that, just because of the players and they competed all the time."

On if there was a chance in defensive scheme facing Matt Flynn instead of JaMarcus Russell

"You can't change what you do. The guy has taken reps in practice all year long. They have things he can do when he is in there. They are going to run their scheme. They might have a few wrinkles here and there. We got to adjust in the first quarter after seeing what they are doing and get into a rhythm."

On preparing for wrinkles in a game…

"Anytime in a bowl game you are going to see a few wrinkles. You might have receivers at running back running the ball, you may see a double pass, a throwback pass—just different things that you don't see all the time in a game. You can't stop them all. Sometimes you have to let your players react to it. You show them in practice once or twice each day, but after a while if you keep hyping on throwbacks or guys in the backfield and then that's all your players will think about. In the game if you are looking for throwbacks and give up 300 yards rushing, then you lost. You just have to go out and do what they do best, make plays and react after that."

On giving up 14 points in the third quarter all season and making adjustments at halftime…

"That is one thing that we really pride ourselves on. It all goes to the players. We come in at halftime and we might change things to something that we practiced two weeks ago. Guys respond because of the concept. When they respond you have to give those guys credit. As coaches we think about it, but those guys have to execute and that is why we are playing the way we are on defense."

On the defense being five or six plays away from being the top defense…

"Our job is to stop people from scoring points and win games. We lost two games this year and we had opportunities to win the game on defense. Our defense realizes that it doesn't matter what our offense does. Our offense scored all the points against Clemson and if they didn't we would be three down. We take it on ourselves not to allow teams to get into the end zone. We feel like we lost those two games. We dropped three interceptions against Florida State on the 20 going in. That is nine points minimum and we win the game. Against Georgia Tech we had a couple times we didn't stop them on third down and we had a couple of drops. Opportunities on defense always come and we take that pride in ourselves."

On a win in the bowl game setting a tone for the 2006 season…

"The future is always bright at the University of Miami. We have a lot of young players. A win against LSU would get us going for next year. Players feel very confident against LSU and will go out there compete and win the game. Whatever happens next year, happens. The only thing we can control is this game coming up."

Christopher Stock is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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