Team News & Notes: Oct. 10

Miami head coach Larry Coker addressed the media earlier today recapping the game against North Carolina and discussing their upcoming opponent, Florida International.

OFFENSIVE NOTES

• The team will once again focus on getting the ball to the wide receivers this week. Wide receivers have accounted for 45 of 89 receptions by the team (51 percent).

• RB Tyrone Moss practiced "really good" according to Coach Larry Coker. Moss has missed the last two games as he is still recovering from a torn ACL injury he suffered in November 2005. He has played in two games this season rushing for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries. He is expected to play Saturday in a crowded backfield with RBs Javarris James, Charlie Jones and Derron Thomas.

• WR Ryan Hill's catch in traffic against UNC was an NFL-caliber catch according to Coker.

• The freshmen on the team call each other 'grayshirts' because during summer workouts they just work gray shirts and shorts. The offense has been well-represented with grayshirts this season in: OL Jason Fox, RB Javarris James, WR Sam Shields, and WR Ryan Hill.

• QB Kyle Wright and TE Greg Olsen were two of the offensive players who had good things to say about the FIU defense. FIU's defense is allowing just 292 yards a game, good for 32nd best in the country and they are the nation's leader in tackles for a loss per game, 9.67.

• The offensive line has got a boost from senior OL Alex Pou, who has stepped in for injured Andrew Bain. Pou has been a reserve player throughout his career, but has seen his role increase with the injury to Bain.

• OL Reggie Youngblood is not 100 percent, but he feels good and resumed his role as the team's starting left tackle with Jason Fox at right tackle.

DEFENSIVE NOTES

• DB Brandon Meriweather is expected to remain at cornerback after being switched over last week.

• DE Eric Moncur (knee) is doubtful for Saturday's game. He did not practice today.

• S Lovon Ponder has elevated his game in recent weeks and was rewarded with a start last game.

• Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon is preparing to go up against his son, Xavier, a center at FIU. "I love my son, I am proud of him," Shannon said. "He walked on and got a scholarship. He is the starting center at FIU, but me and him don't get into Miami versus FIU."

• S Anthony Reddick is continuing to get better, but his role is limited to special teams.

• S Willie Cooper leads all special teams players in points.

• DE Calais Campbell's performance against UNC--6 tackles, 4 for a loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and 2 pass breakups--was the best performance by a UM defensive player under the team's point system and how players are rewarded for different plays. Meriweather held the record previously.

• DT Bryan Pata has been an "outstanding player" for UM this season according to Coker. He has been the team's top lineman against the run this season.

OTHER NOTES

• Miami drew just over 29,000 fans last game, their lowest total in seven years. Coker hopes the 7:00 start time against FIU will help bring more fans in.

• P Brian Monroe leads the ACC in punting averaging 44.7 yards per punt and is 12th in the nation. Coker said: "He is an NFL quality punter." Joe Radigan, Rutgers, leads the nation with a 47.1 average.

• Coker has praised the attitude of the team and the team's positive mindset as they continue to strive to get better.

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canesitme.com

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