Coker Day After Duke Game

The 2006 season is not over yet for the University of Miami.

In what could prove to be the most important game of the season, Miami will play Georgia Tech this week. The winner of the game will have the clearest path to the ACC Championship game and will be in control of their own destiny.

"We are in a position now, where when we play the rest of the teams on our schedule, if we beat these teams we will be playing in the championship game, Coker said."

With Georgia Tech losing 31-7 to Clemson Saturday night, Miami and Georgia Tech currently stand tied for first place in the Coastal Division.

Miami squeaked out a 20-15 victory versus winless Duke. Miami helped Duke stay in the game, committing 15 penalties for 150 yards versus Duke.

"I am very disappointed with the penalties," Coker said. "A lot of those penalties took away big games and I think the game would have been put away at half time if we did not have that many penalties. We played hard, but we have got to play smarter."

"You are going to get some holding penalties called, but penalties like personal foul penalties for spiking the ball hurts your team. We have to play with emotion, but control that emotion and realize we are UM and will be looked at with a microscope."

Coker said he got home in time to watch the second half of the Clemson-Georgia Tech game. He was impressed with Clemson's ability to pressure Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball, while receiver Calvin Johnson was held to no receptions on the night.

"I think you can always take one player out of a game, but the thing Georgia Tech has that concerns you also is Reggie Ball, who can run and pass," Coker said. "You can't focus all your energy on Calvin Johnson, but Clemson did do some nice things on defense and that is what we have got to do."

Even though Miami struggled against a Duke team that has not recorded a win this season, Coker said he can still find a positive from the game.

"Well, we found a way to win," he said. "Whatever it takes, we need to find a way to win. The Miami teams in the past have done that. If you look at last year, USC almost lost to an average Fresno State team, but they found a way to win."

NOTES

• Coker said he thought A.J. Trump and Jon Peattie did a nice job for UM versus Duke. Peattie kicked two field goals in the game. "Jon Peattie's field goal was huge," Coker said. "His 51 yard field goal ended up being the difference in the game"

• Coker has been impressed with the attitude of Lance Leggett this season. "Lance Leggett is a very different player this year in that he is very aggressive—you can see that in the way he catches the ball, finishes runs, and blocks."

• Coker expects Romeo Davis to be out at least several weeks with a knee injury, and possibly done for the year. Darryl Sharpton will be the leading candidate to replace Davis.

• Coker is currently unaware of the extent of the injury Willie Cooper suffered.

Ryan Moore may possibly practice with the team this week.

Greg Olsen could have played this week, but Coker decided to hold him out of the game so he would be healthy for Georgia Tech.

David Lake can be reached at lake@canestime.com

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