Coker 'delighted' day after romp

Sparkling. Barely twelve hours after the University of Miami opened defense of their national title with a 63-17 victory over Florida A&M, head coach Larry Coker was looking good and feeling even better. Even if victory No. 1 of the 2002 season came against an overmatched Division I-AA opponent and most of the first-string Hurricanes were out of their shoulder pads by halftime.

"I thought we were really sharp on offense and our defense- especially our first-teamers- really got after it," said Coker, wearing a pin-stripped navy-blue suit and matching shirt as he addressed the media this morning. "No slight on Florida A&M, but we were obviously a step ahead in all phrases of the game. I thought we played an extremely good first-half of football."

And despite not being able to get a better gauge of what his young secondary will offer in the near future with the in-state clash against the No. 6 Florida Gators rapidly approaching, Coker had no complaints about a defensive effort that yielded the Rattlers 155 yards of total offense, including just 42 yards passing from heralded quarterback Casey Printers.

Printers, a senior transfer from Texas Christian University, was overwhelmed all night by a suffocating UM defensive-front that recorded six sacks. The Hurricanes had four sacks in the first six FAMU offensive possessions of the game. Sophomore Vince Wilfork and senior Matt Walters had two apiece. "Those kids did an excellent job of making their quarterback rush his decisions," said Coker.

With the Hurricanes scoring four touchdowns in the first quarter- the most points by UM in the opening quarter since 1986 against West Virginia- and the game well in hand, Coker used young players at will. Nine freshmen made their UM debuts, including redshirt freshmen receiver Roscoe Parrish and quarterback Marc Guillon.

Parrish, who took a reverse for 46 yards and a touchdown in give Miami a 28-0 lead in the first quarter, added a 32-yard touchdown pass reception from back-up quarterback Derrick Crudup in the second quarter. Parrish also had 75 yards on five punt returns. Gullion, who entered the game with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, had a 39-yard TD pass to Aikeem Jolla.

Coker said the decision to play 'a lot' of the freshmen was made before the game. "We all saw what some of these kids can do. So, if they can help they're going to play right away.

There's no question about that. If they can help us win they're not going to be redshirted," said Coker. And Coker added that several of those freshmen 'better be ready' to play Saturday against the Gators.

Florida defeated UAB 51-3 with quarterback Rex Grossman throwing for 337 yards and two touchdowns. UF running back Earnest Graham rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns.

"You better tackle Earnest Graham, Taylor Jacobs and put pressure on Grossman," Coker said. "The thing you better do against them is cover well and have some integrity in your schemes."

Although he hasn't received an official medical report, Coker said the Hurricanes don't have any serious injuries of note. Senior punter Freddie Capshaw, who sat out last night's game with a sore ankle, will attempt to punt later on Sunday. Receiver Ryan Moore continues to be bothered by a hamstring injury.

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