Grant: We put it all together

It seemed like Chavez Grant was getting an interception in just about every other preseason practice back in August. The talented junior hasn't gotten a pick yet this season but he's having a solid season at corner for the Hurricanes. Read on to see what he's talking about.

Chavez Grant may have played his best game of the season last Saturday against UCF. He finished the game with three tackles, two pass breakups, one caused fumble, and he (along with the rest of the defense) did an excellent job of shutting down UCF's offense.

"The defense did a great job," Grant said. "We're used to playing against great athletes. Sometimes the defensive line would lose contain but we'll get everything corrected."

Grant said he wasn't surprised at how excited UCF's players were for this game, especially considering how many of them were from the south Florida area.

"As you can see from the score of the game, those guys are gonna come out to play," he said. "Everyone wants to prove a point. Everyone played hard. Of course with a tight game like that, it came down to the end. The good thing is we got a W on our record and so that's the good thing."

Miami's defense played hard for 60 minutes, including stepping on when UCF was driving late in the game.

"You gotta go out and prove a point," he said. "They played hard until the end and so did we. We just made a few more plays than they did."

Grant and the rest of the Miami defense had struggled in the last couple games going into this one. North Carolina and Florida State combined for a lot of yards and the two teams combined to score 69 points on Miami's defense. Grant talked about what made the UCF game a little different.

"I feel like the whole defense bounced back," he said. "We held them to 77 total yards. Everyone did a great job. The defensive line had to get pressure, the linebackers had to stop the run, and the defensive backs had to cover. We put it all together."

Led by Allen Bailey's two sacks, the defensive line seemed to do a better job of putting pressure on the opposing quarterbacks than we'd seen the previous couple weeks. Grant said the whole defense can use that to their advantage.

"It helps us so we don't have to cover so long," he said. "It gives us a little more time to rest. The defensive line getting there makes it better for the DB's. I don't care how good a DB you are, you can't cover people for 10, 20 seconds. We all compliment each other well."

One of the top performers for the Canes against UCF was fellow junior Sam Shields. Grant was happy to see his teammate bounce back the way he did.

"That's what we talk about all the time -- bouncing back," he said. "You're gonna drop balls, you're gonna fumble. It's how you respond. Give credit to Sam for bouncing back. Sometimes you'll make a mistake but as you see, when we needed it he made plays. It's tough for anyone to make mistakes like that. Your coach is gonna ride you. The head coach is probably gonna ride you. Mentally, he's tough and came back and made some great plays."

Next up for the Hurricanes is a road trip to Duke this weekend, as the Canes get back into their ACC schedule. Grant is ready for it.

"We were coming off a little losing streak but now we're trying to start a win streak," he said. "We gotta get the win and gotta get back in the ACC (race)."

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