Q&A with Travis Benjamin

True freshman Travis Benjamin is having an excellent season for the Hurricanes. Read on to see what Benjamin is saying about last year's game, the young receivers, Coach Aubrey Hill, playing against physical corners, and much more.

Have some of the guys that were here last year told you about their experience against Virginia?
"My fellow receiver Kayne Farquharson talked about it. He said Virginia embarrassed them. They were on top of everything (Miami) did. This time when we play against them, we have to have our A game on to make up for what happened last year."

What have the older players that played in that game been saying this week?
"That it was a disappointment for the last game in the Orange Bowl. They can't lose again. They've got to come out and do better than what they did last year."

Could you imagine losing a game 48-0 right now?
"Anything is possible but 48-0 means that the offense didn't do anything and the defense didn't stop their offense."

Have you guys been talking about how a win in this game would make you bowl eligible?
"It kind of has been going around a little bit. Every one wants to win every game we play. Everyone wants to play in a bowl game this year. We got to get it."

Is it hard to imagine what the players last year were feeling when they went through that game?
"Actually, I was on my way to the game but once I heard the score it didn't make sense to come anymore. I didn't want to see them lose like that so I just stayed home."

How big was it for this team to get the victory against Wake Forest?
"It was a big win. We know that we need all of our ACC games to get to a good bowl game. In the ACC Title run, we need some people to lose but we're in the run for the ACC Championship."

You guys have played very well on the road winning all but one game and in that one game you were about even with the #5 team in the country for three quarters. How are you so successful playing away from home?
"When we go to other people's stadiums, we come and play our hardest. Every time someone's at home they think they're going to win because of the crowd and the excitement around them. We know that we can put that out of our minds and come out with a win."

With so many young receivers, mistakes are expected. How has the amount of mistakes decreased as the season has progressed?
"Early in the year, we made mistakes like not coming out of our breaks or looking back at the play when we're supposed to be on our blocks. Now, we're doing everything precisely. We're looking the ball in, staying on blocks, and we've been doing good things."

Is that because Coach Aubrey Hill has emphasized it or because you guys have wanted to improve on your own?
"Actually it's both. Everybody wants to get better in every game that they play. He's been on us like crazy. If we make a mistake he'll get on us real hard. The next play that we get into, we know that we've got to do better than what we did before."

What's been the biggest adjustment from high school to college for you?
"Playing faster. College is much faster than high school."

Coach Shannon talked about Virginia's 3-4 defense. How is their 3-4 scheme going to affect the team on Saturday?
"I watched film on them and I saw a cornerback that was like 6'2" and on the offensive side I saw some big players too. Big players have to catch us. We're kind of a small team but we're fast. Even though they're real big, they still have to catch us."

How big of a difference has it been facing bigger cornerbacks than you were used to seeing in high school?
"It really isn't any different. I still have to do the same thing like not let them get their hands on me. Even though they're big, it means they have a weakness like they can't backpedal fast enough."

Have opposing corners tried to get physical with you recently?
"I've never met a corner that tried to get physical with me."

How big would a bowl appearance be for this team?
"It would be real big. All the freshmen came in looking forward to going to a bowl game. Last year, they didn't go to a bowl game and the freshmen want to help put Miami back on top."


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