Shannon talks FSU, Ga Tech

Randy Shannon addressed the media on Tuesday and spoke about a number of topics. He talked mostly about the big game against Georgia Tech coming up. Read on to see what he was saying.

Opening statements:
Our second game of the season is Thursday night against Georgia Tech and it's our second conference game. It will be a tough game from the standpoint that Miami has lost its last four games against Georgia Tech over the last four years. We can't allow what we did against Florida State to affect us on Thursday and that's something we addressed on Sunday. We did some things to make sure we stay in the realm of this football team and what we're trying to get done as a football team. They [Georgia Tech] have some great personnel on their offense and on their defense. They do run a triple option and they have about four or five different scenarios on how they will run it. The biggest factor will be [Jonathan] Dwyer. The fullback must be accounted for on every single play. If he happens to get into the open field, we have to get him down for a 10 or 12 yard gain and then line up again. We cannot afford him to get long runs against us and that's what makes their offense go. They've got a great defensive end in [Derrick] Morgan, who looks like he doesn't ever get tired. He does a great job of pressuring the pocket and playing real hard. We recruited him and he has shown he can be a great player. It's a big conference game.

On Clemson's success with limiting Georgia Tech Back Jonathan Dwyer…
There will be a wrinkle here and there, but there are things we can look at from Clemson. It's always going to change though. Whatever the new play is, we must adapt to.

On tackling improvement…
Coach Lovett did a great job with that all summer long. He has all sorts of tackling drills that put the guys in situations that will help them be prepared. We did that this week and will continue to do that.

On effect of playing on national TV…
It's great for the school. The more you're on TV, the more publicity for the school so it's always great to be on TV.

On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson's performance at FSU…
That was huge for Hank and the football team. He dropped a couple passes early last year and he was just null and void. It was as if he just wasn't around. He made a couple of catches against Florida State that were in big situations - third down situations that kept drives alive. I think bouncing back from early drops shows his maturity. It shows he is where he needs to be, but he's got to get a whole lot better.

On playing the O-Linemen against FSU…
I didn't play the young guys. It was just the six guys who played in that game – [Jason] Fox, [Orlandon] Franklin, [A.J.] Trump, [Harland] Gunn, [Joel] Figueroa and [Matt] Pipho. We're still trying to develop the young guys, like Brandon [Washington], Ben [Jones] and Jermaine [Johnson]. You got to play the guys who are fresh and ready to play at the time.

On how offensive lineman Harland Gunn performed in his first start…
He did a great job. I thought the O-Line did a great job because if you look, Jacory was never out of the pocket. The interior guys like [Orlando] Franklin, [A.J.] Trump, [Harland] Gunn and [Joel] Figueroa did a good job of protecting the middle. If you can push the pocket you can get the quarterback out of a rhythm, but these guys did a great job of protecting it.

On the defense not being too aggressive against Georgia Tech …
It's huge. You can say the middle linebacker has the fullback, but that's not always the case. It depends on what kind of triple option it is- veer base, arc, midline or load-option. Depending on the scenario, certain guys have to be responsible for certain roles. Once you figure out what they're trying to do and what we have to get done, then you have to respond to it.

On having 10 days off to rest…
You want a whole week off. You might get Thursday to the next Saturday, but you never really get a true two weeks off for a Thursday game.

On chop blocking…
We worked on it in practice. Some say you don't want to get hurt in practice, but we work full speed on it and they know they're going to be cut. It's like muscle memory. If you're always getting cut in practice, then in the game you can push the guy down and go chase the football. No one has gotten hurt and we haven't even had lower pads on. Florida State did some cutting too. There are no excuses for getting cut, because then you're not doing what is being taught to avoid it.

On getting defensive end Eric Moncur back…
It'll be good for us to get a veteran guy. He practiced well yesterday and today. We're excited about his progress, and he should be ready for the game.

On who will handle kickoffs…
We've been working Alex Uribe and Jake Wieclaw there. We haven't made a decision yet. We probably will do that either tomorrow or maybe at game time. We don't know yet.


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