Shannon: We're still trying to change culture

Randy Shannon addressed the media this afternoon. Read on to see what he's saying just a few days before the big game against Virginia Tech.

Opening statement…
I think Virginia Tech and Miami have a long history of playing each other, all the way back to the Big East days and now to the ACC. It's going to be a big game and a situation where you know what Virginia Tech is going to do on defense, you know what they are going to do on offense and you know what they are going to do on special teams. It's going to be a real challenge for us as a football team coming off of big victories over Georgia Tech and Florida State knowing that we're ranked ninth it in the country. It is nice but you know what? The guys have to understand that is just a ranking and Virginia Tech is the total focus for this week. That's going to be the big difference in this game. It's nice to see that Jacory [Harris] is getting some accolades about Heisman thoughts and all of those things but sitting down with Jacory and knowing Jacory, his total focus is on this football team and Virginia Tech. The more we concentrate on this game and not let the outside influences affect us, I think we'll be fine. This is the third game in a row that is a conference game [to open the season], which is unusual for a football team to face but it is expected that we have to go out there and compete….try to play the football game that we know how to, stay within ourselves but have fun and play with a lot of enthusiasm. It's going to be a big challenge for us. The stadium is unbelievable, the fans are unbelievable and it is a great atmosphere [and will be] a great game to watch.

On the atmosphere playing in Lane Stadium…
It's a Florida State type stadium and it's great to be a part of an atmosphere like that, with the noise and the college atmosphere and that's one thing that's great about playing Virginia Tech…you're going to have those types of games.

Importance of ignoring the rankings…
I think they're going to learn a lot. We have gotten a lot better maturity-wise compared to last year, and we have also learned from a lot of things from last year. The seniors have done a great job of keeping everyone focused on the big picture and not just the small picture. That will be vital in what we are doing. The preparation this morning was nice. Everyone was focused, and we got a lot done. Now we have to take the next step tomorrow. If we stay focused in practice, the game is no problem; because they're ready to go.

On overconfidence…
They learned last year. Last year's team learned that lesson from Georgia Tech.

On safety Vaughn Telemaque's performance…
He did a great job for his first real game at the University of Miami as a starter. He did a great job of covering and tackling. He still has a lot to improve on, as we are looking for a lot of things from him. He wants more being the competitor that he is.

Changes on the kick-off unit…
It will be Uribe again. The jitters got to him in the first half, but he will be ready to go. He did a nice job in the second half.

On Jacory's emotional state…
I'm not surprised. His demeanor never changes…calm and cool.

On cornerback Brandon Harris's early play this season…
He has done a great job. He's come up and made tackles and he has also been put in a lot of 1-on-1 situations. He has done a great job.

On swagger vs. overconfidence…
They won't get overconfident. It's more playing with emotion and excitement than thinking we are better than anyone else. We just believe in each other and this football team.

On Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor…
He's got a strong arm. We need to make sure our corners don't drop their guy once [Taylor] starts scrambling. Big plays happen that way.

On Beamer Ball…
He does a great job of recognizing what you're trying to get done. Each team knows what the other is trying to get done. It will come down to execution. Both teams have good special teams, so it will come down to who does a better job that game.

On the D-Line play early…
This game will be a physical game on both sides. The last five years have been decided by who leads in the rushing game, besides one year when it came down to turnovers. Stopping the run will be key.

On defensive end Eric Moncur's return…
He looks good. He will never be where he was after first coming back, but he feels good about himself and we are happy to see him back. We expect more from him this week. He made a couple plays against Georgia Tech so he's not too far off.

On a potential stranglehold on the Coastal Division with a victory at Virginia Tech…
It gets you to 3-0 in the conference against three tough opponents. It would allow you to still stay focused on one game at a time instead of having to rely on other teams for help. It's a pivotal game from that standpoint in the conference.

On changing the culture of the team the last few years…
It's never done. I think we have done the job off the field, done the job in the classroom, but it still comes down to wins and losses. And that's what has to come. We're still young and think these young guys understand the importance of winning and the excitement of enjoying it and working hard…that's one thing you have to give those guys credit for is doing those things.


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