Q&A with Shannon (pre-Duke)

Read on to see what Miami coach Randy Shannon was saying just a few days before a big game against Duke.

Opening statements…
This week's opponent is Duke and it's our last game of the season at Land Shark Stadium. It's also the seniors' last opportunity to play at home. It's a special time because of the seniors. This class has done a lot for us. These same guys have also helped some of our current players.

On handling potential Senior Day distractions
It's only that day of the game. If it was the whole week, it would be distracting, but this is a special time for parents to come down and be on the field with their sons. It means a lot to the kids. It will probably help us instead of distracting us.

On improving players getting more playing time…
Young guys like Curtis Porter and Jeremy Lewis have done a good job of getting better and playing the type of football we needed them to. They have stood out.

On Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis returning home…
He is a great young man and we talk every time we play. I tell him to keep going if he wants to be the guy he wants to be. He has done a great job at Duke at running the offense Coach [David] Cutcliffe wants him to run.

On Duke's passing game…
They have a short quick passing game, with a play-action game that goes deep. They get it to guys short who can get up field. They have some running plays in there to keep you honest also.

On returning to the dominant defense of the glory days...
The last two weeks we have played very well on defense and that's all we can concern ourselves with. We can only care about how much better we get week to week. Duke is our only focus right now. We're young on defense right now. Our old defenses didn't play a lot until they were older. We don't have guys that have played three years at one position consecutively.

On quarterback Jacory Harris' injury…
He will play Saturday.

On quarterback Jacory Harris' interceptions…
It's part of growing. Against Wake Forest, he threw a ball away and then against Virginia he threw a few balls away. He has progressed there, but it is all about teaching and Coach [Mark] Whipple has done a great job talking with him. We can't put him back in a shell, because when he takes those chances we come up with big plays. A lot of times our receivers will come up with big catches for him, just this last game it didn't work out like that.

On the unity of the team…
It shows from how we play. We have come back against Clemson, Wake Forest, Florida State and North Carolina. It shows how tight they are.

On Jacory Harris' pass attempts…
If you get down like we did, the passing attempts will go up. When it is closer, they will stay down. That's normal.


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