Post-Game Q&A: Randy Shannon

Read on to see what coach Randy Shannon was saying following Miami's 34-16 win over Duke on Saturday.

Opening Statement:
That was a good win for us today to end up in the season. It was the last time for the seniors to play at home, so it was a big win. It lets us finish right for the first time in a long time in the ACC. 5-3 is huge for us. It's a start. We are better than we were last year but we got to keep getting better. Each year we have to build and keep going and each week as a football team we have to build and keep going.I thought it was tremendous how we bounced back from the first half, and I thought our defense really kept us in the game when the offense was struggling. When we got down into their territory we had a bad snap, a fumble and an interception. When we got down in the red zone in the first half, we didn't execute the way we were supposed to. We came back in the second half and I thought we did some great things. Especially offensively, I thought we did some great things. It looked like we were doing a lot of running the ball but actually we finished with 44 passing attempts and 43 rushing. Third down was unbelievable, it shows you when we come out and know what we need to do to get it done, it helps. We dropped some balls today. I'm not going to say we didn't but you have to have confidence in everything we do. Jimmy Graham came across the middle and dropped a ball but we came back to him with four or five catches on third down which was huge. I think that's what tells you what kind of confidence that our players have in what we're doing on offense. With Jacory [Harris] we just have to keep coaching. I think coach Whip did a great job this week and he's going to continue to do a great job of coaching him to be where he needs to be. As an overall game, I thought it was phenomenal, it was great, there is no more you can ask for when you get a win like this.

On what was expected from Duke:
When you really look at Duke, they played North Carolina tough. They played Virginia Tech tough. The only team they probably didn't play tough was Georgia Tech. You got to give credit to Coach [David] Cutcliffe. He has done a great job of changing their mentality and getting some players who can play and get things done. You look at our team growing and their team is also growing so you can't take anything away from Duke, because people say that's a basketball school. You have to look at Coach Cutcliffe and see what he has done with Ole Miss and back when he was with Tennessee.

On tight end Jimmy Graham and running back Damien Berry:
When Jimmy caught that pass on 3rd and 14, that was a huge pass play where he got hit, held on to the ball and got up. With Damien Berry running the football tough inside and banging the football, that was really great. We also have to credit the offensive line. [Joel] Figuerora didn't play much of the second half at all and we had Harland Gunn come in and do a phenomenal job. When we have a chance to replace somebody and your running game gets going. One time we threw the ball one time out of maybe 10 because we were just pounding it, pounding it, pounding it and the guys got confidence in what we were doing.

On Damien Berry being a fan favorite:
You know what it is, he is getting yards. Whoever is getting yards at that time, that's who they will be calling. And you know what, Damien has worked at it. He has got to keep getting better each week and each week I say the same thing, the more he improves, the better we are as a football team. And the more Cooper improves, the better we are as a football team. You are going to see guys keep improving because the competition at that running back position is very good.

On the excitement when Damien Berry runs the ball:
If you notice, we always put Damien in to tire teams down. Mid to late 3rd quarter, when he's fresh and he can just bang away.

On the senior class:
You look at guys like [Jason] Fox and [Matt] Pipho. This is Pipho's first time starting and he is a senior. Dedrick Epps is coming off a knee injury. Tervaris Johnson was playing cornerback and now he's a tight end. You got Trump who played guard last year and now he's a center. You know we got guys who have played multiple positions at Miami, but to come in and recruit the extra guys like the sophomores and the freshmen and the redshirts that we have on this team now. That's the senior class that we have on this football team who have done it. Those are the guys who bought in and went in and recruited those guys. Also with the help of the coaching staff but when they get on campus, those guys have to tell them how Miami is and you got to give those guys the credit.

On linebacker Darryl Sharpton:
Darryl will go down and get the wind knocked out and bounce right back up and keep going. But the one thing about Darryl is he is a competitor. He will make one mistake once or twice but then he will fix that problem. I think that 3rd down play where they tried to come over the middle and isolate him with the running back was a tremendous play. That shows you a guy who has been around the game, understands the game and is playing it the way he is supposed to.

On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson:
He bounced back from last week. The more he understands what we're doing the better he's going to be. Hankerson is going to make big plays. He is going to make some big catches across the middle and he's is going to make some deep balls. He can get behind guys all the time. I don't know what his 40 time is but he is always behind people. He has given us a spark in key situations and I think that long touchdown pass was one.

Canes Time Top Stories