"It's a big football game – it's an ACC game against another team that's very, very talented. Watching film this week of Miami, it's very apparent that the talent level is at the same level as it's probably been for about the last 15 years. They're a very fast, athletic football team.
"Their defense gets a tremendous amount of pressure. They've got an outstanding defensive line. Their running backs are as good as we've played against, they've got speed at wide receiver and an experienced quarterback, so it will be a huge challenge for our football team."
Best memories at Miami:
"There's a lot of them. I was very fortunate to be able to coach there as a head coach and as an assistant coach. My wife and I have got a lot of fond memories – we enjoyed South Florida and made a lot of just absolutely wonderful friends in the University with the alumni and people that we went to church with…
"Some of the fondest memories were certainly the win over Ohio State in the Kickoff Classic. I think the win against UCLA the last game of the season when they came in and they were 10-0 was really – I felt like and I think our coaches and players felt like – it was the signal that we had turned the corner. That [with] all of the sanctions and the probations and downtime, [that win] had kind of put Miami back in the forefront with recruits that, hey, you can win a big time game.
"And then certainly, the culmination of beating Florida in the Sugar Bowl and finishing 11-1. We wish that we would have played for a national championship and didn't, but there's lots of fond memories. Memories of winning a national championship as an assistant coach and being on Jimmy's staff down there. There were a lot of good times."
On if he ever thinks about if he had stayed at Miami:
"I try not to go there. It's six years later, and like I tell our players, I have trouble… I can only focus on about one thing and that's one game at a time this week. When my coaching career ends, I'll look back at the whole body of work over the last 30 or 40 years or however long I coach, and I'm sure that there will be all kind of reflections at that time."
On backup center Lowell Dyer:
"Lowell has stepped in with Scott Lenahan being injured – as a walk-on. It's an area that we dramatically need to upgrade the quality and depth of our walk-ons. We really spent a lot of time at Miami recruiting some kids to come in and play and be walk-ons, and they really made a huge difference in our program. They help build your depth and that's something that we hope to be able to do here.
"Lowell's a smart kid. He stepped in with almost virtually no previous playing experience at all, and going through the schedule with the defenses that we're having to play, he's doing a very, very nice job. I think every week he gets a little bit better, he gains more confidence and we're very fortunate to have him."
On Cooter Arnold:
"I met with Cooter yesterday morning and talked to him, and we just discussed the previous last couple of weeks where he's not been a part of the football team and what our expectations were of him coming back. So he's been reinstated. He practiced yesterday with the team."
On if his previous knowledge of Miami head coach Randy Shannon helps with game planning:
"Probably not. Logically, it sounds like it should, but there's been so much history between the time that we worked together – getting close to almost 10 years. He's spent a significant amount of time with the Miami Dolphins and came back to Miami after I was gone and I've been in Cleveland. We share some roots -- obviously, the early ‘80s when he was a player and I was an assistant coach – so there's some familiarity from that standpoint, but the staff's are totally different and the players are totally different."
On what the ACC has to do to reach the SEC and Pac-10's status:
"I think the times coming when the ACC is going to be as strong as [those teams]. There was a period of time for eight or 10 years where everybody said the Pac-10 was a horrible conference – nobody was a premier team. And now all of a sudden you've got USC playing extraordinarily well, Washington's on the rebound, Oregon is playing good [and] Cal has just been absolutely outstanding over the last years. You get good coaches, and you give them a chance to build programs and you give them the opportunity to have the facilities and the money and the resources, and it will happen.
"I think being outside of the ACC – it sounds like I'm tooting the ACC's horn because I'm there – but I really felt like on the outside, when you take a look at the depth of this conference, I think it's as strong from top to bottom as any of the conferences. You factor in Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Clemson and Boston College is now being added… it's about exactly like the NFL in that there's no off Saturdays. Once you get into conference play, you better be ready to play."