WSU Sun Bowl Notes: Tough spot for UM coaches

TWO MIAMI COACHES - the interim head coach and offensive coordinator - were asked questions after practice on Tuesday that were nearly impossible to answer.

Can a coach who doesn't know his future beyond Dec. 26 be focused 100 percent on a bowl game, while at the same time be receptive to offers from other schools, and also say they'd like to be retained by Miami’s incoming head man, Mark Richt? 

Miami's Larry Scott and James Coley gave it a shot on Tuesday.

Both said Richt, who was named Miami's new coach 11 days ago, had not met with either of them about their futures. Given the uncertainty, Coley was asked if it would be "prudent" to explore other options outside of Miami.

“If they come about, yeah, if they come about... But right now, we’re all just focused on one thing and that’s El Paso and playing in the bowl game and that's it. Don't make me bring out a Coke bottle," said Coley, referring to a recent Nick Saban rant.

Coley said Miami began Tuesday to install the offensive game plan for Washington State.

"I think they're a defense that obviously exploits teams with their physicality... they hit you, you fumble, or they pick it off. Their guys up front are quick and they get after the quarterback... They are an execution defense, they really give you issues because they don't play any team the same," said Coley.

Richt has said he will call plays and run the offense, meaning if Coley were to be retained he'd have a different role. He said that wouldn't be an issue for him.

“I can’t … I mean, yeah, I would love to work for Mark Richt,” Coley said. “He’s a great person and a great coach and a great teacher. But I don’t want this to be some type of, you know, forum where I’m applying for a job right here. … But I respect the man immensely."

You can see his interview after practice here but the wind and background noise drown out some of his answers.

Scott's interview was all but entirely drowned out so we won't link it. But the Sun Sentinel quoted him as saying he wants to stay on as part of Richt's staff.

“I don’t want to pigeonhole myself in football,” said Scott. “I’ve worked with special teams. I’ve done a lot of things. I’m all about doing other things... I can coach various positions and doing things, that’s what I like about being an offensive coach. I’ll coach defense, too. Let’s go.”

Speaking of Richt, he watched practice Tuesday and then spoke to the players afterwards before they headed to the locker room.  The Miami Herald quoted linebacker Jermaine Grace as saying Richt has posted a sheet in the locker room for players to sign up to speak with him “for like 5 to 10 minutes” this week to “get to know each other.”

Two Miami offensive linemen, Sunny Odogwu and Danny Isidora, are dealing with injuries, Scott said. Odogwu's status is more in question for the bowl game (knee). Isidora, who wore a red non-contact jersey Tuesday, is likely to be ready by Dec. 26.

--Washington State is a 2 1/2 point favorite.

-- The LA Times has weighed in with their Sun Bowl prediction. "Hard-to-believe department: Miami has not won a bowl game since 2006. Washington State Coach Mike Leach and Cougars hope to extend the streak in the teams' first meeting. Winner: Washington State."

-- Mike Leach was in El Paso on Monday for a Sun Bowl press conference. From his opening statement, "..And then of course H&H Car Wash and all those guys, you know you walk in and this guy walks in and bear hugs you and carries you around until his arms get tired but you know, it’s worth it cause afterwards you get some tacos."  You can read more HERE


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