Miami's Al Golden on facing UNC
Is UNC the most talented 1-4 team in history? If you're asking the coach who's about to face them, then the answer is yes.
Miami coach Al Golden spent some time buttering up UNC before Thursday night's game. Here's a partial transcript.
"On offense, they’re clearly up-tempo, fast operation with a big-time quarterback and obviously [Eric] Ebron is as good as they come at tight end. There are a lot of challenges on offense – big offensive line, [Romar] Morris and [A.J.] Blue at the running back position, and [Quinshad] Davis, [Kendrick] Singleton and [Sean] Tapley at wideout.
"On defense to me, #95 really stands out - Kareem Martin. Excellent player. [Jeff] Schoettmer, 44 tackles, he’s the team-leading tackler at the MIC spot. At the bandit is [Norkeithus] Otis. Veteran secondary, except for one spot, but Tre Boston is a guy that makes it all go for them on the backend - active, sees it really well, plays with a lot of energy.
"Obviously this will be a great test for us. They would love to run 80 plays if they could. They’re averaging 45 points up at Kenan. It’s going to be a great challenge with a rival game in the Coastal."
"For all those reasons, we’re going to be facing a great challenge and an excellent team on Thursday night. As I said to the guys all along, records really don’t matter. Records are talking about the past. We know what type of team we’re going to see from Chapel Hill on Thursday."
UNC's up-tempo offense:
"These guys are at warp speed. They’re really fast and they have a quarterback who is really bright, and who can see it. I’m sure he’s healthy now. It’s going to be a great challenge - it’s really hard to replicate that from the scout team, although the scout team has done a great job of it the last few days. We’re going to need that here in the next two days. It’s going to be a great challenge for us."
"He’s excellent. He’s tough to replicate. He has great vision, an excellent arm, he can sit in the pocke but he can move his feet. He’s not afraid to run it. When he does run it, he’s a big man. We’re going to have to account for him on every play and keep him in the pocket as much as we can, get some pressure on him.
"He’s good. Ebron is a good football player, he really is. 14.5 yards per catch says it all, and he has a body of work. He is an excellent route-runner, soft hands, can open up his hips. I have a lot of respect for the job he has done there and the career he has had. It’s a great challenge for us defensively. We’re going to have to have some guys step up. We can’t have him making a bunch of plays down the field."
"It is a challenge. He can block you, he can get vertical on you like a wide receiver, he can run a lot of the underneath routes where you’re throwing to a shoulder pad and he’s body-catching it – box-out catch, if you will - because he’s so long. He’s nifty. He’s a nifty route-runner, there’s no question. He’s very skilled, he’s not just talented. He is a skilled player. For that, they’ll line him up at No. 2 or line him up as No. 3. He’ll go over the middle, and he’s not afraid to catch it in the seams or catch the benders if it gets too high. It’s a great challenge for us."