Miami Head Coach Larry Coker Press Conference


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Miami Head Coach, Larry Coker –


Opening Statement:


"We are very anxious to get back home to the Orange Bowl. It seems like we have been away from the Orange Bowl for a long time. We are excited about playing on a Saturday night at home for the first time this season. It is important to us to get back home and get back on track and back playing the way we know how to play."

"Clemson is playing very similar to a year ago when they struggled early and caught fire late and won several games and ended up beating Tennessee in the Peach Bowl. That is the trend they are on this year, having won three in a row and they are feeling pretty good about themselves. They have some very skilled players. Their quarterback is an excellent player and a very fine quarterback. It is going to be very key for us to put some pressure on him, because he is a very good passer and a good leader. Their defense is a strength for their team. They have played very well on defense the entire year, and in the games they have won the defense has been terrific. They have really good return players and the return yardage they had against Florida State could have been a national record."

"We have a challenge facing us, and the main thing we have to do is work on ourselves. We need to make sure we play the way we are capable of playing. I don't think we have done that defensively the last few weeks. I still see improvement on our offense and the guys continue to get better in the running game, but we need to get back to playing the type of defense we are capable of playing."

On the Hurricanes' Defense:


"We may move some guys around, but I don't see any wholesale changes. We are thin in some areas, but I think we can play better. We will look and evaluate the defense as the week goes on and see what gives us the best opportunity to get the best players on the field."

"We are not attacking and getting off blocks early. It is not a scheme change, but we are not playing with the same type of intensity we did earlier in the season. We need to get back to what we are good at and what makes the defense work. The scheme is fine, we just need to run it better. We need to play and coach better."

"Our defensive line did not play very well against North Carolina. We got blocked, our line game was not crisp, and we put very little pressure on the quarterback."

On the effectiveness of the team's running game:


"I think it is more the run blocking rather than the runners. We have the same runners we have had all year. I think we need to be more physical in the running. We also have players hurt in the offensive line. We have lost two starters and have some young players that have to step up. I am not disappointed in the offensive line, because I see improvement there."

On the team overcoming their first loss of the season:


"We need to put the loss behind us. A loss is tough, because we have not lost very much. We just need to put it behind us and regroup and see how good we can be. It now becomes all about us and what we as a team are all about and how well we can rebound."

"Everybody was down after the loss. I don' think we played our best football game, but we also want to give North Carolina credit for what they did. We had a good practice on Sunday and we will see what the attitude is like when the guys come out to the practice fields today."


On Miami Special Teams standout Devin Hester:


"We are always going to have a package for him. You can see the speed he has with the touchdown he scored against North Carolina. We will have some things for him and work in some plays for him each week. He will also get some more time in the secondary. North Carolina did a good job in taking away one of our weapons. But at the same time we had some great field position that we were unable to take advantage of."

"We want Devin to be successful. He is not going to be successful if we keep moving him around between positions. He wanted to play defense and I think he can be a phenomenal cornerback. For us, he could also be an outstanding running back. We just want to put a package together for Devin each week so that he can be successful."

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