Shaky Miami defense to take on triple option at Tech

Herb Waters, freshman wide receiver (center) and Ronald Regula, sophomore tight end (right) at Wednesday morning’s practice. Zoe Kafkes // Contributing Photographer

Against Bethune-Cookman, the Hurricanes were able to clamp down and limit the Wildcats to seven points on 355 total yards at Sun Life Stadium.

This week, the competition will get a bit stiffer.

A week after their first home game of the season, the Hurricanes will travel to Atlanta to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Miami will have its hands full contending with a formidable offense that has scored 132 points through three games this season.

“After studying them for the last 48 hours, this is a complete team. A very experienced, mature team,” Miami coach Al Golden said. “Obviously they’ve had 50 points back to back on offense, averaging 365 yards rushing. They have a veteran leader in Tevin Washington at quarterback, explosive playmakers on the perimeter, and I think this is the most physical and rugged and strongest offensive line that they’ve had.”

Miami’s defense will try to slow Tech’s vaunted triple-option rushing attack employed by the Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson. The attacking style gives Georgia Tech three possible rushing options on every snap.

“I hope we’re better. We’re going to be tested. They’re the best at what they do in the country,” Golden said. “It’s a great challenge. I want to look at it and appreciate the opportunity and not look at it as, ‘This is a running team.’ But what better challenge do you have than stopping the team that’s the best at rushing the ball?”

Because of the Yellow Jackets’ unique rushing attack and great ability to hold onto the ball, coaches are emphasizing the need to score quickly this weekend.

“It’s important to score. It’s important to convert on third down,” Golden said. “You don’t get as many chances as you normally would.”

The Canes do have some good news heading into their weekend matchup against the Ramblin’ Wreck. Wide receiver Allen Hurns and safety Vaughn Telemaque will both be returning to the team after sustaining injuries last week.

Though there are questions as to how much Miami will be able to limit the Georgia Tech rushing attack, the Yellow Jackets will not take the Canes’ relative youth and inexperience lightly.

“They’re scoring 30 points a game. I think Morris is completing about 60 percent of his throws, so they’re doing that pretty well,” Johnson said. “Against Boston College they turned a lot of guys loose. They had some young guys playing. It’s a process. Don’t underestimate the kind of players that they’ll have. They’ll have as good of players as anyone we play.”

Although the season is young, Golden understands that a win this weekend can be an important step toward making the team’s first ACC Championship game since moving over from the Big East in 2004.

“This is a team that has played for the ACC Championship game twice in the past seven years,” he said. “This is a great challenge for us. The Coastal Division games have to feel different. They have to, if you want to at some point be a competitor to get into the championship game.”