The bye week off from action allowed for Miami Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz to watch plenty of college football games on Saturday.
Diaz’s primary takeaway from watching the rest of the country in action over the weekend?
It is difficult to get a team to be consistent week in and week out at the college level.
“It is hard to be the same team every week,” Diaz said on The Joe Rose Show on 560 The Joe on Monday morning. “If there is any sort of dip in your competitive edge, you can get beat on any week. That is what makes college football so exciting. You see these games that are tight that you didn’t think were going to end up being tight.”
Miami experienced this two weeks ago when the Hurricanes held on to beat Group of Five opponent Central Michigan, 17-12, at Hard Rock Stadium.
This past weekend, Clemson had to fight hard to beat North Carolina, 21-20, on the road. That Clemson game served as a teaching point for Diaz as he talked to his team on Sunday.
“We have told our football team that in this sport any time you think something is going to be easy, you better duck because you are about to get whacked in the back of the head,” Diaz said. “That is why we focus so much on our performance with the way that we compete and the way that we strain.”
Miami will need to not fall into the trap of overlooking an opponent that played poorly last week when the Hurricanes host Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Hokies are coming off a 45-10 loss at Lane Stadium to Duke—Virginia Tech’s worst loss to an ACC opponent since joining the league.
Diaz doesn’t expect to see that same Virginia Tech team this week.
“In college football, we are probably not going to see the same team every week,” Diaz said. “We would expect a wounded team and a very hungry team to come out of that locker room, but I can’t worry about what is coming out of that tunnel. I have to worry about what is coming out of our tunnel in terms of having the right edge to succeed.”
Following last Wednesday’s practice, Diaz shared that the Hurricanes demonstrated poor effort and competitiveness at a practice. He feels like the team responded well following that practice and looked good on Sunday.
“There is an old adage in coaching: you get what you demand and you encourage what you tolerate,” Diaz said. “We didn’t have a great day last week and we set the ball down and competed. I will say we practiced on Sunday and we had one of our best practices of the year.”
Read on for more news and notes.
NEWS & NOTES
• Diaz continues to say that safety transfer Bubba Bolden will make his UM debut this week against Virginia Tech.
• The bye week was an opportunity for the Hurricanes to continue to build depth for an ACC stretch that begins this month of October. “We knew we had a very odd six weeks of the season and that starting in October, this would be the meat of our season that would define where this whole deal is going to go,” Diaz said. “We knew that some of our guys would be ready that maybe weren’t ready for a role on August 24th. The more depth that we have, makes us a better team. Knock on wood, we have been able to stay pretty healthy. I am excited to see us get as many guys on the field as we possibly can.”
• Diaz was asked if there would be any changes to the offensive line after the Central Michigan game and the bye week. The head coach hinted that the playing rotation for the unit might increase some. “Perhaps instead of one guy playing 75 plays, maybe what we are doing is one guy can play 50 and one guy can play 25,” Diaz said. “We would like to have the ability to push more guys into the game like that. That makes us better because I can strain and go harder and play at more of a competitive edge if we have the ability to roll more guys in there.”
• Diaz on the development of the offensive line: “We have to remember who it is we are playing with and the experience that they have. With that being said, you have to make sure you are demanding a performance and demanding that they are competing at their highest level.”
• Diaz was asked if he thinks changed need to be made to the redshirt rule, which allows players to take a redshirt if they have played four or less games. “At its core the rule is a good rule because it helps coaches and it helps players,” Diaz said. “It is good for everybody and I’d prefer it to not go back to the way it was prior. It does more good than bad in terms of the reasons we would have for eliminating it.”