CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes concluded their game planning for Friday night’s encounter with Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Arctic Air Moving In For Weekend Freeze
One of the concerns for Miami is production on 3rd down. Last year the Canes converted 37 percent of the time. In last week’s season opener against Bethune Cookman, Miami was 3 for 11 on 3rd down.
Making it more problematic is Miami will be without first down makers Braxton Berrios and Stacy Coley.
This week the Canes worked hard with wide receivers Tyree Brady, Lawrence Cager and Darryl Langham. All have potential, but none of them have ever caught a pass in a game.
Miami is going to rely on one of those receivers to make a big play at a key time.
The FAU defense has had trouble getting off the field on 3rd down. Last year teams converted 47 percent of the time and last week Tulsa was successful on 50 percent of their 3rd down chances.
Today the Canes emphasized success on early downs and want to stay ahead of the chains with precise execution.READ MORE: Cold Weather Coming, Protect The Four P's: People, Pets, Plants, Property
“We have to stay out of 3rd and long,” said Hurricanes head coach Al Golden. “The more we get into 3rd and long the more creative they’re going to be in terms of their pressure packages.”
Joe Yearby and Mark Walton could help the Canes be more efficient on 3rd downs. Both running backs have good hands and are elusive coming out of the backfield and have the ability to catch and run past the 1st down marker.
Miami is treating this like a true road game. After Thursday’s practice the team boarded busses and will stay in Boca Raton.
The coaches were pleased with the play of both offensive tackles. Trevor Darling and Sonny Odogwu played well in the first game.
Defensive lineman Anthony Moten played well against Bethune and could be in line for more time against FAU.MORE NEWS: Severe Winter Weather In Northeast Expected To Disrupt Flights At South Florida Airports
Follow Joe Zagacki on Twitter (@canesvoice)