CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – The University of Miami returned to the practice field for the first time since Saturday’s historic loss to Clemson that cost Al Golden his job.
It was also the first practice under interim head coach Larry Scott.
The Canes were visibly wounded by Golden’s firing and then were dealt the news that starting cornerback Artie Burns’ mother had passed away.
Quarterback Brad Kaaya also was not available to practice and his playing status for Saturday is uncertain, so the Canes have had plenty of adversity to deal with over the last 72 hours.
“We have to ask ourselves, when things happen in our lives, ‘how much can we take?’ in things of that magnitude,” said interim Head Coach Larry Scott during his first press conference. “You mix in taking a mentor away – a guy who they were used to having as head coach – mix in death with that as well, and that’s a two-fold combination. That’s a tough combination. All I know is that we’re going to go about it every day. We’re going to go about it every day, and hopefully – every hour, every minute, every time we’re around them, every time we can reach out to them – we can help pull them closer and closer to healing through that.
“We know it’s going to be a process. That’s the thing – we don’t want to make this seem like there’s some magical potion we’re going to throw out there, give them gimmick words or something like that, that that’s going to make it heal. Time heals. Having people around you that really, genuinely care about you the person can help with that, can aid with that,” said Scott.
On the field, the Canes must get ready for a very good Duke team.
The Blue Devils are 6-1 overall, 3-0 in the ACC and have won 14 of their last 17 ACC games.
Through redshirting Duke has one of the most experienced teams in the league. That experience shows up in their execution and maturity.
Duke’s calling card is a defense ranked in the top ten in many categories and a running game that averages 180 yards per game.
“They do a great job in their schemes; they really believe in what they’re doing and do exactly what they’re coached to do. It’s critical that we create space for our running backs and get plus yardage. We cannot have loss yardage plays. I want us to play fast, physical and just let it rip,” said Scott.
Listen to the Miami Hurricanes take on the Duke Blue Devils this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, your official radio home for the Canes!
Follow Joe Zagacki on Twitter (@canesvoice)