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ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes are back to work this week, as they prepare to host the Toledo Rockets this Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.
With consecutive games cancelled and postponed due to Hurricane Irma, Miami will have a full twenty days between games when they finally take the field again this weekend.
In the meantime, the ‘Canes have moved the team to Orlando to practice at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World. Conditions on campus in Coral Gables are still being assessed, and the University will not reopen to students until September 25th.
Despite the change of scenery, players insist the focus is now fully on football.
“We are just working,” said sophomore linebacker Shaquille Quarterman.
When asked what it will feel like Saturday after three weeks between games, Quarterman said, “It’s hard to say what it’s going to be like; we don’t have time to think about what it’s going to be. We’re just on the field working every day so nobody can know that anything slowed down for Miami.”
Sophomore linebacker Zach McCloud also weighed in on the long gap between games.
“It’s strange,” said McCloud, “but the way they introduced the idea is to come back and think about it like camp. Get back some fundamentals; get back into the game slowly.”
McCloud noted that he made the most of his time off, staying in condition the old fashion way.
“Push-ups and lift tree branches away from people’s yards,” said McCloud, on how he spent his time after Hurricane Irma. “We have a mango tree that fell down. I was chopping stuff up and moving it.”
Senior offensive lineman Kc McDermott was asked about the keys to staying in rhythm after so much time off. “As coach says, ‘it’s all about focus.’ Obviously we have a lot of things on our mind with family and friends and the entire state as a whole, but we can’t let that distract us from what we are trying to do on the field.”
On the field this Saturday, the Hurricanes will face a Toledo Rockets team with a prolific offense. Rockets quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 458 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception in last Saturday’s 54-51 win over Tulsa.
“I know their quarterback is is pretty strong,” Zach McCloud said of Toledo.
The Rockets put up 679 yards of total offense against Tulsa.
After three weeks away from the game they love, the Miami Hurricanes will be eager to slow them down on Saturday.
Kickoff for Miami-Toledo is set for 3:30 PM this Saturday, September 23rd. You can hear the game on 560 WQAM.