Sophomore tight end Michael Irvin II wasn’t in uniform or on the sideline for UM’s win over Syracuse.
“Irvin just hasn’t done what he’s supposed to do off the field and until he does, we won’t let him play,” coach Mark Richt said Sunday evening.
Irvin, the son of the former UM Hall of Fame receiver known as “The Playmaker,” was the Hurricanes’ No. 2 tight end before this indefinite suspension, the second of his short career. He sat out the Russell Athletic Bowl last year for an unspecified violation of team rules.
He has three catches for 39 yards as a reserve this year, after struggling to win the backup job ahead of walk-on Malik Curry and true freshman Brian Polendey.
Richt said “the only guy right now we have a lot of faith in, not only that he knows what to do and can execute” is starter Chris Herndon, who caught a career-high 10 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown against the Orange. “As much as he can handle, we’re going to give him,” Richt said.
Redshirt sophomore Scott Patchan was the No. 2 last week, but as a recently converted defensive end, “he’s still learning the position,” Richt said.
More thoughts from Richt after reviewing film of Miami’s 27-19 win over Syracuse:
* Defensive end Chad Thomas (left shoulder), receiver Mike Harley (left ankle) left the game with injuries (both returned), and Ahmmon Richards (hamstring) was limping around. Richt didn’t comment on their statuses other than to say trainer Vinny Scavo “feels pretty optimistic about everybody right now.”
* Travis Homer was the only ballcarrier Saturday besides Malik Rosier. Richt: “He does have a lot of stamina. When your No. 1 back is feeling good, you keep him in the game.” Richt said it has been “interesting” to see him playing both top tailback and special teams role. Richt noted DeeJay Dallas was in the game, though he didn’t get a carry.
* On North Carolina’s awful spate of injuries: “Sixteen season-ending injuries, it’s more than I can ever remember hearing about, that’s for sure.”
* Jeff Thomas taking a few kicks from the end zone against Syracuse wasn’t by design. It was because fellow freshman Dallas did not communicate properly. It’s Dallas’ job to let Thomas know whether he should bring it out, or kneel it down. “He’s helping him out sometimes, and sometimes he hasn’t done a good job of communicating,” Richt said. “We have to clean that up.”
* Asked why Darrell Langham (one catch, 19 yards on three targets) didn’t play more, Richt said receivers coach Ron Dugans handles the rotation — he’s calling plays — but he added both Richards (Miami’s top wideout) and Langham play the same position (X receiver). “We have a lot of faith in Ahmmon, and a lot of faith in Langham too,” Richt said. “Langham’s earned the right to play. They’ll share the load.”
* As a punt returner, Braxton Berrios has seen line drives, knuckle balls, and nice punts, and has handled them all. Richt: “That’s why he’s back there. He’s really good at that position … it’s as much judgment as it is ability.” He said Berrios also has plenty of athleticism.