Mark Richt on Malik Rosier’s sore shoulder, Virginia Tech, the Coastal, Miami’s OL woes

Mark Richt watches during the second half of Miami’s win over Georgia Tech on Oct. 14, 2017. (AP)


[Canes unbeaten, but drop in AP poll]

[Miami-VT: prime-time, nat’l TV]

[Randy Shannon is Florida’s interim coach]

Malik Rosier will rest his right (throwing) shoulder during Sunday’s practice, Mark Richt said.

“He did get his shoulder banged up,” Richt said of Rosier, who was injured and missed one series in Saturday’s 24-19 win at North Carolina. “It’s still sore today. He probably won’t throw today. We’ll probably get him going Tuesday.”

The ninth-ranked Hurricanes (7-0, 5-0 ACC) are off Monday and return to practice Tuesday. They host 13th-ranked Virginia Tech (7-1, 3-1) at 8 p.m. Saturday (ABC), in a game that could decide the ACC Coastal.
Though Rosier threw for a career-high 356 yards against the Tar Heels, he struggled to find a rhythm. He finished 16-of-38, with three touchdowns and one interception (and was bailed out on another near-pick, called off because of pass interference). He had faulty protection at times, but it was hardly his best game.

“He struggled a few times with making decisions in the run game and decisions in the passing game,” said Richt, who hadn’t reviewed the film with his quarterback when he spoke to reporters Sunday. “He probably had more decisions that were not as clean than he did some of the other games going into the UNC game.

“One thing about him is, he’s very aware of our offensive system and how it works and the decisions that he should make and shouldn’t make. … He’ll self-correct it when he watches the tape. He’ll see.” 

More of what Richt said in his day-after teleconference Sunday evening:

* Richt said he tells his team this:

“‘One day, a Miami team will win the Coastal and represent in Charlotte. Are you the team?’ I don’t know. That’s what we’re fighting for.”

Miami can clinch the ACC Coastal if it beats Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech beats Virginia on Saturday.

“We talk about the Coastal every week,” Richt said. “That’s one of the only things you can control in college football, whether you win your division and win your league.”

What does Richt see in Virginia Tech? “They’re a great team. They’re coached extremely well. I think they’ve been underrated from the preseason. I think they are one of the better teams in America. They’re going to be a great challenge for us.”

* Richt has said several times in recent weeks that UM isn’t in a place where they can “line up and whip” teams. As long as Miami is winning, how much does Richt care how they’re playing?

“If you knew you were going to struggle every week in a lot of areas and still find a way to win every week,” he said, “it wouldn’t matter at all in the end. I think a lot of issues in these games are forgotten once you win and move on. It’s when you lose a game and those same issues pop up — and I’m talking about fans, and I’m talking about even the media at times. We as coaches, win or lose, we’re always trying to correct mistakes. … In the end, if you win, that’s the bottom line.

“Some third-down issues we’ve had, no doubt, but we also had three touchdown passes, and more than a few explosive plays. We’ve had our offense in big spurts and big chunks, rather than the type of drives that are maybe more comforting to me as a coach, our fan base, or our defense, for that matter. The bottom line is, we are making those plays, we are scoring touchdowns, we are finding a way to win. In the end, that’s what’s most important.”

* Right guard Navaughn Donaldson (sprained ankle) is “fine,” Richt said. “He played a good bit. We expected him to be fine.” As far as the offensive line as a whole, Richt sees “some great moments and some not-so-great moments,” he said. The protection on Rosier’s deep post to Jeff Thomas was “awesome,” but “we did not run block very well at all, in this last game in particular. We certainly need to get better in a hurry.”

* Richt noted surprise receiver Darrell Langham and Braxton Berrios have been bright spots. “I’m always happy when guys make a play they didn’t know they can make,” he said of Langham. Berrios has been “a major force in our offense … he’s coming through for us. Great playmaker, great punt returner.”

* Miami’s third-down issues stem from “a combination of things,” including protection, route-running, dropped balls and ball placement. “Sometimes we’ll hit a big shot,” he said, “and sometimes we haven’t made the throw or made the catch like we should.” UM dropped to 119th nationally in third-down conversions (30.68) after going 4-for-17 against UNC.

* UM didn’t score a point off four UNC turnovers last week. “We haven’t done a good enough job” in that area, Richt said.

* How does he keep UM’s energy up entering November? It’s a constant monitoring process, he said. He said he’s done walk-throughs rather than regular practices on Thursday, depending how his team feels. “Sometimes you need Thursday and Friday to get their legs fresh,” he said. “Anything you can do to keep them fresh and keep the morale up, it helps. It also helps that we’re winning.”

More Miami-UNC 

[5 things we learned: UNC edition]

[Players, Richt not pleased by performance]

[Rosier has shoulder trouble]

[Berrios wanted UNC to respect the ‘U’]

[Reaction videoGame blog | Pregame]

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