The No. 7 ranked Miami Hurricane’s trip to Tallahassee this Saturday, in a game that they are heavy underdogs in, has to be near flawless. The Hurricanes who had a streak at one point this season with 12 turnovers in three games, have to protect the football on offense. The emphasis will be on not fumbling but more importantly, not throwing interceptions, especially at key moments in the game (third down). On the other side of the ball, however, they have to be relentless and cause turnovers in order to have a chance to upset No. 3 Florida State.
Former five-star conerback Tracy Howard leads the team in interceptions with three this year and they all came at critical moments. The Hurricanes secondary will be tested greatly with a wide receiver corps at Florida State that is easily among the best in the nation, most notably #80 Rashad Greene, #81 Kenny Shaw and #1 Kelvin Benjamin. Combined that group has nearly 1700 yards receiving through seven games.
Quarterback Jameis Winston has to be pressured by Miami and forced to move around in the pocket and throw under duress. Miami’s head coach Al Golden knows they have to cover better than they did against North Carolina and their star TE, Eric Ebron.
“When Coach D’Onofrio says I spy 85 all week and then we let 85 have 200 yards of rushing, clearly we didn’t execute the game plan the way we needed to. We weren’t specific enough. We weren’t precise enough in the execution. Because of that, the young man had a great game. We did not tackle well. We better tackle O’Leary really well. We better find a way to account for him in the red zone. He’s been a touchdown maker for them in the low red.”
Golden will rely on Mark D’Onofrio’s ability to make adjustments at the half, but is hoping his team is still in the game. One of the ways they will be is if they cause the five turnovers they did against Florida that lead them to victory. Tracy Howard will be a big piece of that puzzle on Saturday should it happen.
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