Originally written on CaneInsider  |  Last updated 11/4/13
The Miami Hurricanes took to the practice field today for walk throughs preparing for Virginia Tech minus their best offensive weapon, Duke Johnson.  Head coach Al Golden says that Johnson is set to have surgery at an moment. “If the doctor likes where the swelling is at, he’s going to do surgery that day.  Could it be today? Yes,” says Golden when asked about a time table. Johnson carried the ball in the second half at FSU and appeared to be sat on by two players and his legs were folded beneath him as the players above him piled on.  His ankle (right) was bent awkwardly and later Johnson was carted off the field.  Prior to his injury, he had amassed 97 yards on 23 carries in the game. Today, the Hurricanes were turning the page. “We’ve got a lot to play for. Obviously, we didn’t play the way we wanted to play.  Give Florida State credit but we have to take care of the things we need to take care of and that was our approach today.  We’ve got a lot of season left.  How we play here in the next four weeks will determine how much and what the stakes will be. So it’s really important that we get back in the saddle and the team that’s coming in, their tradition and what they’ve meant in this division and they challenge they pose.” Much of the focus on offense was on replacing Johnson. Dallas Crawford’s now a known commodity along with senior back up tailback Eduardo Clements but Gus Edwards is not.  The true freshman was given first team reps today and will be expected to help shoulder the load for the remainder of the season in Johnson’s absence.  However, he’s had very few meaningful carries this season outside of one versus North Carolina. “Against Savannah and against South Florida, Gus ran the ball really well,” Golden said of the freshman tailback earlier today.  He says the fact that Edwards hasn’t seen more playing time is mostly a function of other players just playing much better.  Duke Johnson, according to coach Golden, was having the best game of his career against Florida State before getting injured. “It was more a function of those guys holding his reps off but Gus is ready for this now and he’s going to be in the mix and is definitely going to be carrying the ball for us on Saturday.” Edwards says he’s ready. “I just gotta step up, be willing to do whatever I can do to help the team.”  He’s meeting later this afternoon with the senior Clements to go over things that will help him in his new increased role.  It’s all apart of working harder, Edwards says. “I think I just gotta put in a lot more time and a lot more effort in practice or whatever we’re doing as a team.  Or even do some extra stuff on the side to make sure I’m ready this week. Edwards says he received extra reps with the first team unit today in practice.  He’ll be expected to back up Crawford and Clements as offensive coordinator James Coley says that the team will now be ‘running back by committee.’ “It could be different personnel groupings,” said Coley.  ”Guys have to be ready to take those roles before you see them.”  Coley’s disapointed to lose Johnson for the season but is looking forward to what Crawford brings because of his diversity of talents. “I’m looking forward to see Dallas in this role, because he does so much for this team.  At North Carolina, he blocked a punt so he’s been involved in every game.” Of Saturday’s opponent, Coley says that Virginia Tech is “one of the best defenses in the country,” and very aggressive.  He has a lot of respect for their unit and how they prepare. Miami’s defense is putting the pieces back together today after a blowout loss during which they surrendered 41 points. Assistant Head Coach Mark D’Onofrio says that his team needs physical players and is excited about safety Deon Bush and his return. “I think this was the best that he’s looked, physically and mentally.  I think we started to see it during the week.  We started to see him get his burst back and start to gain a little more confidence and run the show back there.  He’s still a young player, he played eight games for us last year, he missed three for four with that neck injury…but I’m excited about the direction that he’s moving in, I think we got him over the hump and we’ll continue to expand his role.” The Hurricanes will have a challenge on both sides of the ball against the Hokies this Saturday and the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal title is still very much up for grabs.  Miami welcomes Virginia Tech Saturday November 9th at 7 p.m.  The game will be broadcast on ESPN.   The post Monday Practice Report: Virginia Tech Week appeared first on CaneInsider | Miami Hurricanes Athletics and Recruiting.
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