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Quotes from Coach Larry Coker's Tuesday Press Conference

Nov. 21, 2006

Coral Gables, Fla. (www. hurricanesports.com) – – Get the inside scoop on the Hurricanes as they prepare for the Eagles this Thursday.

Click here to watch the press conference in the archives on Canes All-Access

University of Miami Football Press Conference

Monday, November 20, 2006

Head Coach Larry Coker:


“Thanksgiving night, I don’t know if I have ever coached a game on Thanksgiving night or day. We may have played Nebraska when I was at Oklahoma. We’re playing a good football team. I think that they are a good ACC team. They are very large, have a great offensive line and I think they have a very good quarterback. He runs their offense extremely well. When we came in the league everyone was talking about Virginia Tech and Miami but I said don’t forget Boston College. They are still in contention for the ACC title and to do that they have to beat us and Wake Forrest has to lose. The only thing more exciting would be if we were in contention for the ACC title. That is not going to happen but one win gives us an opportunity to be bowl eligible and we are going to try to do that.”


“My comment on that is that I want to win this game and make it to a nice bowl game. We don’t have that many seniors but you would like to see these seniors go out on a positive note. This is senior night for us and it’s for them. When the bell rings you respond and we’re going to go out there and do the very best that we can. I think that a bowl game is a reward for being a good team. Good teams win games so we have to win to be eligible. We lost four ACC games by seven points or less and as I told our players, we have to coach and play harder and better. It could have gone wither way.”

“It has been a draining year for everybody. It is part of life. It is part of being a student. I told the players I wish I could tell them that this would be the worst thing that they would experience in their life but that is probably not true. They have it pretty well. We are coaching hard. We have been practicing real hard as well. It is a short week but this is something that we want to do the right way. We have to refill our tanks for Thursday night because we are playing a good team.”


“I was talking to Al Groh before the game (last Saturday). We were talking about what was different between Miami’s team now and maybe a year ago. I think it was a big play here and there. You look at number four Devin Hester and the games that he won. Look at the Louisville game we won. We don’t win that game without a huge return from Devin Hester. The Florida game in the bowl game, we don’t win that game without Devin Hester. Roscoe Parrish against Boston College, Roscoe Parrish against Virginia. It’s a huge big play by a certain player and to me I think that’s the big difference. I don’t really see anything major other than that. I think the one thing that is different though is that we are very, very young. We have nineteen starters coming back on this team (next year). We have some key spots that need to be filled in, but those spots will be filled in. As soon as the season is over, we have a great running back/special teams player that is committed to us, that wants to come if I’m here. We have a terrific wide receiver that is committed and wants to come. I think we have the best quarterback that maybe I’ve seen since I’ve been here that wants to come. We have some good pieces here and we have some good pieces that we need to fill in.”


“I will tell you and I think everyone in here is old enough and adult enough to hear this. Hard times will sometimes expose you. It does really let people know what you really are all about. We have a great faculty here and our student body here. They really care about this team, this program. Football is an important sport at the University of Miami. I don’t want to overstate that because it’s football, but it is really important to the University. That’s what probably hurts me more than anything for the players and for South Florida and our fans. You know we hurt.”


“No. No. That has never been in my mind to resign.”


“I don’t know that I ever really realized it. You go out and try to win every game so a typical U.M. season. You know we have lost here before, so what is typical. I think at the end of the season, did I anticipate losing this many games? Nobody did. Players, coaches, but I never really thought this isn’t a typical season. Certainly losing is not typical and it’s not for me. I’ve coached 37 years and only been around one losing season, so it’s not typical for me either.”


“I tell you that you don’t tell them a lot. You know the situation and I won’t know until after the season is over. It’s pretty normal. I mean after the season’s over, you talk. They bring you back or they don’t. That is the way at every college program. Until I know something to tell them, what do you say?”


“We will address that after the season. We are not going to make a change between now and Thursday. Again, I think we need to be more aggressive, so I agree with that. We have been a little bit handicapped. Our two best tackles are at home, so we’ve got some young players that are protecting our quarterback.”


“We have a lot of injuries. We probably have 11 people who will play in this game that were starters or even special teams players. We have a lot of injuries.”

“I know when you get this late in the year everybody has their bumps and bruises. We sort of had our share this year. These injuries have kind of been overshadowed a little bit by the psychological issues we’ve had to deal with; you know the tragedy we’ve had.”


“Well, we hope winning will leave a positive impression. The way you win can be a positive impression. You know we beat FIU 35-0, but there was no positive impression there. Again I think we are a little different. This program is under a microscope and has been for a number of years. There are a lot of expectations at this program.”


“I am certain they had twelve men on the field. They did. They had what we call deuce personnel. Two tight ends, two wide receivers, a quarterback, a fullback, and a running back and we never caught it. We had trouble lining up with that because we didn’t know. Did anyone know that? How they had twelve men on the field when they scored the touchdown. I didn’t know it right then, but we should have caught it. It’s a good formation because you have trouble lining up against it. We should try it. I have never been a game when there were twelve on the field and nobody caught it.”


“I’ve got a lot to be thankful for. To be the head coach at the University of Miami, you know who wouldn’t be thankful for that. There are good times, bad times sure, but that’s at everybody’s job. I’m thankful for the staff I have, the players I’ve got, and you know I’m thankful for my family. I’ve got a terrific family. I’ve got two five-year old twin grandsons. They love their gramps whether we win or lose. There’s so much to be thankful for and hopefully we all do.”


“I’m proud of what we’ve done here. I don’t know how that’s perceived around the country or whatever. There’s not a hint of an NCAA investigation. We graduate our players more now than ever have at this University and we do as much as any university. Whatever this season has made, and I know how hard we worked. It’s not like how we’ve recruited and all those types of things. I’m proud of what we’ve done.”