Richt says to let fresh­men play

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - SPORTS -

CORAL GABLES — It was, Hur­ri­canes coach Mark Richt called it, “the big­gest play” in Mi­ami’s 41-8 win over Notre Dame on Satur­day.

With 22 sec­onds left in the first half and the Hur­ri­canes ahead 20-0, the Fight­ing Ir­ish were hop­ing to cut into that lead be­fore half­time.

They ended up mak­ing a key mis­take and Hur­ri­canes fresh­man Tra­jan Bandy cap­i­tal­ized, pick­ing off Ian Book’s pass and re­turn­ing it 65 yards for a touch­down.

Then he was mobbed in the end zone by fel­low fresh­men Amari Carter and Jonathan Garvin, who were on the field al­ready. Richt has never shied away from play­ing fresh­men since ar­riv­ing at Mi­ami, and on Mon­day, he ex­plained why.

“We were watch­ing the de­fen­sive coach­ing tape and sure enough, like you said, there were three true fresh­men in one of the big­gest mo­ments of the game cel­e­brat­ing a great thing,” Richt said dur­ing his weekly ra­dio ap­pear­ance on WQAM-560. “That’s a trib­ute to them as play­ers and their abil­ity to be coach­able and teach­able. It’s also a phi­los­o­phy that I think you have to have in South Florida and that is play a bunch of guys. You can’t just play your first team in this type of cli­mate. You’ve got to let peo­ple play.”

Three Hur­ri­canes Jaquan John­son (de­fen­sive back), Navaughn Don­ald­son (of­fen­sive line­man) and Zach McCloud (line­backer) — were each voted ACC Player of the Week at their po­si­tions on Mon­day.

Mi­ami’s reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale at Pitts­burgh on Nov. 24 is set for a noon kick­off on ABC.

Next game: No. 7 Mi­ami vs. ABC

Christy Cabr­era Chiri­nos Vir­ginia, Satur­day, noon,

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