Richt says to let freshmen play
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,