Miami running back Cam’Ron Harris is out for the season with a knee injury, the latest in a disappointing year for the Hurricanes.
Miami has now lost two of its top three running backs to injury, in addition to quarterback D’Eriq King, starting center Corey Gaynor and several others. Freshman Jaylan Knighton, who lost 92 yards to North Carolina last week, will now start running back.
In addition, coach Manny Diaz said Monday that substitute recipients Dee Wiggins and Mark Pope had told him they would enter the transfer portal.
At 2-4, Miami goes into its game against NC State on Saturday and is nearing must-win territory to save a season that started with a preseason placement in 14th place. In their last two games, the Hurricanes have lost two heartbreakers in their last possession. Last week, Tyler Van Dyke threw a field goal interception with Miami in a 45:42 loss to North Carolina. In its ACC opening game, Miami missed a field goal that would have won the game against Virginia on September 30th.
Those two defeats only put more pressure on Diaz in his third season as head coach.
“We all want the performance to be better,” said Diaz. “If all the individual actors do better, then the team is performing better. But the only way that can happen is to have the performance, and sometimes that can make people sensitive and uncomfortable, and that’s because we all uncomfortable after we lost. when you are part of a team do you always have a mentality on how to fix it? how can we make it better?
“Losing stinks but the fact that our boys are fighting, the fact that we came back from far behind, the fact that we had two drives in the last two games that got us 2-0 in the league when they ended differently, the players realize that there is something. The players realize that there is a fight in this team. We just have to play better. “
To that end, Diaz made changes to the depth table that was released to the media on Monday, particularly in defense, where younger players are either promoted to starting spots or to more prominent roles. These include defenders Chantz Williams and Elijah Roberts and cornerbacks James Williams and Isaiah Dunson.
Miami faced North Carolina again, a recurring theme throughout the season. Diaz described some attempts as “rough attack attempts” where players gave up their basics just to make a game. He said he told his players that they don’t have to play a “hero ball”. Nobody has to wear a cloak, nobody has to justify expectations, nobody has to justify some kind of recruiting hype. Just fit into the framework of the team and you will be amazed how the pieces come now and how the pieces are there to be made.
“We have a lot of guys who are very proud and want to win,” said Diaz. âYou are not satisfied with the way the year went. Nobody is happy with the way the year has gone. So from an outside noise perspective, outside noise can’t be more annoying than what’s going on inside. However, we have a chance to do something about it.
âIt’s hard to be out there on the defense and put my body on the line when I’m not sure that suddenly the guy next to me is putting his on the line, and we’ve had people who did that guy never done it before, that would be one thing. I’ve seen guys throw themselves into tackles and do a great job packing the guys up and that doesn’t happen. That can create distrust. If anything, the players, if I want to get it right, they have to be with other guys out there who they know, if I give it my all, I have to also know that the other 10 guys are doing this too like a program is growing . “