Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Miami DE Moncur out for FSU game
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Miami defensive end Eric Moncur will miss Monday's Florida State game with an injury, coach Randy Shannon said on Wednesday's ACC teleconference.
Defensive end Adewale Ojomo, who will miss at least several weeks after surgery for a broken jaw, will also be out for the Florida State game. Still, Shannon said he is confident in the defensive line, and downplayed the numerous reported nicks the unit has suffered this summer. Miami's official depth chart has not yet been released.
"Everybody else is healthy, fully healthy,'' Shannon said. "They've been healthy for a week. When you look at injuries, we may have an ankle here or maybe I rested a guy. Like sometimes in practice I've rested [defensive tackles] Allen Bailey and Josh Holmes and Joe Joseph some days on different days. ... We're pretty healthy right now."
When I asked Shannon if he thought the Canes would be OK without Moncur and Ojomo, he said, "We'll miss them, their experience and things like that, but we have confidence in [defensive ends] Olivier Vernon, Marcus Robinson, Andrew Smith and Steven Wesley -- who has done a great job for us. We have a lot of guys who played a lot of football last year on this team at that position.''
Miami's defensive line will be tested early against the Noles, as FSU is expected to have one of the best offensive lines in the conference this year, if not the best, and stopping the run will be one of the Canes biggest challenges in that game. Last year, in Florida State's 41-39 win, Antone Smith rushed for a career-best four touchdowns, quarterback Christian Ponder ran for 144, and the Noles racked up 310 rushing yards to Miami's 51.
"You've got to be able to stop the run," Shannon said. "That's what it comes down to. If you can stop the run defensively, you can make it a typical game that you want to be addressing, when you can let your pass rush get after the quarterback, and get them in a long-yardage situation. Last year, we weren't able to do that at certain times in the game, and Florida State did a nice job of running the football with Ponder and mixing it up with their tailbacks."