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Q&A with Larry Coker
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From the Charlotte Observer, 8/8/04:

Quote:Q&A with Larry Coker

Q. Is having a couple of playmakers the difference between having a good team and a national championship team?
A: I think so. I think it is. And you look at Ohio State, they talk about our first-round draft choices and we had six. Ohio State had 14 guys drafted, the most ever. And obviously they had some difference makers on that team. When it comes down to making a great play on fourth-and-14, a quarterback made a great play and a great receiver made a play. And sometimes a great defensive lineman will make a sack. I think just a few players make a difference, and that's really the beauty of football.

Q. Last year Louisiana State and Southern California both had a dominating defensive line, and you had one in 2001. Is that also becoming a key ingredient for a national title?
A. I think that's been a difference in Miami's team for a long time. I know when I was in the Big Eight (at Oklahoma State) and (coaching) against Oklahoma, the difference I saw when Oklahoma played Miami was that Miami dominated that area and Oklahoma was playing in (its own) backfield. I really felt like that was a difference for a number of years in Miami's great teams.

Q. After the (Virginia Tech) game last year, there was some heat of the moment type stuff on both sides. Have you gotten that worked out?
A. I think some comments I made were really out of line. It was a heated game. We lost two starters in that game. It was very emotional. We had a player kicked out for a fight. He had to miss the next game. There were a lot of things that happened in that game, plus we didn't play very well on offense. I think from my standpoint, the comments were out of line. Frank (Beamer) and I have that worked out.

Q. A lot of people nationally don't have much respect for football in the Big East. How is your move to the ACC going to affect your situation?
A. There already is tremendous respect for the league, and I said this all along, the Big East was grossly under-respected. Again, Virginia Tech came out of the league and played for a national championship. We played for one and won (another) one. But I think now obviously being in the ACC, it's gone up another level.

Q. Do you see a difference in Brock Berlin compared to last year?

A. No doubt. A lot. He's a lot more confident. He believes in himself. And I was concerned about that, because it can be tough on a quarterback at this level. I went to Oklahoma for a few days to see my family, and Jason White is being maligned some. They say he is overrated or he's not that good, all those kind of things. And this guy won the Heisman Trophy and played for the national championship.

Q. Brock says the game has always been fun for him, but watching him last year, it didn't look like he was having the same kind of fun. Did you see that?
A. I felt that way. And I hope for our entire football team, our team goes out and plays on Saturday and they run, play, catch like a bunch of 7-year-olds. And if we play that way on Saturdays, we can be pretty good. And I want him to play that way.

Q. All those NFL guys come back and work out with (Miami's players). Have you ever seen anything like that?
A. Not at all. All of them still are playing. (Bernie) Kosar still comes back, but he doesn't practice anymore. Russell Maryland comes back, and I've told him he's welcome to the weight room, but he said he's not doing that anymore. He doesn't work out much. But we had 11 first-round draft choices the other day in the weight room. And my office, you can look down and see the weight room, and there were 11 first-round draft choices, and Clinton Portis was the 12th. And he was a second-round choice. It's amazing.


COACH: Larry Coker (35-3 at Miami and overall, 3 years03-wink

LAST SEASON: 11-2 (d. Florida State 16-14 in Orange Bowl)


5 offense, 4 defense.


Sept. 6 Florida State

Sept. 8 Louisiana Tech

Sept. 23 at Houston

Oct. 2 at Georgia Tech

Oct. 14 Louisville

Oct. 23 at N.C. State

Oct. 30 at North Carolina

Nov. 6 Clemson

Nov. 13 at Virginia

Nov. 20 Wake Forest

Dec. 4 Virginia Tech
08-09-2004 09:58 AM
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