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September 17, 2014

Al Golden

COACH GOLDEN:  We're excited about the opportunity this week to go to Nebraska.  Obviously we're playing an excellent team, a team that's playing really well, coming off a big win away on the road last week.
We're excited about this opportunity, obviously bringing the Miami Hurricanes to Lincoln, Nebraska.

Q.  Al, are you closer to a decision on Goudis and what he might be able to do?
COACH GOLDEN:  Right now we're going with Vogel as the punter.  Not sure of the kickoffs between Vogel and Badgley.

Q.  Do you expect him to go?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think we're going to have to evaluate what the doctors say today.  Obviously if Matt is ready and healthy, he had a really good year for us last year.  Our paramount concern right now is to get him healthy and let him kick at his optimum ability.  If he can do that, clearly we will take him.

Q.  Do you have room to take three kickers?  You only travel with the essentials more often than not.  Do you have room to take them all?
COACH GOLDEN:  Yeah, we took three to Louisville.

Q.  I want to ask about your corners Tracy Howard and Artie Burns.  What have you seen from them and what do they need to do to improve?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think they both are improving.  Obviously, as I said, I don't know, I think it was the day after the game, Sunday.  Those two young men, with the penalty they both got, it's really a matter of trust.  It's a matter of trusting your technique.
Both of them were in great position on the deep balls.  From that standpoint I'm confident both of those guys will trust their technique, trust their speed, get that fixed.
Other than that, I think they're getting better every day.  I like the competition at corner.  Crawford had a good day today.  Gunter has been solid.  Corn Elder.
We're going to need that given the number of plays we're facing week in and week out.  It's the one position on the team where we really don't talk about who the starters are because we rotate all those guys in so much.

Q.  What does this game mean for the program?  I know Miami and Nebraska used to play each other a lot.  What does this mean for you guys?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think everything starts with respect.  I think there's a respect there for the success that they had, obviously the tradition, the venue and everything.
From our standpoint, the last time both programs played, most of our guys were six or seven years old.  It's really important for our guys to just focus in on the game, not everything that surrounds the game, really just stay focused on that.
I don't have to say too much.  We know the tradition of both programs.  Obviously everybody who came to Miami came to be a part of our tradition, the great players that came before them, the championships.  But none of that's going to matter when we kick the ball off on Saturday night.  It's really going to be about us focusing on what we need to do, taking care of our business, trusting our training.

Q.  Talk about Brad's maturity at quarterback.  How is he doing?
COACH GOLDEN:  He is maturing.  Again, he's been learning by fire, if you will.  There's not a lot of margin for error for him.  I think he's gotten better every week.
I think what we've done better since the opener is really rally around him in the sense that we're protecting him better, we're more precise on our routes, we're catching the ball better.  We converted better on third down in the last game, and have to continue to improve that just to give him an opportunity to be successful and stay out of those dangerous second‑and‑long, third‑and‑long downs.

Q.  Without giving too much away, when attacking this very physical Nebraska defense, what is the mentality you try to instill into your offense?  Is it more trying to out‑physical them or big plays and trying to execute?
COACH GOLDEN:  Number one, execute.  There's no question about it.  But I don't think there's any way around, when you're playing this Nebraska front seven especially, and the safeties, that you have to be physical.  I don't think there's any question.
Obviously everybody going into games wants to make big plays.  The down‑to‑down plays in the trenches are going to be a big part of this game.  That is a heck of a defense that they have, very experienced defense.  I think seven or eight starters back.  That doesn't even tell the story, because you have Valentine, McMullen, Gregory, Collins, those guys up front that are big, long and physical.  It's going to be a great challenge for us.

Q.  Obviously Nebraska struggled, but then looked better against Fresno.  Did you see an improvement from game two to game three?
COACH GOLDEN:  I look at each game as its own chess board.  Whatever issues were occurring in McNeese, got their team's attention and went out and played a complete game at Fresno in all three phases, start to finish.  I don't look at one game.  I look at the body of work last season and then three games this year.
This is a very physical team, a team that's mature, a team that has been growing, and obviously a great challenge for the Miami Hurricanes.

Q.  What challenge does the running game pose for you?
COACH GOLDEN:  We're going to be challenged, find a lot about ourselves, how well we tackle, how well we have gap integrity.  Clearly with this young man, who I think is one of the best backs in the country, Abdullah has to be considered in that same vein as the best two or three backs in the country, no question about it.
We got to prevent the big run by tackling.  Like I said, play cohesive, not give them a lot of seams.

Q.  Kamalu, he's coming off a big game.  He's one of the ACC sack leaders.  Talk about what he does real well.
COACH GOLDEN:  Well, I think he's making a lot of progress.  He's 6'5", 285 pounds.  He's gifted athletically.  He's learning to play with lower pads.  He's going to need to do that against this Nebraska front, no question about it.  He's gifted in terms of his ability to run.  He has worked really hard on his pass‑rush.
It's a shame he got one taken away from him with the penalty last week.  But he's making progress.  He's playing with a lot more confidence.  Obviously he's a year older right now for us.

Q.  There are guys that are pass‑rush specialists, run specialists.  Right now would you classify him more as an all‑around defensive end or a pass‑rush specialist?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think last year when he was in the 260s, it was probably more natural.  The least path of resistance was to pass‑rush.  I think now here becoming an all‑around player.  During the game he's playing on both sides.  Playing with Olsen on one side, also Chickillo on the other.  We get a chance to see him play more and then obviously he's helping us out on the third downs as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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