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November 8, 2017

Brian Kelly

Greensboro, North Carolina

BRIAN KELLY: Miami is really good. Was that brief?

No, I mean, it's a really talented football team. Mark has done a great job of bringing the energy and enthusiasm back into Miami and certainly very talented on both sides of the ball. A great challenge for our football team as we go on the road now, and playing our fifth ACC opponent. We've been challenged each and every week in the ACC, and each opponent has brought different challenges, but this one, I think, in terms of being as complete a football team as we'll play. Great challenge, excited. Our guys are excited about the atmosphere, and looking forward to it.

Q. Talk about Miami's offense; last year when you guys played them in South Bend and they had Brad Kaaya and they had Walton, but this year Walton is injured, they have Travis Homer. Are they a different offense this time around than last year?
BRIAN KELLY: Yeah, I think it starts at the quarterback position with Rosier. He's really a gritty, tough quarterback, 19 touchdown passes on the year, but runs the ball very well. You know, averaging 14, 15 yards per completion, just a lot of big plays. You know, he just obviously complements the offense very, very well. Berrios is the similar kind of player, as well, and he didn't play a lot versus us last year. Very crafty, very smart, just a gritty, tough, different kind of offense than last year.

Q. Talk about Adams; what does he have to do this week to get through that Miami defense because that defense is very good against the run, like against Virginia Tech they completely created havoc all over the field and Josh Jackson didn't know what he was doing for the whole evening. What do you have to do with the running game to get that established?
BRIAN KELLY: Well, first of all, Josh has got to play. He only had five carries last week, so getting him into the game, getting him comfortable into the game is going to be really, really important for us. You know, obviously we are who we are now in terms of running the football. Our success will be based upon our ability to get him going, and certainly that's going to be a great challenge against a great defense. But we've played some really good ones along the way. North Carolina State was very good against the run; Georgia obviously very good against the run. You know, again, another challenge for us. But that's who we are. We've got to be able to run the ball and get Adams going.

Q. What jumps out at you about that Miami defensive front as you try to run the ball this week, and also what's kind of your confidence level in Brandon Wimbush has grown should you need him to win the game with his arm as opposed to the rushing attack this week?
BRIAN KELLY: You know, I like, obviously, the athleticism of the front seven, Thomas, north on, McIntosh, Jackson, across the front, and then the linebackers, obviously. And the one thing that they do that's unique is that they've got linebackers that can play on all three downs. They don't have to nickel out, and that creates some issues. Quarterman, Pinckney and McCloud all stay on the field, veteran safety. Look, this is a team that is extremely athletic. I think Manny Diaz does a great job of putting these guys in position to take advantage of what they do well, and that is run and tackle. So clearly that's a challenge.

As it relates to Brandon, we were looking at some of the things that he does, and people migrate immediately to completion percentage, but he's 60 percent efficient on 3rd down in all 3rd down situations from 1 to 10 yards. So he's been really efficient on 3rd down. He's 34 out of 35 in scores in the red zone.

You know, he's only thrown two interceptions. He's got a lot of things going for him as he continues to grow at the position, because clearly he's able to throw the football, but more importantly, he makes big plays when they're needed.

Q. Can you just talk about what's impressed you about Malik Rosier this season?
BRIAN KELLY: I just think his grit, you know, his sustained effort. He hangs in there. You know, he may throw a pick, and then he immediately puts it behind him and comes back the next play and makes a 45-, 50-yard throw down the field. For a first-year starter, nothing seems to bother him. He just keeps playing and has found a way to win games. I think that stands out to me more than anything else.

Look, if you watch him on film, you wouldn't say, well, that's Mayfield or that's Rosen. But he's a winner, and he's undefeated as a first-year starter, and I think that says a lot about him.

Q. When I talked to Josh a couple weeks ago, he said he felt like the offensive line and the backfield kind of had a coming-to-Jesus moment with toughness after that Georgia game. Did you notice that in practice, in games, that they were playing with a little more energy or toughness or something like that?
BRIAN KELLY: I think they felt like there was more that they could give, more so than it was that we're not tough enough as much as -- we've got to apply ourselves even greater. I think they felt like we don't want to hear the noise about being underachievers. I just think they went back to practice with more of a focus on we're going to dominate the line of scrimmage. I don't think it was physical as much as it was mental, and them approaching each game with that mindset of wanting to dominate their opponents. I don't know that they particularly had the right mindset, and I think that that kind of shifted their mindset after the Georgia game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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