Preseason will end with Saturday morning practice

Sept. 2, 2005

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - It's been nearly a month since the 2005 University of Miami Hurricanes first took to the Greentree Practice Fields on August 6. The team has endured searing heat, suffocating humidity, a hurricane and countless threats of lightning in its preseason practices in preparation for Monday night and the 10 regular-season games that follow.

There is only one more thing Miami can do now.

"These guys need to play," head coach Larry Coker said. "(The coaches) have done about all we can do. These guys need to get on the field and get tested on Monday night."

Miami all but finished its preseason with a lengthy practice at the Greentree Practice Fields Friday afternoon. The team will practice one more time on Saturday morning and then have a walk-through and travel Sunday to Tallahassee for its first game of the season in front of a captive college football audience on ABC. While preseason practice sessions are winding down, Coker wants to make sure his team isn't focusing on that instead of Florida State.

"Now is not the time to celebrate," Coker said. "We haven't done anything to celebrate about. (They need to) get off their feet, be rested and be on red. We can celebrate on Monday night."

Monday will be the first game of the season for the Hurricanes and the first collegiate game for many true and redshirt freshmen at UM. Coker and his staff have done everything possible to acclimate them and the returning student-athletes for the atmosphere of Doak Campbell Stadium.

"We'll have piped-in music noise (at practice) and we let them know it is going to be loud," Coker said. "We'll go to the stadium in Tallahassee (on Sunday), and we've practiced twice in the Orange Bowl. I think we've done all we can do, but until you actually play the game, you never know.

It will also be the first career start for sophomore quarterback Kyle Wright.

"I want not just our quarterback, but all our guys to play (Monday) like they do on Saturday mornings here," Coker said. "They come out here and run, catch, throw, laugh, high-five and have a great time. I want them to be relaxed, be themselves. If they make a mistake, forget about it. If they make a great play, forget about that. Go on to the next play."