University of Miami head coach Al Golden tries to get line judge Allen Andrick to watch a replay on the scoreboard during the first half against Duke, Saturday, November 5, 2011, at Sun Life Stadium. Michael Laughlin, South Florida Sun Sentinel (Michael Laughlin / August 27, 2013)
ESPN college football analyst Ed Cunningham first met the Golden when he was an assistant at the University of Virginia and from the start, he knew the future ‘Canes coach was something special.
“I’ve always felt like given the tool set to win championships, he’s the guy,” Cunningham told the Sentinel Monday. “A real deal coach and you’re seeing that.”
“It’s just a masterful job of holding things together,” he added.
Cunningham went on to add that he believes Miami can make an impressive run this season.
“Florida, Florida State and Virginia Tech … they can win those games. I think they can win all three of those games,” Cunningham said.
“To not have them in the top 20 or 18 maybe even top ten at the end of the season would be a shock to me.”
‘Bama’s opener could teach us a lot
Alabama begins the defense of its national championship Saturday in Atlanta against Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Classic at the Georgia Dome.
While the Crimson Tide open the season as the top team in the country and are an overwhelming favorite in their game against the Hokies, there are still some areas of concern according to Cunningham.
“To me, the part that’s overlooked is the offensive lineman that are being replaced,” Cunningham told the Sentinel Monday. “Everyone wants to say that Alabama is at a place where they rebuild and that’s such a dangerous cliché because you just never know when you lose front line players, especially on the offensive front.”
“To just think that these new three offensive lineman for Alabama who are going to plug-and-play on the offense is a little short sighted,” Cunningham added.
That being said, Cunningham believes that Alabama will win the game.
“I think Alabama wins this game pretty handily, but you’ll learn a lot, because Virginia Tech is good enough to show us if there are any flaws there,” he said.
USC to be without top back
USC will take on Hawaii Thursday night in Honolulu without its top running back, Silas Redd.
Redd is still recovering from knee surgery that the tailback had in spring and has not participated in contact drills this fall according to the Los Angeles Times.
Redd broke the news on his Twitter feed, “Gonna hurt to not travel with my squad tomorrow but I know y’all gonna handle business in a few day! I’m working to get back 100%.”
Sophomore Tre Madden and freshman Justin Davis are expected to pick up the slack in Redd’s absence. Redd led the team in rushing last season with 905 yards and nine touchdowns after transferring in from Penn State in the offseason.
Officials from California and BYU announced a home-and-home series between the schools starting in 2014.
The Golden Bears will play host to the Cougars on Nov. 29, 2014. Cal will return the favor when it travels to Provo, Utah on Sept. 16, 2017.
The last time these two programs met was in the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl.
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