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Miller, Miami offense big challenge for Bulls
Posted Nov 16, 2011 by Adam Adkins
Updated Nov 16, 2011 at 10:32 PM
Wednesday’s football notes from correspondent Michael Manganelo:
The University of South Florida defense faces a trio of speedy skill players against Miami on Saturday in running back Lamar Miller and wide receivers Tommy Streeter and Travis Benjamin.
Streeter is Miami’s leading receiver with 734 yards in five starts. He averages 20.4 yards per catch and has scored eight touchdowns. Benjamin has 489 receiving yards this season. Miller has broken off 11 plays of 25 yards or more this season.
“It starts with (numbers) 3, 6 and 8 (Benjamin, Miller and Streeter),” USF coach Skip Holtz said. “Those are the three guys that you see all over the field. Probably the best offensive football team and very similar to what we played in a Notre Dame.”
Miller struggled against the Bulls last year in Miami, rushing for eight yards on nine carries, though he did score a touchdown. Behind an offensive line that averages 6-foot-5, 320 pounds, Miller has flourished this year.
“They’ve got a great tailback,” Holtz said. “He’s rushed for 1,100 yards. He’s strong, he’s powerful. I think he’s second in the ACC, averaging 110 yards a game. He’s going to get the ball. His bad plays are 4 or 5 yards forward.”
USF linebacker Sam Barrington recognizes Miller’s talent.
“I feel like Lamar Miller is an outstanding player,” Barrington said. “It’s interesting to see, me being a linebacker, I scout my opposing position, which is the running back, each week. A guy like Lamar Miller, from week to week he performs. … He has the speed to get outside but the power to run between the tackles.”
SNYDER, GOLDEN FRIENDS: USF defensive coordinator Mark Snyder has never coached against Miami head coach Al Golden, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t familiar with him. Snyder has a history of recruiting against Golden during their tenures as head coaches at Marshall and Temple, respectively.
“Me and Al are very good friends,” Snyder said. “As I made my moves in my career, he made moves in his career and then both had chances to become head coaches … and stayed in contact. We’ve never worked with each other or coached against each other. We have recruited against each other.”
Snyder said Golden was a tough opponent on the recruiting front.
“Al’s pretty good now,” he said. “He’s won his fair share up in the northeast. He was a great recruiter up there.”