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Published 11/24/2012
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Postgame Reaction: Football Beats Duke

Al Golden Postgame Press Conference
Nov. 24, 2012
Miami 52, Duke 45

On the win:
"We've given up a lot. We gave up a bowl game last year. We've given up a bowl game this year, now we've given up a postgame in Charlotte, a championship game in Charlotte. We've given up three games in the postseason to right the ship and [we're] really grateful to the team and the seniors. I'm not surprised it was this type of game. I just told the team, it was such an emotional week. If you think about the range of emotions on Sunday ... Monday ... Tuesday ... Wednesday and then when [Duke] came storming back and just the way they did it ... you know with a 99-yard play. I felt like, 'Oh man, now we got respond. Do we have enough in us in the tank to respond?' And then Herb [Waters] came back with a big play. I'm proud of them. As I said in the beginning of the year, it wasn't going to be perfect. We were picked to finish fifth in the league. We didn't have anybody on the preseason all-conference team. We didn't have many starters coming back. We had the toughest schedule, too. We started 10 freshmen this year and played 21, and we just finished tied for the Coastal lead. And [we've] got a whole slew of guys coming back. I'm excited. Can't wait to go back on the road and sign a real good class to compliment last year's class and move this thing forward.

"It wasn't perfect. We're nowhere near good enough right now - getting off the field and taking the ball away and sacks and that kind of thing. I know that. We all know that. We got to eliminate some of the errors. We get in a game like this and we're putting out fires constantly. The guys, we just got to learn and grow up and we will. Again we played a lot of guys that just got to keep growing up and keep improving."

On Duke Johnson:
"He's a special young man. He works hard and he wants the ball in his hands at the end of the game. With the entire offensive line coming back and the tight ends coming back and the full back coming back and the quarterback's coming back and the receivers coming back ... I think he's going to benefit from that greatly. The whole supporting cast is coming back and we're going to add to it and get ourselves better. Duke's a special young man."

On what he said to the seniors:
"Just how grateful we are. What a huge sacrifice when you think about it. They didn't ask for it. They led us all week. This was tough. Don't diminish for a second how hard it is to get the guys motivated and focused after ... entering the Duke week we thought, 'We win we're in Charlotte,' and then that got pulled. We needed that senior leadership and the seniors did. I thought they represented the program and the university with class - incredible amount of integrity. [They] didn't displace anything on anybody else. [They] didn't point the finger, years past or anything. It's a credit to them that we won today because emotionally we didn't have much in the tank."

On using trick plays:
"When you have a quarterback and a veteran offensive line you can do that. We became very veteran as the year went on on the offensive line. The same thing at the quarterback position. We're getting to the point where those two plays ... we wanted to go for the jugular on 4th-and-1. Obviously we all thought it was a touchdown and disappointed it wasn't. You go for it there because you think, even if you don't get it you're going to get the ball back at midfield. Or even if they do change the field it's going to take five minutes. Instead it takes 10 seconds. That's a backbreaker there. With the wind I thought for sure Jake [Wieclaw] could end the game there. I think we were up by 14, so to make it 17. And we went for the win twice and it didn't work out. It's just one of those deals. We're not good enough to put anybody away yet. Again, I'm just encouraged about moving the program forward."

RB Duke Johnson, QB Stephen Morris, RB Mike James

OC Jedd Fisch

DB Brandon McGee

TE Clive Walford, LB Jimmy Gaines, LB Denzel Perryman