Manny Diaz's Miami squad showed up in a big way this weekend with a resounding 52-10 Saturday over Florida State, who was playing without head coach Mike Norvell, who tested positive for COVID and remained in Tallahassee under quarantine.
After beating a ranked Louisville team by 13 last weekend, the Canes are off to a 3-0 start and have a lot of eyes on them as they head into their bye week before taking on #1 Clemson and #24 Pitt in back-to-back weeks coming off that bye.
Normally, a bye week heading into a big game is seen by coaches as a blessing. You get some added time for game prep, and it allows for time for your team to to rest up and get healthy.
At his postgame presser over the weekend, Diaz touched on how the view of the bye week has changed in the COVID era and the challenges that it brings to a team with momentum.
"We just told them in the locker room that we're going to face our most difficult opponent of the year, and that's not Clemson - no disrespect to them - but it's going to be this off week."
"Again, making sure that everyone makes great decisions, but you lose some of the structure and routine of game week. We'll give them a couple of off days, because that's what you have to do during a bye week. It is so important that we give ourselves the opportunity to have everyone in that locker room go and play Clemson."
During the course of a normal game week, the structure provided minimizes the time where players and coaches could be exposed to the virus. But with the added down time and off days the higher risk of coming into contact with COVID outside the walls of the football facility is something that is certainly on Diaz and his staff's mind.
"We've really got to focus on being smart this bye week, and continuing to protect this program, and give everyone a chance to play against a team that we obviously have a lot of respect for."
See Diaz's full comments in the clip.