Southlake Carroll grad playing with no regrets at Miami

Posted Thursday, Nov. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information Games of the week No. 2 Florida State at Wake Forest (11 a.m. Saturday, WFAA/8): Barring the unimaginable, this game should turn into a rout quickly. Florida State (8-0, 6-0 ACC) has blown out everyone this season except Boston College (a 48-34 win for the Seminoles). But with No. 3 Oregon and No. 5 Stanford playing Thursday night, all eyes will shift to Florida State. Can the ’Noles score enough to stay ahead in the BCS Championship race? Nebraska at Michigan (2:30 p.m. Saturday, WFAA/8): So what if the Wolverines (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) and Cornhuskers (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) aren’t ranked? This game will still be worth watching. The two programs have combined for more than 1,700 wins. It will be fun to watch them fight each other for another tally. Plus, both have a flair for dramatic finishes. Nebraska beat Northwestern on a Hail Mary last week, and Michigan played, and lost, a four-overtime game against Penn State earlier this season. No. 13 LSU at No. 1 Alabama (7 p.m. Saturday, CBS): In the past several seasons, the LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) vs. Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) rivalry has become a marquee game. It hasn’t always been fun to watch (see LSU’s 9-6 win in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 2011), but this year, it’s primed for excitement. Alabama seems to be on the way to a third straight national championship and its fourth in five years. Both teams have strong offensive attacks and defenses that aren’t as good as they’ve been. Both had last weekend off and should be healthy and rested. The Tigers may not be able to pull out an upset, but their attempt will be must-see TV. Numbers 26 Points given up by Alabama in the last six games after the Crimson Tide’s 49-42 win on the road against Texas A&M. 5 Ranked teams that will already be done and resting for the week when the first games kick off Saturday morning, including four Top 10 teams. No. 10 Oklahoma played at No. 6 Baylor and No. 3 Oregon took on No. 5 Stanford on the road Thursday night, and No. 20 Louisville will play at Connecticut on Friday. Quotes “Long-legged, runs well. Seems to defend. Can’t use her left foot as well as she’d like, but very enjoyable.” — LSU coach Les Miles in his opening statement to reporters this week. Miles, who went on to discuss this week’s matchup against Alabama, was talking about watching his daughter Macy play soccer during the Tigers’ off-week. Miles also watched his son Manny play in a football game before getting back to prepping for the Crimson Tide. “They said that the boy looks a lot better than what I do.” — Missouri coach Gary Pinkel about a boy using him for his Halloween costume. The boy, who has autism, shared a special moment with Pinkel when the two met after Missouri’s 31-3 win against Tennessee last week.

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Senior Kacy Rodgers II has seen much turmoil in his time playing defensive back for Miami.

A scandal that resulted in a loss of scholarships and a two-year, self-imposed bowl ban. A coaching change from Randy Shannon to Al Golden.

Still, Rodgers, who played for Southlake Carroll when his dad, Kacy, was an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys, doesn’t regret his decision to be a Hurricane. And he has a chance to go out a winner.

“I’m glad I’ve been a part of turning the program around,” Rodgers said. “I get to put my name on something special. This is a great way to go out. I hope that the legacy that we leave, that the next guys keep it going and keep winning.

“The beginning was a rocky road. We’ve had ups and downs since my freshman year. I’m glad we’re headed up. I wouldn’t want to be anything else except a Miami Hurricane.”

Rodgers, who still considers himself a country boy, wanted something different for his college experience. His father had college coaching stops in Tennessee and Arkansas before the Cowboys, and has been defensive line coach with the Miami Dolphins since 2008.

Kacy II originally wanted to play for either Florida or Georgia. But Miami called.

“A lot of kids in Texas stay in that Midwest region, play in Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas State or something like that,” Rodgers said. “Things didn’t work out for Georgia or Florida, and God was just calling me to Miami. My dad was happy down here. When I got here, it was a perfect fit. It felt like home. I’m glad I got to experience Miami. I bring a little bit of Miami when I go back to Texas now.”

Rodgers II, who has 72 career tackles for Miami, put in his biggest performance this season in a 21-16 win against Florida, which was ranked No. 12.

“The coaches did a great job getting us prepared, and I’m lucky that I had such a good game,” Rodgers said. “I was able to contribute along with the success of my teammates. If they weren’t doing their jobs, the plays wouldn’t have come open for me. I was able to make plays, and it was a great atmosphere for a big rivalry game.”

Last week, the Hurricanes lost their first game of the season, a 41-14 road loss at No. 2 Florida State. Miami dropped from No. 7 to No. 11 in the BCS standings this week. But the Hurricanes still have much to play for, starting with a home game against Virginia Tech this week.

“Any loss is tough, especially when you had a chance to go to 8-0 and it’s a rivalry game that’s gone on for a long, long time,” Rodgers II said. “But our guys have bounced back. We watched the film and got it out of our system. Now we have to be ready for Virginia Tech, another great opponent. They are coming off a loss, so they are going to be ready to play. It’s going to be exciting.”

Rodgers II plans to make the most of his final games, which should include a bowl game for the first time since 2010.

“I’m having a good time playing,” he said. “I just want to make the most of these last few games with my teammates.”

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