Sunday, November 10, 2002

Five questions with Brandon Miree

Winton Woods grad Brandon Miree, a running back at Pittsburgh, rushed for 161 yards, including a 53-yard game-winning touchdown, in the Panthers' 28-21 upset victory over No. 3 Virginia Tech.

The 23-carry performance in the nationally televised game was the first 100-yard game for the transfer from Alabama. Miree took time to answer five questions from Enquirer sports reporter Ryan Ernst.

1. Take me through the game-winning run at Virginia Tech.

It was just a basic off-tackle play, where an offensive lineman pulls and the fullback comes through the hole. I just remember breaking one tackle and then just concentrating on getting up field. There were no safeties in the middle of the field and I saw the end zone, so I kept running toward it.

A cornerback came from the left and had kind of a good angle on me, but I just veered off a little bit and ended up in the end zone.

2. What about the locker-room celebration after a win like that?

It felt really good. Just to come down to that environment is tough, with fans yelling so loud the offensive linemen can't even hear our quarterback. Then we were down 14 points twice and were able to respond and come back. It was a big win for us, so obviously everyone in the locker room was excited.

3. Have you heard from a lot of people back home who were watching the game?

Of course, I've had a lot of calls from home. It's nice to know people from home get to see you do well and are proud of you. That feels great that people were watching and are supporting me in Cincinnati.

4. Why did you transfer from Alabama?

Well, the coach who recruited me, coach (Mike) DuBose, ended up leaving, and coach (Dennis) Franchione took over. I think he's a great coach, and he'll do real well down there.

But for me, as far as the future, I didn't care for some of the things that were going on.

So I took a leap of faith to Pittsburgh, where they recruited me out of high school and knew me.

5. What made you decide on Pittsburgh?

You know, when they recruited me, theyhad a vision for the future back then.

But as a high school kid, you're looking at pictures of buildings and facilities under construction and it doesn't really click.

But now, all that is starting to materialize. It's a great time to be at Pittsburgh and be part of this turnaround.

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