Football Matchup: Miami vs. Charleston Southern

QUARTERBACKS: With Robert Marve suspended, Miami will play Jacory Harris against the Buccaneers. It is always hard to predict how well a true freshman will do in his first game, but Harris features the calm, cool and talent to get it done against a lesser opponent. Some may recognize former Clemson Tiger Tribble Reese at the helm for CSU.


RUNNING BACKS: Javarris James and Graig Cooper are the best two players on the Hurricane roster. They could each go for 100 yards and catch some passes as well. They are just too fast for the opposing defense. CSU is very young at running back, as they feature a number of freshmen and sophomore DeMarcus Moon, who ran for 404 yards last season.


RECEIVERS: This is a very young, inexperienced Miami group. They are loaded with talent, but the offense is relying upon a lot of guys who have never played in college. Against a more talented opponent, this probably goes the other way. But this should be a good game for working out some kinks. CSU has three of its top four receivers coming back, including All-Big South selection Dee Brown, but All-Conference tight end Ryan Ard has moved to defense.


OFFENSIVE LINE: This is one of Miami’s strongest groups. Miami has some big bodies with some quick feet and definite talent. CSU features six guys with starting experience but they are not nearly as talented or deep.


DEFENSIVE LINE: The question is whether or not Allen Bailey and Eric Moncur will play for the Canes. If they do, the Canes have far too much talent. If not, it is closer, as Miami’s line is thin and inexperienced at defensive end. Still, Miami’s talent level is just too high. This may be CSU’s strongest position, as they boast two All-Conference players playing on the line.


LINEBACKERS: Maybe Miami’s deepest group. They have depth, experience and talent. Look for as many as ten players to rotate in against the Bucs. New Defensive Coordinator Bill Young will send them in swarms. The loss of All-American middle linebacker Jada Ross really hurts this unit for CSU.


SECONDARY: Miami is experienced and talented at both positions. They are a little thin here, mostly because of the suspension, but the slower CSU receivers should not present much of a challenge. This is a soft sport for CSU, as they have lost three of the four best pickoff men in the history of their program.


SPECIAL TEAMS: Miami has really struggled here lately. Sophomore Matt Bosher showed he was a solid punter last year, but he will most likely pull double duty against CSU, adding field goals to his duties. Will this affect field position? The Miami return game should be much more explosive this season. On sheer talent, Miami wins this, but this is where CSU could do some real damage (e.g., Appalachian State against Michigan).


August 28, 2008


Dan Stein

Senior Sports Writer

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