Football

Miami vs. Wake Forest Matchups

Quarterbacks: Even

Before Canes fans everywhere rip my head off for this, look at the numbers. Miami averages a mere 10.3 more yards per game passing than Wake Forest. Redshirt senior Riley Skinner has also been better against ACC opponents than sophomore Skinner, having thrown for 1,157 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions in four games compared to Harris’ 1,062 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions in the same span.

Running Backs: Miami

Miami needs to establish the run this weekend to take pressure off of Harris and give the offensive line some confidence. The Canes have found a new weapon in junior Damien Berry, who is averaging 7.7 yards per carry in just three games this season, not to mention the usual arsenal of senior Javarris James, junior Graig Cooper, redshirt sophomore Lee Chambers and freshman Mike James.

Wide Receivers: Wake Forest

The receiving core for Wake hasn’t missed a beat after the departure of starters D.J. Boldin and Chip Brinkman. Redshirt junior Marshall Williams is fourth in the ACC in receiving yards and is tied for second in the conference in receptions. Standout sophomore Devon Brown is an unsung hero on this team as well having 16 catches for 252 yards in conference play.

Offensive line: Even

Both are evenly bad. Think about this, in the month of October, Jacory Harris dropped back to pass 119 times and 14 of those times he was sacked. That is 12 percent of the time. Riley Skinner had a similar month, being sacked 17 from 144 drop-backs, also 12 percent of the time. Both teams will be outmatched by more dominant defensive lines this week so expect a lot of short runs and little time for quarterbacks to throw.

Defensive Line: Miami

Have you ever thought how successful a team would be if they only ran the ball and didn’t throw once? That sort of stuff is usually left to Madden10 but that’s exactly what Navy did in their win over Wake Forest last week: 64 plays, 64 runs, 0 passes, 338 yards rushing. The Midshipmen still averaged 5.3 yards per carry! C.J. Spiller, who torched Miami last week, ran for 106 yards and 2 TDs on only 9 carries versus Wake Forest. Expect Miami to try to stuff the run early and then bring the heat on Skinner.

Linebackers: Miami

Led by redshirt junior Hunter Haynes, the Deacons are a linebacking core still looking for an identity after losing team leaders Stanley Arnoux and Aaron Curry to the NFL. Redshirt junior Colin McCarthy continues to lead the team on defense and is racking up the stats. Against Clemson, McCarthy had a team best 11 tackles with senior Darryl Sharpton a close second with 10.

Defensive Backs: Wake Forest

Senior Brandon Ghee has National Football League written all over him and the emergence of redshirt freshman Kenny Okoro gives the edge to Wake Forest. Also, expect the Demon Deacons to be throwing a lot more than the Canes giving them more opportunity to beat up on a Miami secondary that gave up 326 yards and looked lost against Clemson.  “A breakdown. All sloppy play. You give up big plays when you get sloppy,” said Randy Shannon when asked about the game-winning touchdown last week.

Special Teams: Miami

Matt Bosher was named a Lou Groza Award “Star of the Week” last week for his 22, 49 and 51-yard field goals against Clemson. Bosher is the fourth most accurate kicker in the ACC at 82% where Wake Forest kickers have combined to be an ACC worst 64% kicking field goals this year.

Coaching: Miami

At least in preparing for the game, there’s no question that Miami has the edge. There may be some more questions raised when gameday comes, especially if the coaching staff can’t get on the same page as seen against Clemson. Right before the half Shannon and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple were caught by cameras arguing on the sideline. Jim Grobe has lead Wake Forest to three straight eight-win seasons but at the end of the day, Miami’s coaches just seems to have a better understanding of what it takes to win.

Ian Hest may be contacted at ihest@themiamihurricane.com.

November 2, 2009

Reporters

Ian Hest

Contributing EDGE Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.