What did Stephen Morris do wrong besides create a quarterback controversy? Morris was 10-for-18 totaling 239 yards in the air. He managed the game to perfection and let his running backs and offensive line do most of the work. Morris was very accurate and had great velocity on his throws which allowed for receivers to accumulate lots of yards after the catch. The play that comes to mind is the throw to Leonard Hankerson on the 79 yard touchdown strike. Randy Shannon has stated the if Jacory Harris clears medical tests; he will resume the starting role. Professor Antweil thinks Morris should continue to start. Bottom line, play the hot hand.
Running Backs: A
Only thing that kept this unit from an A+ was the two fumbles. Fortunately the two fumbles had no impact on the game. UM ran for 277 net yards. Four different running backs had a touchdown. Miller led the way with 85 yards, followed by Damien Berry with 73 yards, Mike James with 60 yards, and Griag Cooper had 20 yards. Ground and pound was the game plan and it was executed to perfection.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: A
Chase Ford had a key catch in the red zone. Richard Gordon had good down field blocks. Travis Benjamin was elusive. But the stud was captain Leonard Hankerson. Hankerson showed breakaway speed on his 79 yard touchdown reception on a quick 12 yard route as he accumulated 67 yards after the catch. On that play, Hankerson tied legendary receiver Michael Irvin for the single season touchdown receptions record at UM. Each have 11 and Hankerson has at least three games remaining.
Offensive Line: A+
This unit was spectacular. They were big a fierce. The unit committed zero penalties and controlled the battle of the trenches. Morris was not sacked once and UM averaged 6.0 yards per carry on the ground. Tyler Horn did a great job leading the offensive line. Hats off to coach Jeff Stoutland.
Defensive Line: B+
Tevin Washington was sacked twice but Allen Bailey was the only real force from this talented crew. It was real nice to see Josh Holmes get back on the field after being out with a leg injury. Names like Andrew Smith, Marcus Forston, Adewale Ojomo, Micanor Regis just haven’t had the same impact they did earlier in the year.
Colin McCarthy had his best game in five years. He led the team with 15 tacks, 2.5 of them were for a loss. He played assignment football and number 44 was ubiquitous. He even had a touchdown but was eventually overturned after officials reviewed the play. Sean Spence was fantastic as well as he was not fooled by Georgia Tech’s triple option attack. Spence had 11 tackles. Ray-Ray Armstrong had a fumble recovery in the end zone. Great work from Shannon and linebackers coach Michael Barrow. This unit rose to the occasion.
Special Teams: B –
This unit didn’t do anything spectacular. Matt Bosher was 5-for-5 on extra points but Miami needs to utilize its play makers on punt returns and kickoffs. Cooper had three returns and all combined for 43 yards. Miami needs to get a spark from this unit.
Miami practiced with three footballs at once this week to prepare for the triple option attack. GT has difficult schemes to master but the coaching staff got the players prepared. Miami was not worried about the UNC vs. VT matchup. They focused on the task at hand. I like the game plan of running the ball to set up the pass. Kudos to Mark Whipple. No it appears Shannon has a QB controversy to deal with this week. But isn’t it better to have two QBs than none?
Justin Antweil may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.