Football report card: Miami vs. Charleston Southern

Quarterback – A

Jacory Harris handled the pressure on opening night in his first collegiate game. It was impressive to watch him operate as a true freshman. Harris was clutch on the opening drive, with a 30-yard touchdown run on fourth down. He also threw for a touchdown and made only two poor decisions all night. As Harris puts it, “I just want to win for the team.”

Running Backs – B+

Javarris James carried the load for the Canes. Overall James looked quicker, while Graig Cooper looked stronger. The running backs combined for 200 yards and four rushing touchdowns. This unit is the strength of the team, and they possess the experience to lead the offense.

Wide Receivers/Tight End – A-

The young receiving core did their job. Aldarius Johnson started and Thearon Collier saw plenty of playing time at the slot position. Leonard Hankerson had the lone touchdown and showed that he is a threat in the red zone. The tight ends did a great job blocking, and Dedrick Epps was utilized just like another receiver.

Offensive Line – B+

The big hungries did a tremendous job up front. They created big holes for the backs to run through and Harris was on his feet all night. They seemed just about flawless, but they were playing against a weak Charleston Southern front seven.

Defensive Line – A

This was the most impressive group of the team. With Eric Moncur and Allen Bailey out, every single lineman stepped up. Spencer Adkins lined up on third down and got two sacks for the Canes’ line.

Linebacker – A

The linebackers filled gaps and were moving from sideline to sideline. They simply flew around. Get your Sean Spence jerseys ready now; Spence was all over the field and saw more than 25 plays. The group was solid in making open field tackles.

Secondary – B

Charleston Southern really didn’t test the Miami secondary. They only collected 77 passing yards against the Canes. JoJo Nicolas was laying the wood on anyone who had the ball. Freshman Brandon Harris made good use of all the playing time he saw. The unit did give up a big pass play, which led to a touchdown.

Special Teams – A+

It has been a long time since the Hurricanes received any sort of an A in the special teams department. Cooper showed why he is a threat every time he touches the ball, returning a 66-yard punt return. Freshmen Travis Benjamin and Collier could have been in the end zone as well, if it wasn’t for the sideline. Kicker Matt Bosher was solid in every aspect of the kicking and punting game. He connected on everything he kicked, something that the Hurricanes struggled with last year.

Coaching – B+

Randy Shannon had the team well prepared. There were not many penalties, no confusion calling plays and the play clock was managed well. Defensive coordinator Bill Young had his players in the right position to make plays. His third down packages dominated Charleston Southern. Offensive coordinator Patrick Nix was solid at play calls, but he has yet to put Cooper and James on the field at the same time.