Quarterback Advantage: Miami
Jacory Harris took care of business early against FAMU which allowed true freshman A.J. Highsmith to get some valuable game time experience. UCF is led by a Wake Forest transfer, redshirt senior Brett Hodges. Do not sleep on Hodges. Coming out of high school, he was then ranked the second-best quarterback in the state of Florida according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Running Backs Advantage: Even
Junior Damien Berry rumbled for a career high 162 yards and a touchdown against FAMU, but expect Graig Cooper and Javaris James to carry the workload this week. They are one and two respectfully in all purpose yards for UM. UCF’s offense is centered around sophomore Brynn Harvey. Harvey was Conference USA Freshman All Team last year, and is averaging 107 rushing yards a game with six touchdowns on the season. In his last game Harvey rushed for 219 yards against Memphis.
Wide Receiver/ Tight End Advantage: Miami
Jimmy Graham has been a red zone machine and leads the team with three touchdown receptions. The receiving core should put up some big numbers against a UCF secondary that has struggled. Redshirt senior wide out Rocky Ross leads UCF with 220 yards receiving on the season.
Offensive Line Advantage: Miami
Since the Virginia Tech game, the offensive line hasn’t even let opposing defenders breathe on Jacory Harris. The offensive line has been dominant in both pass protection and run blocking this season. The unit that was supposed to be the biggest question for UM has quickly become one of their biggest strengths.
Defensive Line Advantage: UCF
The most injured unit on the team received some more bad news this week when it was reported that Dyron Dye had season ending surgery and Marcus Forston has been hampered as well. UCF is led by two outstanding defensive ends; Bruce Miller and Jarvis Geathers. Both have 4.5 sacks on the year. Miller was also voted preseason Conference USA first team defense.
Linebackers Advantage: Miami
Jordan Futch is out for the year with an injury but look for someone to step up in his place. Possible candidates are Ramon Buchanan, Arthur Brown and C.J. Holton. Colin McCarthy leads the team with 38 tackles and has been the heart and soul of the defense this year. Redshirt senior Cory Hogue leads UCF with 40 tackles on the year.
Secondary Advantage: Miami
Brandon Harris is becoming one of the next great Miami defensive backs. Harris had his first interception of the year against FAMU and five pass breakups. True freshman Ray Ray Armstrong is getting more playing time and is making the most of it by delivering bone-shattering hits.
Special Teams Advantage: Miami
The kick and punt return games finally found some success last weak against FAMU. Thearon Collier returned a 61 yard punt for a touchdown against FAMU and both Brandon Harris and Mike James averaged over 30 yards on kick returns. Matt Bosher was perfect in field goal and extra point attempts last week.
Coaching Advantage: Miami
Randy Shannon did not let his team play down to their opponent last week and got the result. He will need a repeat performance this week. Shannon has reminded his players that many of UCF’s players feel that they should be at Miami and will be looking for revenge. This will be by far, the biggest game of the season for UCF, and Shannon must keep the team focused.
Matt Reed may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.