Football, Sports

Five things to look for against the Buckeyes

After the Labor Day meltdown against Maryland to start off the season, the Hurricanes are coming off their bye week to prepare for an upcoming matchup against the No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes. Here are five things to take into account as the Canes look to rebound from their opening night loss:

1. Jacory back in the fold: Following the loss on Monday night, head coach Al Golden announced on Tuesday that he would be opening up the quarterback battle over the weekend before naming a starter. Almost immediately after that announcement was made, the depth chart was released, with senior Jacory Harris sitting at the top of the quarterback spot. It’s not that Morris had a bad game against the Terrapins; he was 19-25 with 195 yards and did not throw an interception until late in the fourth quarter, when the Canes were looking to come back in the final minute. Both Morris and Harris had been in a “dead heat,” according to Golden, throughout fall camp. However, Golden also recently admitted that had it not been for the NCAA investigation that resulted in Harris’ one-game suspension, he would have won the starting job. Harris brings two years’ and several games’ worth of starting experience, and has supposedly looked spectacular throughout camp. Now the question remains: Have the mistakes that led to an interception-plagued year been remedied?

2. Defense looks to bolster up: Against Maryland, the defense gave up 348 passing yards, 499 total yards and, for most of the game, was completely manhandled by the Terrapins’ affinity for screen passes. With three starters returning on defense from their NCAA mandated suspensions, Miami is hoping to cut down drastically on the total yardage given up. With senior linebacker Sean Spence returning to call plays on the defensive side, look for the game plan to run much smoother. The leadership that he brings to the defensive front was missed against Maryland, perhaps more so than his overall skill set.  With defensive lineman Marcus Forston returning as well, look for the line to put added pressure on Buckeye quarterback Joe Bauserman.

3. Buckeyes looking vulnerable: In two games so far this year, Ohio State has yet to prove how they can play against a big-name team. After a 42-0 romp over the Akron Zips, a team that went 1-11 last year, the Buckeyes struggled mightily to put away Toledo on Saturday afternoon. They eventually came away with a 27-22 victory that perhaps brought along more questions than it really answered. Sure, there’s always the possibility that the Buckeyes suffered because they were caught looking ahead to their upcoming matchup with the Canes. But the fact remains that Saturday’s win came more due to Toledo’s mistakes than to OSU’s ability. Bauserman is in his first year starting for the Buckeyes, and the Hurricanes present the toughest test he has yet to face. The biggest concern for Ohio State will be on special teams, where the unit struggled on Saturday. Miami will need to take advantage of a strong special teams unit and create some momentum of their own with long kick returns to put themselves in a good position to win the game.

4. Hurns’ emergence: Before sophomore receiver Allen Hurns’ emergence in camp, he had spent the majority of two years primarily as a special teams contributor, not getting much of an opportunity to hit the field otherwise. But after a strong camp which earned him a start against Maryland, he did not disappoint, bagging four receptions for 67 yards, including a long 37-yard catch and run. Golden gave Hurns plenty of praise throughout camp for his physicality and his ability to block, as well as the speed he brings to the receiving corps. With a major hole to fill after the departure of last season’s receiving star Leonard Hankerson, Hurns looks to become one of the guys that the quarterback, whether it be Harris or Morris down the line, will use in big play situations.

5. Intangibles: In addition to the obvious bad blood between the Canes and Buckeyes, these are two programs that went through tumultuous offseasons. The Buckeyes lost their head coach and starting quarterback, and now are relying on Bauserman and rookie head coach Luke Fickell to lead the charge. Ohio State will still have seven starters out with suspensions against the Hurricanes, while Miami will have five starters returning. It’s also worth mentioning that many of these players were in Ohio last year for the beatdown the Buckeyes laid on the Canes, a 36-24 loss for Miami. The team will be looking to make amends for that loss. Combine the revenge factor and what should be a packed crowd at Sun Life Stadium and expect the Canes to come out fired up for this one.

September 11, 2011

Reporters

Ernesto Suarez

Sports Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday: ▪ There has been no more popular or successful quarterback at UM ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ defense leads the nation in tackles for loss and stopping opponents on third d ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Listeners to UM President Julio Frenk’s State of the U reacted positively to the message and the Uni ...

At UM’s inaugural State of the U address, President Julio Frenk detailed the strategies of the Roadm ...

Tropical storm scientists and climate experts at the University of Miami provided insight, observati ...

Joseph Ganitsky, a professor in the Miami Business School, examines the financial crisis facing Arge ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

Miami remained ranked in both major polls Sunday, checking in at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top ...

The Miami Hurricanes came to Toledo, Ohio for the biggest home game in the history of Toledo footbal ...

A quartet of University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes concluded the final day of compe ...

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.