Harris Named Starter For Ohio State

Well that didn’t take long, did it? Five Miami Hurricanes served one-game suspensions for the season opener at Maryland and with a bye this weekend, Al Golden has already decided on a personnel change at quarterback, moving senior Jacory Harris to the leader of the pack, ahead of last week’s stater, sophomore Stephen Morris.

Morris led the Canes to a 32-24 loss against the Terrapins on Monday night in College Park.  He was a serviceable 19-of-28 for 195 yards with one rushing touchdown.

On the negative side, Morris was responsible for three turnovers – an early fumble when sacked (running back Lamar Miller whiffed on his block), a late game pick-six (could Tommy Streeter have attacked the ball and prevented the pick? Maybe.) and an final moments Hail Mary in effort to do something (stat-padding in the wrong direction).

Morris did make some very good reads and throws, threading the needle at times, as well as spreading the ball around to nine different receivers. His go-to proved to be freshman Allen Hurns, seeing his first real action as a Hurricane with four receptions for 69 yards.

There were also some nice plays out of the backfield, getting the ball to running back Mike James, twice for twenty-one yards.

You don’t get the sense that Morris has been ‘pulled’ as much as coaches want to give Harris his shot. The one-game suspension might’ve proved a blessing in disguise regarding quarterback as it removed the word ‘controversy’ from the equation. Golden had no choice to to start Morris and after seeing four straight quarters is ready for Harris’ audition.

Should the senior falter, Morris has already seen big game action this season and can step in if his number is called.

When you look back at the quarterback competition since Golden took over, it sounds like both guys have mirrored each other. Neither has stepped up and taken over. Each has had good days and bad days. Both have shown greatness as well as proving average. Morris and Harris each have to grow and improve as this season rolls on. That’s something first-year offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch implied after the spring game and that still proves true in early September.

Like Jimmy Johnson before him, Golden is thought to be a heady guy with a psychological background. Pushing buttons and motivating is his style and there’s more going on here than we understand on the surface.

For starters, why was a starter named the Wednesday before a bye? Ohio State visits Miami in ten days and there was no rush – as least from the fans’ vantage point – to choose a guy today. That said, Golden has his reasons and the full depth chart has been released and Harris isn’t the only re-addition to the line up.

Despite good play from receivers, Travis Benjamin has been re-named to the first team, which isn’t a surprise. Benjamin is Miami’s most experienced receiver and besides wanting to make up for a dismal performance against Ohio State in 2010, it’s been mentioned that offensive coaches have designed a package around the shifty receiver.

Getting Benjamin the ball in space, allowing his speed to make plays – that is undoubtedly a goal for next week’s contest. Furthermore, Benjamin has been a Harris go-to since 2008, so getting his top receiver back on the field will ease nerves. Across from Benjamin will be Hurns, who topped Streeter and senior LaRon Byrd. Kendal Thompkins and Phillip Dorsett will back Benjamin on the other side.

Anthony Chickillo and Adewale Ojomo appear neck and neck at defensive end, with Ojomo returning from suspension and Chickillo being singled out by coaches for a solid game last Monday night.

The biggest re-addition to the roster might be linebacker Sean Spence back at weakside. The move sends Jordan Futch back to second string, backing Ramon Buchanan while freshman Denzel Perryman, also mentioned by coaches after a solid performance, is behind Spence. Jimmy Gaines remains your starter at middle, with Gionni Paul as number two.

The secondary remains the same, as Ray-Ray Armstrong is out three more games and the defensive line will be without Olivier Vernon until late October.

Wide receiver, defensive line, linebacker and quarterback will all get a necessary boost these next ten days and all four will benefit from the return of veteran players – and under center could prove biggest.

After eight months of Golden’s rule, who is No. 12 these days? Fans have scratched their heads for years now, wondering what happened to the confident kid who lit up Florida State, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma in 2009. In some ways, Harris seemed broken, courtesy of former offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.

Whipple preferred a strong-armed quarterback who could mail it downfield every other play and tailored his game plan that way, instead of working with what he had and utilizing Harris’ skills.

Ken Dorsey never had a rocket arm, but then-offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski was masterful in spreading the ball around, relying on the run and getting the ball in the hands of playmakers, allowing a five-yard screen to rumble for a seventy-yard pick up.

Will Fisch do the same -and has this new coaching staff figured out what makes (re: made) Harris tick? Can they recapture what was three games worth of lightning in a bottle, or is the senior too far gone? That’s a question only this staff can answer, but based on his being named starter, it doesn’t sound like this staff is done with J12 in the way many fans are.

There is time for Morris. As a sophomore, this will at some point be his team. There’s no sense of urgency to see what he’s made of at this moment. Conversely, Harris has eleven games to turn a dismal college career into a memorable one. Psyche-wise, the clock is ticking with J12 and if coaches are going to get something out of him, it starts now.

By keeping Morris under center, you’re basically telling Harris in an obvious, yet subliminal way, that he’s done at ‘The U’.

But by giving him that chance – and doing so emphatically, handing over the reigns less than two days after the Maryland loss – coaches are somewhat ‘parenting’ Harris towards maturity.

They’re letting him know they believe and as a result, are hoping that Harris works that much harder to get the job done successfully – and should he falter, No. 17 will be a few feet away, helmet in hand and ready to lead. This was the right play at 0-1 or 1-0.

A good coaching move on the part of Golden. Now it’s on the kid to get the job done. – C.B.



18 thoughts on “Harris Named Starter For Ohio State

  1. If we don’t play a perfect game “low penalties and turnovers” we will lose! Hell we may lose playing a perfect game.


    LET’S GO Canes!

  2. Too many penalties. Get that fixed immediately!!! Someone tell James what hand the ball belongs in (outside arm closest to the sideline) when running and it won’t be so easy to lose the football to pursuing defenders. I understand we didn’t have our full roster but if you play for “The U” I expect backup to fit right in and get the job done. I expect the same from coaches. Let’s not have a team WR screen us all down the field on back to back occasions sometimes before we address how to stop it after the quarter has ended. We let one get away for sure. Could have made a big statement with a win. I’m still bleeding orange and green.

    1. You’re aware that Coach D called a soft zone for a reason, right?

      Our corners do NOT need to try playing close to the line of scrimmage.. You saw at the end of the game when they happened to McGee..

      1. I disagree. At some point when do you allow the talent decide the outcome. That “soft” zone allowed them to screen the hell out of us all the way down the field. When they finally decided to play 5 yards off the ball that screen was useless to Maryland. As far as McGee, he broke the number on rule. Don’t let the defender get behind you. That sometimes happens and it was a perfect throw. My point is things need to fixed a

        1. and the coaching needs to be better prepared. You can’t allow a team to run back to back screens……hell they practically did it for 1 1/2 quarters before the defensive cooridinator decided to play closer. Miami had speed on the secondary so if you’re willing to play a soft zone because they’re afraid of the deep ball, it’s going to be a long year. This was Maryland and like I said…..we let this one get away. No disrespect to a good Maryland team but if they played 10 times I like Miami’s chances.

          1. @ WAT. I’m just a frustrated Canes fan that’s tired of penalties and turnovers killing good drives that sometimes takes points off the board. It’s only one game but if I see bad penalties and silly turnovers next game (Ohio State) I’m going to destroy something.

      2. wat i agree you can’t play soft zone the whole time but from time to time its a good thing. the only reason mcgee got beat is he was spent by the end of the game. miami has always been a press coverage defense and i would expect to see more of it against cheater sale state. My question on that one play is where oh where was the safety who is supposed to be over the top in press coverage.

    2. Regarding your comments on backups, I agree with you. But please remember there is a HUGE difference between a redshirt sophomore backup and a true freshman backup playing in his first game. Back in the day our backups were guys who had experience (ie Frank Gore who backed up MaGahee who backed up Portis etc. (excusses me if I got the order wrong))

  3. The Number #1 KILLER for Miami is PENALTIES! Penalties have caused the Canes to lose a lot of games. For some strange reason, the Canes have been Haunted by penalties since back in the day. When are we “Canes” going to get this right???” Maintain your discipline on the line and wait for the ball to be snap, it aint that damn hard! If we can over come penalties, we’ll start winning the crucial games that is a must win. GO CANES!

  4. I am not a J12 fan, however I hope he can finish is college career on a positive note. I hope the fans do not boo him at the OSU game. I have a feeling this can happen.

  5. I think we need to limit turn overs and stupid penalties, That said, the two interceptions were late in the game when we were “chucking” the ball around, trying to comeback. The fumble right before half-time for six., hurt us. We had a one point lead and should of been content with the lead going into the break. We started the second half, with the ball and we drove the field and scored. It should of been 21-13 after the first drive of the second half.
    Well, I am not the coach, and hindsight is 20/20. The game did not go our way, and the missing defensive players did not help.

  6. Speaking of LB’s, what happened to Kelvin Cain? He had a monster game in his only action and hasn’t been mentioned since. Did I miss something?

  7. JH probably lost a lot of confidence after the beating he took from Wisconsin. The O line wasn’t stopping anyone and I was seriously afraid that he was going to get broken in half. The O line does seem to be a lot better now, but OSU’s D is most likely much better than Maryland’s. We’ll just have to see how it all goes.

    Apparently AG still Isn’t sure about the starting QB. He could end up going back and forth from one game to the next. It could go on all season.

    Hopefully, with most of the suspensions over, the D will be much improved. If not, it’s going to be a long night against them Buckeyes.

    Whatever the case, I hope that plenty of fans can make it out. Also, I’m looking forward to 2012, when the Marlins are in their new stadium and the entire field is grass.

    Let’s go Canes!!!

  8. I am not a huge Jacory fan primarily because of his character. If this kid ever matured and really took the legacy @UM seriously, 24/7, he could really be special. I will say this, a lot of fans forget that this kid has never played behind a solid Oline or uninjured at the same time. JH got sacked and knocked around a lot those first 2 years; he played through injury because there was just no depth behind him. He appears to be healthy and has a decent line now. The receivers seem like they want to hang on to ball now too. The coaches have given JH the liberty to audible as well. There is absolutely no excuses at this point and this is Jacory’s last chance to rewrite his story. I BELIEVE he can do it, but he must be willing to give his all, willing to carry this team and leave it all on the field.

    He’s gotta dig deep – the only thing that can save his past, present and future, is the only thing that matters… winning.

  9. for some reason seeing the way people talk about jacory harris ever since he was named starter against OSU, people have new found some faith and actually believe this is going to be his year. ever since he came in from northwestern and put on that green and orange i believed in him. if he knows the fans got his back the sky is his limit. i dont think he will get booed at home. if anything the fans will show up and go crazy keeping the fiesta bowl in the back of their minds and showing those buckeyes how we do it in the 305. J12 is going to have an outstading game and his confidence will up this year more than ever. better late then never right guys. yes he has a new oline, more matured, stronger, and ready for vengeance. yes he two of the best tailbacks in the nation who could start for any team in the nation. and the final piece is he finally has an OC who knows how to utilize the running game to open up the passing game. i am one of those strong believers in J12 and i have hope for him in this next game because he has nothing to lose. he finally has competition with stephen morris right behind him if not standing right by his side. competition and fun brings out the best in people. Jacory is one of those kids who loves competiton. .. so to all you doubters… smdh.


  10. J12 will be fine guys. he has a solid oline that is not being shuffled around play after play like last year. He has probably the best run game in the acc with smash and dash. And he has tightends who will make plays for him. He has receivers who want to step up and be the guy. Biggest thing i saw from our receivers no drops. These guys want to step up because they finally know they won’t play if they don’t. I like coach goldens decision to start harris. Experience will play a huge role in how this season turns out. Either our veterans will step up and lead or we will fall so far down the hole not even the playmaker can get us out. I think it they will step up. Forston spence and harris will make sure each guy knows his assignment and that each guy executes that assignment. For sure we won’t go undefeated but look for us to battle hard the rest of the season and have a chance to go to the ACC championship. Mark that down i said ACC Championship.

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