|8 years ago||'06 #4721|
$58,675 | 14399
i know its hard to say as a hurricane fan but we gotta have patience
|8 years ago||'04 #4722|
$4,933 | 706
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami Coach Randy Shannon re-affirmed his post-game proclamation Saturday that Robert Marve would be his starting quarterback against Wake Forest this week.
After Marve was pulled in the first quarter for throwing an interception against Duke, Shannon said he will continue to start Marve against Wake Forest.
True freshman quarterback Jacory Harris entered the game in relief and finished the game 18-of-28 with 185 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 53 yards and one touchdown on ten carries.
"Somebody has to start and Jacory is going to play in the game no matter what," Shannon said. "In the last two games he has played a lot. Yeah, Robert has started but Jacory has played the most. Jacory has been hot and been moving the football."
"It is not who starts, it is who is giving you the most productivity at that time."
Marve has started every game this season for UM since he was suspended for the season opener against Charleston Southern. Shannon has stated throughout the year that Marve would be the starter for the season and Jacor will play in every game off the bench.
In six games this season, Marve has thrown for 676 yards while completing 54 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Harris has thrown for 497 yards and completed 60 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and three interceptions in seven games.
For now, Shannon will continue to use the two-quarterback system he has used all season and let the quarterback with the hot hand finish the game.
"Those two guys are our future and they are in a partnership to make this program the best that it can be," Shannon said. "You look at Jacory and Robert, you look at Javarris and Graig Cooper, you look at Aldarius Johnson and LaRon Byrd...everybody on this team is contributing. Everybody wants a starter and that is the guy, but with this team we have to make sure we have depth and have a partnership with understanding what it takes to win at the University of Miami."
"You can start whoever, but what it comes down to is whoever is productive is going to get the praise."
NEWS & NOTES
? Senior defensive end Eric Moncur is officially out for the season, Shannon said. "He is out for the whole season and he is not coming back." Moncur sustained a hernia during the summer workouts and re-aggravated the injury during the season.
? Shannon said he "didn't know" yet if Jacory would be getting more reps than usual from this point on in the season.
? Shannon said that the defense didn't do a good job against the run against Duke. "We have to be able to shut down the run. I thought they had a good scheme coming out and running the football and in the second half we fixed it, but we have to be able to shut the fires out early."
"We had guys in position to make plays and they didn't make them. We had busted a.ssignments on guys and that kind of stuff is going to always get you."
? Shannon said the reason for more productivity in the offense is just because the plays were there. There were no big schematic changes by offensive coordinator Patrick Nix. "We did some things with three receivers on one side that we did against Texas A&M. We did the same type of run plays with Cooper out of the one back and those type of plays. The only thing we added in was the quarterback draw which we got some plays off of."
? Graig Cooper led UM's rushing attack with 64 yards on seven carries and Shannon said he would like to see Miami try to establish more of a running game. "We have to find a way to run the football and establish the run to give our quarterbacks a break."
? The freshmen wide receivers are "starting to come around" according to Shannon now that Miami is halfway through the season. "It is halfway in the season and those guys did a good job of responding the last two games of making plays. Aldarius had a good game [against Duke] and LaRon Byrd is starting to come around."
? On Matt Bosher's shanked punt, Shannon said he "punched" the ball out to his foot instead of just dropping it. According to Shannon, whenever Bosher has a bad punt, it is because he isn't dropping the ball to his foot.
? Aldarius Johnson is steadily improving from week to week, but Shannon said he doesn't want to call him a go-to receiver quite yet. "With this football team, it depends on who it is. One week it is Travis, one week it is Thearon, and one week it is Aldarius. Each one of those young guys is doing a good job of making plays and making catches. It depends on the game which guys get involved."
? The defense made adjustments in the second half to shut down Duke's off-tackle running game and that was a major reason why the Blue Devils' offense stalled. "You always have to make adjustments to put out the fires," Shannon said.
? The special teams did a good job of controlling the field positions for most of the game, Shannon said. "We did a good job of creating field position with Bosher's kicking in the second half and also with Travis Benjamin in the punt return."
? Shannon said there are no injuries to report from the Duke game. Defensive tackle Josh Holmes is expected to return within the next two weeks.
? According to Shannon, running back Javarris James felt fine with running on his ankle, but he was aggravated by the tape that was around his foot.
|10-20-2008, 01:39 AM||#4725|
|8 years ago||'04 #4726|
$4,933 | 706
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami Head Coach Randy Shannon discusses this week's opponent as Miami prepares to play Wake Forest.
"We got Wake Forest this week and it is another ACC game which should be a tremendous challenge for us because we are playing another veteran team. Coach Grobe has done a good job with Wake Forest of keeping guys in that program and they have some good guys on offense and on defense they have guys that can get you in bad positions. They don't substitute, they are going to keep two running backs in the game with two receivers and a tight end in the game at all times and they line up in different formations to get you not to substitute. If you try to substitute they can get on the ball and run their offense."
News & Notes
? Shannon on continuing to play both quarterbacks this season. "This is a partnership of two quarterbacks that are going to help us win games," Shannon said. "We are going to play Jacory Harris because we need him...when he came in the game this week against Duke, he did a good job for us. We are going to play Jacory because you never know what can happen in the game with quarterbacks. This is no different than Cooper and Javarris James, this is no different than Aldarius and LaRon Byrd, this is no different than Davon Johnson and Travis Benjamin. They are all in the process of helping us win games at the University of Miami."
? Seven true freshen have scored a touchdown this season and Shannon says that is because each week a new freshman is stepping up. "There is not a go-to guy on this football team," Shannon said. "There are go-to guys in certain games and that is what you will see...when we spread the ball around on offense, we are probably going to win the game."
? Miami's red-zone defense has not been good all season and Shannon said the best red-zone defense is not allowing an offense to get down in that area. "When practice starts we work on red-zone each day," Shannon said. "Each day, ones against ones, red-zone, offense and defense go at it...you just have to keep working on it."
? Wake Forest has only scored one touchdown in three ACC games this year. Shannon said a big part of that lack of offensive productions is due to Wake kicker Sam Swank being injured the last two games. "I think the one thing that I noticed a little bit from their offense is that early in the season they were doing a lot of things," Shannon said. "They were doing more of lining up in a couple of formations here and there and playing great football and their kicker has been injured...That kind of tails it back offensively as to what you want to get done."
? Kicker Sam Swank has been a big key to Wake Forest throughout his career and Shannon gave him a lot of praise. "He is really, really good," Shannon said. "Over the years of playing Wake Forest, he has always had a tremendous leg. I don't know if he will be back this week, but if he is he will be a key factor as far as field position in the game."
? Freshman wide receiver Aldarius Johnson has taken another step in his development the past few weeks, Shannon said. "Aldarius has shown he can [make tough catches] at times."
"Me and Coach Swasey talked about he may be a step slower than Andre [Johnson] when he first got here, but if you look at his body frame and body size, he has the ability."
? Shannon said he didn't recruit the Pahokee area as a recruit, so he didn't deal with Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith much in high school. Shannon did say Smith has molded himself into being a great cover corner. "He is really a true cover corner that does a great job of covering guys," Shannon said. "He takes chances and he plays the ball well. It will be a big challenge for the young players we have on our football team."
? Wake Forest is the top team in the ACC in creating turnovers, with 20 on the year. Shannon said Wake does a great job of creating turnovers and limiting their own turnovers. "They lead the conference over the last two or three years in turnovers," Shannon said. "If they do, then you have an opportunity to really capitalize on it."
? Wide receiver D.J. Boldin is one of Wake Forest's biggest offensive threats. He leads Wake with 383 yards on 38 receptions. "He is their go-to guy," Shannon said. "When they run trick plays he is going to be involved in it and he is going to touch the ball in some fashion eight to ten times a game."
? With a veteran quarterback in Riley Skinner and a senior receiver in D.J. Boldin, Shannon calls this week's game the biggest test for the UM secondary. "It is important for us to be sound and not give up any big plays," Shannon said. "Defensively we haven't been giving up big plays of late and if we stay sound defensively, we will be ok."
? Safety Ryan Hill received praise from Shannon for making a smooth transition this year from wide receiver to the defense. "We don't play him all the snaps of the game and he has been tremendous in learning all those things and he is a fast guy that gives us more speed in the secondary and his cover ability also helps us."
? Shannon stated a key area he wants to clean up on defense this week is the offsides penalties the defensive line is picking up that last few weeks. "That's a problem," Shannon said. "The last three weeks that has gotten us. To me, that is just looking at the football and seeing if [the center] is moving it. That is unacceptable."
? Shannon said that he will not try and implement more of the two-minute, no huddle offense this season even though that offense was successful against Duke.
? Defensive tackle Josh Holmes "could get some reps" in the game this week against Wake Forest.
|8 years ago||'05 #4727|
$12,910 | 316
:banghead::banghead: dammit im not gonna be able to watch the wf game this week cuz ima be at gainesville for gator growl....i swear sh*t better not happend like how we lost to ncstate last yr at the ob when i was in gator growl last yr
|8 years ago||'04 #4728|
$4,933 | 706
Last edited by booie4; 10-21-2008 at 07:56 PM..
|8 years ago||'04 #4730|
$4,933 | 706
Miami and Wake Forest are entering this week's game as two teams that appear to be going in two different directions.
Miami (4-3) is coming off a solid win at Duke--their second win in a row--while Wake Forest (4-2) is coming off a 26-0 drubbing from Maryland.
This game is likely to have big implications for both teams. A win for Miami can carry momentum the rest of the season into a bowl game for the Hurricanes, while a win for Wake Forest would quickly end their skid.
The following is a first look at this weeks Wake Forest-Miami game which is a 12 p.m. game at Dolphin Stadium.
What Wake Forest does well
Defense. Wake ranks 22nd in the country in scoring defense, allowing just under 17 points per game and third in the country in turnovers gained with 20 on the year. The Demon Deacon defense is very experienced--Wake only has four players on their two deep who are younger than a redshirt junior. The secondary is led by cornerback Alphonso Smith and Kevin Patterson. Both Smith and Patterson are redshirt seniors and both lead the team with three interceptions on the year. Senior linebacker Aaron Curry leads Wake Forest with 50 tackles.
Why Wake Forest loses
In both of Wake's losses this year, opposing defenses were able to pressure and rattle quarterback Riley Skinner. In the losses to Navy and Maryland, Skinner went a combined 40-of-70 for 397 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions, and seven sacks. Skinner makes the Wake Forest offense go and the best way to make their offense sputter is to get to Skinner. Wake is ranked 93rd in the country in sacks allowed with 14 on the year in six games. The key to beating Wake Forest is getting to Skinner.
A player to watch
Kicker Sam Swank is considered one of the top kickers in the country and could definitely be considered Wake's best offensive player, but he has been sidelined with a quadriceps injury for two weeks. Wake's gameplan is based on good defense which sets up strong field position, ball control offense, and great special teams. On the season, Swank is 10-of-13 in field goals with a long of 49 for the year. He is 9-of-12 in his career in field goals from 50 yards and out. Swank's health this week will be an important factor in this week's game this week.
Reciever D.J. Boldin is one of the most productive receivers in the ACC. For the season he has 38 receptions for 383 yards and one touchdown. Boldin only averages ten yards per reception, but he will wear opposing secondaries down before making a big play. UM's secondary will have to know where Boldin is at all times if they want to stop Wake Forest from sustaining long scoring drives. Duke's top receiver Eron Riley caught two passes for 48 yards last week against Miami and he could have ended the game had he not dropped about four passes in the second half. Miami's secondary will be tested
Stat of the game
In three ACC games this season, the Wake Forest offense has scored just one touchdown.
What the game comes down to
The team that wins the field position battle and limits the offensive turnovers best will win this game. Wake Forest thrives off of their opponents mistakes and relies on the short field that the defense gives the offense. If Miami can get to Skinner and force him to make questionable decisions and running backs Graig Cooper and Javarris James control the offense, Miami should come out with a win. Miami cannot afford either of their young quarterbacks to commit any turnovers against Wake Forest.
|8 years ago||'04 #4731|
$4,933 | 706
There are under two hours remaining before kickoff, and Robert Marve has the book out and is ready.
No, it's not UM's playbook.
It's THE BOOK.
As in The Bible.
He calls over Jacory Harris and the pair partake in what has become a pre-game ritual.
"Before the game Marve gets the Bible and just reads the scripture to the both of us and we pray together at the stadium," Marve said. "He always grabs me, `Man we've got to pray.' He just reads the scripture, just thanks God."
Harris says he doesn't pray for victories.
"There are certain things you pray for," Harris said. "You don't pray for victories; you just pray that you do well."
And he certainly played well last Saturday at Duke. He came in for the end of the second quarter and remained in the rest of the game, leading the team to six touchdowns and a come-from-behind win.
"It kind of reminded me of my high school days, just going out, picking apart a defense and having fun," Harris said.
Of knowing he was going back in for the next series, the series after that and the series after that instead of just playing his usual two series or so in a game, Harris said, "Now you know you can make plays, don't have to limit yourself to making sure you don't do anything crazy, put this team in a predicament they can't get out of.
"Now I know that I can go out there and just have fun. I'm not limited to just throwing a hitch when I have a corner route open but I don't want to be too greedy. I can actually take chances."
This weekend Harris returns to the bench behind Marve.
And he says he's fine with that.
"Me and Robert, we know that each of us is going to play and that each of us is (sometimes) going to get more playing time than one another," Harris said. "We're just trying to make it a better team, trying to win games. Whoever is in and taking control and helping us win, we're both satisfied with that. We just want wins, rings on our finger."
Many outside the program think the quarterback partnership can't work long-term.
Harris's thoughts on that?
"I understand what people are saying," Harris said. "Before coming in I used to think that. But as you see you're going up against somebody that can also lead this team to victory you kind of humble yourself, notice you're not bigger than the team, that you're not the only person that can do the job for the team. That's what I learned, that me and Robert can do this together."
How does he see this two quarterback partnership working down the road?
"All we've said is you've got my back, I've got your back," Harris said. "When I'm on the field you tell me what I'm doing wrong when I come to the sideline. When you're on the field I'm going to do the same. We take care of each other just like that."
* Of Wake Forest's defense, Harris says, "I know they get a lot of turnovers. They're just an awesome defensive team. They're a stacked team."
* Harris spoke about the play of Aldarius Johnson, saying, "I know nobody really can stick him unless they know he's running a go route and they're playing off it. Aldarius is that person who is going to make that for sure catch. He's an athlete, knows how to play the game, how to adjust to the ball."
* Harris says he has a benefit from starting games on the bench, since he's able to observe what an opposing defense is doing and figure out the best ways to attack it.
"I taught myself different reads to look at, basically know all the coverages," Harris said. "So I know what to read and what our play will do against this coverage and if this play will work or not. Things like that help you a lot. You're on the sideline and can see everything that's going on."
* Harris says he loves running the hurry up offense because "I'm better when my adrenaline is flowing. (Running that offense) is when a defense makes mistakes."
* Harris caught a pass on a trick play against Duke. The last time he caught a pass? The beginning of his 10th grade year.
Harris, who fielded punts for fun after this afternoon's practice, joked with reporters after drills that "I believe I have the best hands on the team."
|8 years ago||'04 #4733|
$4,933 | 706
JASON FOX Q&A
Q: Your freshmen receivers have really lit it up.
Fox: I think we did have the No. 1 recruiting class. It's obvious we have a number of talented freshmen on this team, and we knew from the beginning - even before the season started - that they were going to come in and contribute right away. So far they've played well and hopefully they can continue to play well for the rest of the season.
Q: What does that say for the future?
Fox: They're only freshmen and they're making plays? That's incredible. They only have time to get better. Things are definitely looking up in the future.
Q: Talk about Jacory Harris's effort in rallying you guys against Duke.
Fox: He played extremely well. He came in, made some mistakes, but overall he played extremely well. He had six touchdowns drives. That's pretty impressive.
Q: Did you see him get into a rhythm?
Fox: He got in a rhythm, and I think our offense got in a rhythm. We struggled early-on, changed some things up not just with the quarterback but different play-calling. We seemed to have more success with it, kept with it and had more success throughout the game.
Q: How long can both Jacory Harris and Robert Marve share playing quarterback before one wants to step up as "the guy"?
Fox: I think every guy wants to be the guy. But it goes beyond that. If that goes beyond being a team player, a contributor to the team, then that's a problem. But every guy wants to be the guy, no matter if you're playing wide receiver, quarterback or lineman. That's just in you, that self-motivation. Both of those guys have that in them, but they both care enough about the team to not let that affect the team at all.
Q: How are they different in the huddle as far as a leadership perspective?
Fox: They're very similar. And they both can come out and make plays any given day. Marve is a little more jump up and down, fire up the guys. Jacory is just a really confident guy. You know when he gets in the huddle he's really focused and is coming out to make plays.
Q: Talk about Wake Forest.
Fox: They have a lot of talent on their team. We're going to have to do a great job studying them, learning their defense as far as an offensive standpoint, and be as ready as possible for the game.
Q: Talk about what that Duke win does for this team.
Fox: That was just the next game, and now we have to win the next one. We have to look at it as one game a time throughout the rest of the season. If we do that and stay focused we can still turn this around.
Q: The team has played well on the road. Do you almost relax more on the road because there's not as much pressure?
Fox: I haven't noticed anything like that. I don't think so.
Q: Talk about Javarris James coming back.
Fox: That's exciting when you have him back - that adds a whole (new) dimension to your offense. He's an extremely talented running back. Throughout his career here he's been banged up at times, a lot of times has played through it. When he's playing through injuries he still did well, but just imagine what he could have done if he was fully healthy. Now he's coming back and will add a lot of firepower to our offense.
|8 years ago||'04 #4734|
$4,933 | 706
The names aren't too different.
And, according to some, the two players aren't too different.
Aldarius, a true freshman, certainly doesn't mind the comparison. He grew up with Johnson as his favorite player.
"I always looked up to him since I was little," Aldarius says.
He even wanted to wear Andre's No. 5 at Miami, but that already belonged to Javarris James. He settled for the next closest number, 4.
Told that a lot of people compare him to Andre, Aldarius said, "Yeah they do, but..."
His voice trails off.
Then he continues.
"They can do that," he says with a big grin.
The current Canes' Johnson has gotten some help from past UM greats. He says he's spoken with Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss and Roscoe Parrish.
"When they come down we go out, run routes, just have fun," Johnson said. "They say to stay focused, go hard on every play, don't give no DB a sign of weakness and just have fun while I'm out there playing the game of football."
Coach Randy Shannon, asked about the comparisons between the two Johnson's, says he can see the comparison but that Aldarius is a step slower.
Aldarius agrees he's not up to Andre's speed level.
"I have enough time to get my speed down - by my junior year I'll be faster than Andre Johnson," says Aldarius, who ran a 4.53-second 40 time in the preseason.
Aldarius says he speaks with Andre every now and then and that the Houston Texas receiver "calls me his little brother."
The two met when Aldarius was in seventh grade and would come to UM practices.
Andre Johnson was a go-to guy when he was at Miami, but this offense doesn't have a go-to guy.
Shannon is quick to point out that on any week any of UM's pass catchers can be the guy who leads the team to a win.
Last week it was Johnson's turn. The freshman had eight catches against Duke, including a fourth down conversion that helped UM come back from a 10-point deficit.
"When the play was called in Jacory (Harris) told me he was coming at me because I was on the short side of the field," said Johnson, who played with Harris at Miami Northwestern High School. "It was a quick throw, so I already knew the ball was coming. I just had to get my head around. I knew it was a critical catch because we had to set up a touchdown, go in with 14 points."
Johnson said that play was reminiscent of a fourth-down conversion on a 99-yard last-minute drive that gave Northwestern a berth in the state title game last year against Deerfield Beach High.
"The first two fourth downs (in that game) we didn't get them," Johnson said. "The last fourth down he came to me on a hitch play, the same thing I had caught in the Duke game. I just came down with the catch just like I did in the Deerfield game."
Shannon has pointed to Johnson as one of the players that has stepped up his game in practice in recent weeks.
"I've been running my routes hard," Johnson said. "I'm coming off the ball hard on run plays to set up the pass, soften the DBs up. I've really stepped my game up."
* Of the chemistry between him and Harris, Johnson said, "He has confidence in all his receivers, but on critical downs he was coming to me."
Johnson said he has some signals left over from high school that he still uses with Harris.
"He knows where I'm going to be, where to put the ball," Johnson said.
* Of all the freshmen that have scored this season, Johnson said, "It really is amazing. Just to get the coaches to believe in us, know we'll make plays (is great).
"Everyone's getting experience for next year. We already know how the game is going to be."
* Johnson says he began playing football at age 5 and "always had that big play ability."
He certainly showed it off Saturday. And after his big performance Johnson says Harris had a simple message for him.
"He was thanking me," Johnson said.
|8 years ago||'04 #4735|
$12,716 | 560
i dont care how weak the opponents were, for a bunch of 17 and 18 year old kids who are a few months removed from their senior proms to be ballin the way they are is phenomenal anyway you slice it
|8 years ago||'04 #4736|
$4,933 | 706
LaRon Byrd is among a host of talented freshmen receivers all vying to get the ball in their hands on game day this season.
"Everybody wants to be a playmaker, everybody wants the ball," Byrd said. "Every athlete wants to go in there and make the first play, the first touchdown, the biggest catch.
"We as receivers, we work as a team. So if Aldarius (Johnson) scores, Kayne Farquharson scores, you'll see me in the end zone pumping them up because they scored for our group, our team. Each one of us wants the ball, wants to make something happen, but as long as one of us makes something happen we're all happy."
While Byrd is a freshman, receivers coach Aubrey Hill has stopped calling him and his fellow first-year receivers by that title.
Instead he calls them rookies.
"I like the term `Rookie,'" Byrd said. "We still have a lot of learning to do, are always going to have a lot of learning to do. As the season goes on we'll learn more progress more, hopefully put up more numbers."
Byrd is among the seven true freshmen at Miami that have scored touchdowns, most in the nation.
"That feels real good," Byrd said. "But that was supposed to happen. If you're in the game you're supposed to make plays no matter if it's juniors or seniors. Coaches have us out there for a reason, to score points, produce in some way.
"I'm thrilled for it, our team is thrilled for it."
What does that say about the future of UM's offense?
"Hopefully it says some big things," Byrd said. "We're going to try do some big things on offense and defense, the whole team, hopefully bring one of these national championships home for a couple of years."
How does all the competition between the receivers affect the group?
"It makes us want to compete more, just raises the level of intensity up," Byrd said.
* Byrd calls the win at Duke "crucial."
"It was our first ACC win," he says. "We really needed that win. It shows you can't ever underestimate the opponent. No matter who you play it's going to be a battle every Saturday. It was a good win, our second straight win. It has us going into Wake Forest with a pretty confident mind, going in here to try and dominate this game."
* Byrd was asked about the play of Jacory Harris in the Duke win.
"He said `I still felt like I was in high school - as long as I get in that rhythm, that's all I need,'" Byrd said. "He made some big plays, big runs."
Byrd says Harris and Robert Marve "are just like brothers. We all work together, and I don't think it'll be a problem (using two quarterbacks) down the stretch."
* Of catching his first college touchdown, Byrd said it was a weight off his chest.
"Each week I was pressing myself - `I got to score, I got to score,'" Byrd said. "It felt real good."
Did he watch replays of his score?
"Oh, yeah, I was watching film on it all day," Byrd said. "But like coach (Randy) Shannon says, that game's over and done with. Now we have to focus on Wake Forest."
|8 years ago||'04 #4737|
$4,933 | 706
TRAVIS BENJAMIN Q&A
Q: The receivers are all young but it seems like you're having the time of your lives.
Benjamin: When we first came into camp we said as freshmen we have to make a big impact on the program to bring it back.
Q: Each week it's a different guy stepping up.
Benjamin: Everybody has their certain role, certain thing they have to do. So we practice hard, play hard as a freshman group. And when we score a touchdown all the freshmen are celebrating with each other.
Q: You guys are starting to get more plays in games. Was it hard starting off the year only getting 15, 20 reps in a game?
Benjamin: It was kind of tough, because I know my ability, the things I do to try and make plays. When (coach Randy Shannon) saw all the freshmen contributing, making plays, he knew who the playmakers were so he put the freshmen on the field.
Q: Does coach Shannon know you guys can handle things well now?
Benjamin: He knows he can leave us out for the whole game because all the freshmen, the rotation - if a freshman comes out then a freshman is going in.
Q: Do you feel older than you are?
Benjamin: I feel kind of old. When I first came college football was faster. (Now I'm) used to it.
Q: The future looks pretty good with all the young players.
Benjamin: Everybody knows that on the offensive side a whole bunch of freshmen are coming back, so next year we'll be better.
Q: Talk about the play of Jacory Harris against Duke.
Benjamin: With Jacory, even though he's the backup quarterback, he always shows confidence. If Jacory (plays) and messes up, then (Robert) Marve is coming in. Everyone plays their role to not let the team lose.
Q: How big is this game against Wake Forest?
Benjamin: It's a very big test. Wake Forest has a bunch of juniors and seniors, people who have played two or three years of college football already. They think because we're freshmen we don't know the game that well. We have to go out and play our hardest.
Q: Do you pay attention to the ACC standings?
Benjamin: This game means a lot to us because we need every ACC game we've got right now.
Q: You said if someone tackles you by the hair you'll cut your long dreadlocks. It looked like against Duke someone grabbed your hair on a return.
Benjamin: No, he didn't grab my hair. He grabbed me by my shoulder pad. But if he'd have pulled me by my hair I'd have cut it.
Q: How much would you cut off?
Benjamin: I'd just cut it very low.
|8 years ago||'04 #4738|
$4,933 | 706
CHRIS ZELLNER Q&A
Q: How is the Wake Forest team different from your team?
Zellner: It's very different. They're all a bunch of juniors and seniors, experienced guys. The last time we played them was up there and it was a close game. They're going to be after us. We have a lot of young guys playing, so it's going to take older guys, a lot of people making plays and staying together because it's going to be a tough game.
Q: Wake Forest has played a lot of low-scoring games.
Zellner: Well, we have to go out and work hard. They're a stocked defense of all juniors and seniors. So they all know it's their last year, will come out and play their hardest game. They just lost, got embarrassed. So they're going to be like, `Hey, we have to go out here and make a statement.' So it's going to be on us to really go out and get ready for a tough and physical game.
Q: How confident is the offense after the effort against Duke?
Zellner: It's building. We always have to make more strides to keep getting better. It's really growing, you could say.
Q: Jacory Harris played the entire second half. Did you see him develop his own rhythm?
Zellner: Yeah, I think so. He took control of the huddle during the hurry-up offense, told us, `Come on guys, let's go.' And he was a leader in there. It's just good to see him grow like that.
Q: Is it nice to have a home game again?
Zellner: Nothing's like playing at home in front of the fans. It's an amazing feeling, you know? This game is going to be huge, and our fans are going to be out there supporting us. It's going to be a great feeling.
Q: Talk about what it's like having a freshman dominated offense vs. the last year or two.
Zellner: It's a different feeling. The last couple of years I've been in the huddle with seniors. Now it's with freshmen. You're going to have some mistakes, but one thing about it is I never see these freshmen get rattled. If they drop a pass, mess up, they're kind of confident in their own selves, know they can go out and make plays. We're always behind them, and they're just really confident to get the ball in their hands because they can make something happen. It's really exciting to see them.
Q: Do these freshmen seem like older kids?
Zellner: They do. And I think that's how they played in high school and also how coach (Randy) Shannon has changed us all - you're no longer a freshman once you step on campus. With the way coach Shannon works us and how hard we push each other, compete against each other, you're no longer freshmen by that first game.
Q: Is there any friction you can see between Robert Marve and Jacory Harris?
Zellner: Right now you never see it. Honestly and truthfully, they're like the best of friends. They read the Bible together, have fun together, hang out. They lead the team very well.
|8 years ago||'04 #4739|
$4,933 | 706
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Travis Benjamin remembers watching Alphonso Smith when he was in eighth grade and Smith was a senior star.
Benjamin would evolve into a star himself, at Glades Central. Smith at nearby rival Pahokee.
Now, Benjamin will be lined up across from Smith as Miami hosts Wake Forest on Saturday.
"It's very fun," Benjamin said. "You are playing to have fun, but when you are on the field, you want to win against your old rival. Every time I go against a Pahokee player, I want to win."
Benjamin is second on the team with 174 receiving yards and leads the team with three touchdowns.
Smith, one of the top cornerbacks in the country, has three interceptions this season--17 in his career, which leads all active players.
"Alphonso is the type that is physical, he'll get up in your face and he'll always jump the routes," Benjamin said. "Anything you run, you have to be precise on your route. Don't be showing your route and don't be looking back on your route."
Benjamin knows that a big play against Smith will be talked about back home, but it could also be a big confidence booster for his teammates.
"It would probably be a big momentum changer because if my fellow receivers see that I'm doing a big play on him, they know if they line up against him, they know they can do the same thing," Benjamin said. "It's going to give our team's confidence."
Miami is coming off a 49-31 victory over Duke and currently sits at 4-3 on the season, 1-2 in the ACC.
A win over Wake Forest (4-2, 2-1) would help inch Miami closer to the top of the Coastal division standings.
"We need every ACC game we got right now," Benjamin said.
Wake Forest is ranked fifth in the ACC in total defense behind Smith, star linebacker Aaron Curry, and junior defensive tackle Boo Robinson as all three are NFL prospects.
"It's a very big test because Wake Forest has a lot of seniors and juniors and they think because we are freshmen, we don't know the game that well," Benjamin said.
Benjamin will look to make an impact on special teams this week also. He leads the ACC in punt returns (14.2 avg.) and is fifth in kickoff returns (25.9), but has yet to return one for a touchdown on special teams.
"Hopefully I'll do it this week," he said.
|8 years ago||'04 #4740|
$4,933 | 706
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
Never miss breaking news on Miami sports and recruiting. Sign-up for CaneSport.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!
An open letter to Jacory Harris:
Allow me to invite you to a new history course: Miami Hurricanes Quarterbacks 101. You can bring along fellow freshman quarterbacks Cannon Smith and Taylor Cook.
This class should be required for all incoming quarterbacks at the "U." It's not about X's and O's, it's all about learning how the great UM quarterbacks became great, how they all needed to be patient and wait their turn.
I'll be the instructor, and I'm not going to talk about reading defenses or calling audibles.
I didn't play college football, unless you count being a wide receiver and cornerback on a fraternity flag football team at a Division III school in Michigan. But I have seen every Hurricane team since the 1970s, and I watched the program become Quarterback U, a tradition that has taken a hit lately.
A synopsis of the course: In the modern era of Hurricane football, beginning with 1979 and the arrival of Howard Schnellenberger as coach, there have been seven great quarterbacks: Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson, Gino Torretta and Ken Dorsey. Five of them won national championships. Of the two who didn't, one (Testaverde) won the Heisman Trophy and the other (Kelly) was injured most of his senior year but went on make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Here's your first quiz: Do you know what these quarterbacks had in common?
True, they were all right-handed. But that's irrelevant.
Answer: Each one of them sat on the bench most or all of their freshman season. They waited for their turn.
Obviously none of them transferred. There have been several UM quarterbacks who did transfer. And every one of them virtually disappeared from the face of college football.
The ones who stayed, who paid their dues, so to speak, saw their patience rewarded.
You've been patient this season, too, and that paid off in Saturday's 49-31 victory at Duke. When Robert Marve struggled, you came in and led the Hurricanes to 35 unanswered points and threw four touchdown passes.
I liked what you said after the game on the Hurricane Sports Network: "I appreciate all the times that coach (Randy) Shannon puts me into the game. Whenever it is I'm happy to go into the game, whether it's to bring my team back or keep them ahead. It doesn't matter when I get in or if I get in. I just want the team to win, that's all I worry about."
That's the kind of patience the great ones at UM have needed. Take Testaverde, for instance. He sat for THREE years before he became "the man," then he led the Hurricanes to the Sugar and Fiesta Bowls, came within one play of winning the national championship and won the Heisman Trophy. He also went on to an NFL career that started before you were born and just ended after 22 years.
Kelly, Kosar, Walsh and Torretta all were redshirted their freshman season. They didn't get quality playing time like you are getting in every game. Yet each one, when he got his chance, played well and took command of the offense.
I'll begin these history lessons with Kelly, who was part of Lou Saban's great recruiting class of 1978. That was in the days when the Hurricanes invariably had three quarterbacks - one departing, one coming and one playing.
One quarterback quit in the summer. One incumbent, a senior, was moved to receiver. Another, Kenny McMillian, was injured in the first game. Saban had three freshmen: Kelly, Mark Richt (now the coach at Georgia) and Mike Rodrigue. He went with Rodrigue, who spent most of the season handing off to senior tailback Ottis Anderson, who still holds the record as UM's all-time rushing leader.
Saban resigned after that 6-5 season, Schnellenberger took over and started Rodrigue the first seven games in 1979. For the eighth game, the coach decided at the last moment to go with Kelly, who barfed in the locker room before the game, then went on to lead a shocking 28-10 victory at Penn State. That was the genesis of Quarterback U.
The next year Kelly spearheaded the Hurricanes to the Peach Bowl, their first bowl game in 13 seasons. His junior year they went 9-2, losing only to fourth-ranked Texas and 16th-ranked Mississippi State on the road in close games. In the third game of his senior year, 1982, he suffered a dislocated shoulder at Virginia Tech in the third game and was lost for the season.
That same season, the Hurricanes had two freshmen quarterbacks: Kosar, and a guy listed in the media guide as Vincent Testaverde. Neither was among the six quarterbacks on the Parade Magazine All-American high school team, but Schnellenberger and his staff rated them as two of the top three quarterbacks in the nation. Plus there was Richt, a senior, and Kyle Vanderwende, a redshirt freshman, who had been all-state at Palm Beach Gardens.
That year the Hurricanes arguably had the greatest collection of college quarterbacks in history. Earl Morrall, a former Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins star quarterback, was their coach. He attended the flag football game between the Canes and Dolphins in the Orange Bowl's farewell several months ago and he agreed that this was the best quarterback group ever at one college.
And none of them transferred.
Jacory, if you want to learn about patience, talk to Kosar and Testaverde. Kosar, who had been Mr. Ohio Football, didn't play at all in 1982. Testaverde, an honorable mention All-American in high school, was fourth string and played briefly in the ninth and 10th games, completing five of 12 passes for 79 yards.
Going into the 1983 season, Vanderwende, who went 2-1 as the starter at the end of 1982, and Kosar and Testaverde were considered equal. Schnellenberger picked Kosar "by a whisker" based on "a combination of intelligence, leadership and ability."
The Hurricanes lost the opener at Florida 28-3, but Kosar's performance convinced Schnellenberger he had made the right pick. They didn't lose another game, knocking off heavily favored Nebraska in the Orange Bowl Classic to win UM's first national championship.
Testaverde didn't play a down that season. And he was the backup in 1984, Jimmy Johnson's first season, playing in six games and completing 17 of 34 passes for 184 yards and no touchdowns.
In 1985, when Testeverde became the starter, Walsh arrived as a freshman and was redshirted. As the backup on the great 1986 team, he appeared in two games and completed one of two passes for five yards. He started every game in 1987 as the Hurricanes reloaded and went undefeated to win their second national title. In 1988 he was a first-team All-American as the Canes finished No. 2 behind Notre Dame, which beat them 31-30 at South Bend.
Then it was Erickson's turn. He had been Walsh's backup for two seasons, mostly seeing mop-up duties in lopsided victories. He completed 22 of 37 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns in 1987 and went 26 for 49 for 379 yards and six TDs in 1988. When he got his chance in 1989 (Dennis Erickson's first year as coach), he led the Hurricanes to their third championship, and in 1990 they finished fourth in the nation.
Enter Torretta, who was redshirted in 1988. As a second-year freshman in 1989 he was thrust into the starting job for four games when Erickson was injured, and he played in six other games. He was Erickson's backup again in 1990, playing in nine games and completing 21 of 41 for 210 yards.
When Torretta received his turn, he never lost in two years until his final game and he won the Heisman Trophy. The Canes won the 1991 national title and in 1992 their streak ended in the Suger Bowl against Alabama.
After Torretta, the program went into a lull at quarterback. The Hurricanes had good ones but not great ones: Frank Costa, Ryan Clement, Ryan Collins, Scott Covington, Kenny Kelly. Also, NCAA sanctions in the mid-1990s cost the team several scholarships.
At the end of the decade, Butch Davis built the foundation for the program's rise back to the top. Kenny Kelly might have been the quarterback to take them there, but he was doing double duty as an outfielder in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization and opted after the 1999 season to leave school for baseball.
And that opened the door for Dorsey, who in 1999 became the first true freshman to start at quarterback at UM since Rodrigue in 1978 when he filled in for the injured Kelly in three games. Then he started every game for three years, losing only once during the regular season (in 2000), winning the national championship in 2001 and nearly repeating in 2002 while winning the Maxwell Award as the nation's top quarterback
Jacory, you know the history since then, how Brock Berlin and Kyle Wright didn't live up to expectations, how the talent level dropped significantly and the program failed to sign a quarterback in 2005 and 2006.
Now you and redshirt freshman Marve are battling it out. Maybe battling is the wrong word. You guys call it a "partnership," which is rare and I believe is healthy competition.
You sounded much older than an 18-year-old after the Duke game when you said, "Robert is a great quarterback and I want everybody to know, because Robert is one of my good friends, I love Robert. So whenever Robert is hot, I want him to stay in. That's how I feel. And vice versa. We care about each other."