Tag:Jacory Harris
Posted on: December 30, 2010 2:16 pm
 

CBS Bowl Bonanza: Sun Bowl

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Basics: Notre Dame (7-5) vs. Miami (7-5), 2pm EST, CBS

Why You Should Watch: This is a pretty interesting matchup, not just for the teams playing in it, but because of the history between these two schools.  It's not quite the Catholics vs. Convicts matchups of the late 80s and early 90s, as neither team has been all that successful the last few years, but a win in this game could be another step on the path back to the top of the polls.  Plus it's on CBS!

Keys to Victory for Notre Dame: Ever since Dayne Crist went down during a loss against Tulsa, Tommy Rees has stepped in and played well, and the Irish haven't lost since.  Sure, Rees hasn't exactly been tearing it up in Crist's absence, but he's been managing the offense extremely well for a freshman, and the Irish have also seen their running game get going.

In order to beat Miami, the Irish will have to keep that formula going.  It was good enough to beat Utah and USC, and it could work against Miami as well.  The key will be for the offensive line to give Rees time, as the Miami pass rush will be better than any he has faced thus far.

Still, as well as Rees has played, the real reason Notre Dame has won its last three games has been the play of the defense.  The Irish have only allowed 22 points over those three games, and if they can pressure Jacory Harris it's only a matter of time before he makes a mistake.

Keys to Victory for Miami: Miami has the talent edge in this matchup.  The question is what the team's motivations will be.  The Hurricanes are playing for an interim coach in Jeff Stoutland, and you really have to wonder how badly they even want to play this game, or if they'd rather just move on.

We know that Jacory Harris will come to play as this is his last chance to redeem what's been a terrible 2010 season.  Still, that could work against Miami.  Harris' biggest problem has always been his patience, and it will be key for him to not try and do too much.  Just take what the Irish defense gives him, and move the ball down the field.

On defense, the key will be to get to Rees.  Pressure him into making mistakes, and keep the running game in check.    If Miami can do this, and the offense limits mistakes and turnovers, then there's no reason that Miami can't win this game.

The Sun Bowl is like: that fight between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson, the rematch, in 1997.  Yes, Holyfield was still the champion at the time, but neither fighter was the same as the ones we'd seen earlier in their careers.  Still, a win in this game, much like that title fight, would help bring some legitimacy back to either program.  I just hope that nobody bites anybody's ear off.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 9:59 am
Edited on: December 30, 2010 1:04 pm
 

UPDATE: Jacory Harris named starter for Sun Bowl

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE - Interim coach Jeff Stoutland announced at a joint press conference on Thursday that Jacory Harris would be the starting quarterback against Notre Dame.  He did also say that if Stephen Morris is needed, "he'll be available."  The situation sounds like a flip-flop of the South Florida game, with Morris starting and Harris "available."  We saw two quarterbacks against the Bulls, so it could happen again in the Sun Bowl. 

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As Miami prepares to try and put an end to a tumultuous season in the Sun Bowl against Notre Dame on Friday, it seems fitting that on Thursday morning the quarterback situation is still not resolved.  Jacory Harris is expected to get the start, filling in for injured quarterback Stephen Morris.  Morris, who won the job after filling in for the injured Harris earlier in the season, sprained his ankle in Tuesday's practice.  Harris has been practicing with the first team, but interim coach Jeff Stoutland says that Morris has not been ruled out yet.

"He's way better than we thought he would be,'' Stoutland said after practice on Wednesday. "After I left you guys yesterday and I checked on him, I thought it was going to be, you know I didn't expect [him to be that much improved."

Harris has not started a game since October 30, when he sustained a concussion against Virginia that put him out for nearly a month.  When Harris was cleared to play by doctors, former head coach Randy Shannon kept Morris in the starting position.  Harris did get to see the field in the regular season finale against South Florida, but even leading Miami to 20 second half points wasn't enough to squeak out the victory in the 23-20 overtime loss.  Harris was mostly efficient in the outing, completing 12 of 18 passes for 118 yards.  But it was a costly interception (his 12th in nine games of action) that reminded many Hurricanes fans the frustrations of having Harris under center.  

The decision on the starting quarterback is expected to come on Thursday.  After another day of rest, the staff will make a determination on Morris' status.  Despite his apparent loyaly towards Morris, Stoutland still is confident in Harris should he be the starter.  He made a point to compliment Harris' preparation for the game, saying he is "on his 'A' game right now mentally."

Notre Dame has seen some great offenses this season.  Regardless of who is under center, the necessity to limit the mistakes will still hold utmost importance for the Hurricanes success.

  


Posted on: December 29, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Stephen Morris hurts ankle in practice

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We're only a few days away from the Sun Bowl yet we still haven't been told who will be starting at quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes.  Interim head coach Jeff Stoutland has kept a wraps on his plans since taking the job over, and has had Stephen Morris and Jacory Harris in a competition throughout practices.  Odds are that Stoutland will never tell anyone what his plans are until just before game time, or it's possible he won't say anything at all and everyone will just have to wait and see when the game starts.

Of course, even if Stoutland doesn't plan on showing his cards before the game, there are other ways of figuring these things out.  For example, the fact that Morris was on crutches after injuring his ankle in practice on Tuesday can't bode well for his chances.

Morris hurt the ankle while taking snaps with the first team and fell down.  It's not clear exactly what he did to the ankle, but he could not put any weight on it afterward, and had to use crutches to get around.  Which means that it's likely Jacory Harris will get one more shot to redeem himself in 2010.

Though this isn't just a chance to put a nice bow on what's been a disappointing season for Harris.  It's also a chance to give himself a step up in the competition for the job next season when Al Golden takes over.  After all, it's hard to impress NFL scouts and erase doubts about your abilities from the bench.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 1:44 pm
 

Jacory Harris still fighting for one more chance

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Miami will play its final game of the season against Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl on New Year's Eve, you can be sure that Jacory Harris is looking forward to New Year's Day more than anything.  That's when he'll finally be able to put an awful 2010 behind him and try to right things in 2011.  Of course, having one more chance to redeem himself and the 2010 season in the Sun Bowl would be nice, but interim head coach Jeff Stoutland isn't making any promises that Harris will get another shot this season.

Stoutland has said that there's an open competition between Harris and Stephen Morris to see who the team's starting quarterback will be, and he doesn't plan on making any decision before the team arrives in El Paso.

"Every day, somebody emerges, then the other guy comes back," said Stoutland. "I keep waiting to say to myself, 'OK, it looks like [Morris or Harris] is taking over.' It's great for the competition. It makes the position better."

It's been a long season for Harris, who started the year with his name being mentioned as a Heisman candidate and then saw his skills being questioned by the Miami fan base, received racist tweets and, to top it all off, suffered a concussion.  Of course, even if Harris earns the start in the Sun Bowl, that doesn't mean things will be any easier in 2011.

He'll have to prove himself to a new coach in Al Golden who holds no allegiance to any of the players on the Miami roster, and should Golden decide not to retain offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, Harris will have to break in his third offensive coordinator and system in four years at the school.
Posted on: November 28, 2010 10:58 am
Edited on: November 28, 2010 11:52 am
 

What I learned from the ACC (Nov. 27)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1.) The Randy Shannon Era is done at Miami - Late Saturday, Miami announced that head coach Randy Shannon was fired, and the school would move forward with a coaching search immediately. While Shannon brought in several top-ranked recruiting classes, he failed to ever crack into the ACC elite in his four years at Miami. Miami fans collected money to have a banner flown over Sun Life Stadium on Saturday: 4 YEARS 0 ACC TITLES LOTS OF EXCUSES FIRE SHANNON. The only thing more depressing than the banner was the mostly-empty stadium below. Whether you believe the reports that an "emergency meeting" was called following the 23-20 overtime loss to South Florida, Saturday was undoubtedly the icing on a cake of concerns regarding the state of Miami football. Now, on to the real fun: the replacement rumors.

2.) Another year, another Coastal Division title for the Hokies - In Saturday's 37-7 win over Virginia, Virginia Tech may have cemented itself as the team of the decade in the ACC - and they have only been a member sin 2004. Virginia Tech finished the season undefeated in conference play, a feat that has not been accomplished since Florida State in 2000. Since the expansion in 2004, Virginia Tech has appeared in four of the last six ACC Championship Games as the the Coastal Division champion. Since getting virtually written off from the national scene after an 0-2 start that included a loss to James Madison, the Hokies have methodically dissected their way through their remaining schedule. A full stable of healthy running backs and a matured Tyrod Taylor have kept the Hokies productive, while the defense has held conference opponents to 14.1 points per game. Virginia Tech has improved continuously throughout the season, and now stand just one win away from their third Orange Bowl appearance in the last four years.

3.) On the day that Florida State got crowned, they looked like champions - Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State staff did not want any distractions in Doak Campbell Stadium, so they requested that the stadium staff not report the score of the Maryland-N.C. State game. After all, the Seminoles could do nothing to improve their position in the ACC Atlantic Division race, so they might as well not worry. Instead Florida State went out and dismantled their rivals from Gainesville, ending a six game losing streak to the Gators. They did it in style too, with senior Christian Ponder dicing up the Florida secondary for 221 yards and three touchdowns. When the game finished, Fisher and the Seminoles were greeted with the news of Maryland's victory. At times this season, Florida State has struggled to look like a team that wanted to compete for a league championship. But they did not look that way on Saturday, representing the conference well in the storied rivalry. Virginia Tech was one of the three opponents not on Florida State's conference schedule this year, so the Seminoles enter with a fresh slate against the conference's best team. Now we will get to see if Florida State can do what no other ACC team has done in 2010: beat Virginia Tech.

4.) Despite little to play for, Maryland did come to play - While there were concerns about how "up" Maryland would be for this game, Torrey Smith showed up. Torrey set the stage early, snagging in seven receptions in the first half. When the Terps had to have a score, trying to capitalize on a Russell Wilson interception before halftime, freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien counted on Smith in the end zone. After the Maryland defense held Russell Wilson on 4th and Goal, everyone expected the Terps to try and burn the clock. But when Torrey Smith burned his man down the field, O'Brien took a strike deep and connected for a 71 yard touchdown. Smith accentuated the score with a penalty-inducing slam dunk on the goalpost that slammed shut the Wolfpack's ACC Championship Game hopes. The Terps have been a particularly aggravating thorn in the side of N.C. State, stealing four of the last five matchups in the series. While Maryland may feel disappointed missing out on the ACC Championship Game, the win still caps off an unbelievable turnaround from the 2-10 season in 2009. Head coach Ralph Friedgen has been getting some (deserved) Coach of the Year discussion, and Smith likely just picked up a few more NFL scouts for Maryland's bowl game. All in all really impressive performance by Maryland to close the season.

5.) Boston College shows tremendous resiliency - When Boston College star running back Montel Harris underwent season-ending surgery, the Eagles lost the backbone of their newfound offensive attack. Harris averaged 127 yards per game in conference play, helping Boston College bounce back from a five game losing streak that almost crippled their season. But Boston College showed tremendous resiliency and finished the season on a five game winning streak to become bowl eligible for the 12th straight season. That same resiliency showed in the performance of backup running back Andre Williams on Saturday. Williams stepped up in Harris' absence and delivered one of the best rushing performances of the season. Head coach Frank Spaziani did not feel nervous handing the rock to Williams, and did so a whopping 42 times. But the usually tough Syracuse defense was not able to contain Williams, and freshman racked up 185 yards rushing and added a touchdown. Maybe it is the influence of linebacker Mark Herzlich, but this Boston College team simply refused to buckle in 2010.


Posted on: November 23, 2010 1:48 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2010 1:50 pm
 

Shannon: Harris will start 'if he's ready'

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Stephen Morris experience at Miami got a harsh dose of reality when the first-place Virginia Tech Hokies came into Coral Gables on Saturday.  While Morris had impressed Hurricanes fans by orchestrating wins over Maryland and Georgia Tech, but the fourth quarter unraveling against the Hokies have turned all eyes back on injured starter Jacory Harris.  The Hurricanes entered the fourth quarter tied 17-17 with Virginia Tech, and a win would keep their ACC Championship hopes alive.  But the Virginia Tech defense was not about to surrender the Coastal Division on account of a freshman quarterback.  Morris was picked three times in the final 9 minutes, and Tyrod Taylor put the nail in the coffin at the 6:25 mark with his 18 yard touchdown scramble.  

Harris was cleared by doctors to play, but remained on the sideline throughout the 31-17 loss.  Now, with an in-state showdown against South Florida to close the season, head coach Randy Shannon must decide whether to start the recovering quarterback.  Harris has yet to see the field in a game since suffering a concussion against Virginia on October 30, and has worn the green, non-contact jersey in practice.  When asked about Harris' status for Saturday's game, Shannon was predictably ambiguous.  Shannon said that Harris would start against the Bulls, but only "if he's ready."  The head coach stressed that it would depend on how Harris' timing and rhythm looked in practice this week, and that doctors would be on the sideline to assist in the decision.

Shannon has been very vocal about supporting the health of his quarterback rather than thinking the team's offensive needs.  He may also know that the fate of the Hurricanes is basically sealed at this point.  Officially eliminated of the Coastal Division race, the Hurricanes are likely staring down an invitation to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.  They could still be selected by the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, but the Sun Bowl officials have already expressed interest in seeing the Hurricanes down in the Lone Star State.  With the game against South Florida having little to no meaning for Miami, working out Stephen Morris for one more game might not be a bad idea for Miami.
Posted on: November 21, 2010 1:35 am
 

What I learned from the ACC (Nov. 20)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. Virginia Tech clinched the Coastal Division title because of playmakers - If there is one thing that has seemed to separate Virginia Tech from the rest of the conference in 2010, it has been the weekly appearance of Hokie playmakers. Frank Beamer's roster is loaded with talent that can simply make plays when needed. Virginia Tech clinched their fourth Coastal Division title since joining the ACC in 2004 with their 31-17 dismantling of Miami in Coral Gables on Saturday. When the Hurricanes stuck VT in a corner, the Hokies always had someone to answer. Whether it was Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Williams, or Danny Coale, someone was always stepping up when needed. The Hokies may have the division clinched, but they'll be playing for history against Virginia next week. No team has run the table in the ACC since Florida State did it in 1999 and 2000. A win over the Cavaliers and Virginia Tech can add that to their already impressive ACC resume.

2. N.C. State on the edge of a historic season - By squeezing out a 29-25 come from behind victory against North Carolina, N.C. State has found themselves a game away from competing in their first ACC Atlantic Division title. The Wolfpack have not won an ACC Championship since 1979, and with a win over Maryland next week in the season finale, will have a chance to do so against the Hokies in Charlotte. They got it done with special teams against the Tar Heels, benefitting from T.J. Graham's 87 yard punt return touchdown to give the Wolfpack the go-ahead score in Chapel Hill. The win gave Tom O'Brien a perfect 4-0 record against North Carolina as the N.C. State head coach, an accomplishment that can keep him in good graces around Raleigh for quite some time.

3. There might not be much of a quarterback controversy in Miami - Miami chose not to play quarterback Jacory Harris against Virginia Tech despite being cleared by the doctors before the game. Stephen Morris had performed well in Harris' absence, even leading some pundits to murmur ideas of a quarterback controversy. After Morris' performance against Virginia Tech, which included three interceptions and a lost fumble, it would not be surprising to see Harris back under center for the Hurricanes' season finale against South Florida. Miami's loss ended their chances of a division tittle, and with the conference season being completed are playing for bowl stock against the Bulls next week. The Hurricanes offense finished the game with six turnovers, and Morris looked very much like a freshman against Bud Foster's defense. Harris has a knack for turning the ball over as well, but judging by how active he was on the sidelines on Saturday it would surprising not to see him take some snaps against the Bulls to warm up for the bowl game.
Posted on: November 20, 2010 5:10 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2010 5:11 pm
 

Harris dressed, but Morris starts for Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

Jacory Harris was listed as questionable on the Miami injury report coming into Saturday's matchup with Virginia Tech, still recovering from the concussion suffered against Virginia .  At gametime, Harris is in pads on the sideline, but freshman quarterback Stephen Morris has continued to be the man under center.  Harris has been active on the sideline, constantly communicating with Morris and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.  He has been cleared to play by team doctors, but there has been little indication that he will see the field against the Hokies.

Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post is guessing that Morris will also be the starter for the Hurricanes season finale against USF, with Harris returning for the bowl game.  Morris' performance in the first half against the Hokies has been decent, completing 12 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown - though he has fumbled one snap.  With the score knotted at 10, the Hurricanes are keeping their ACC Championship Game chances alive...barely.
 
 
 
 
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