Miami Football: 5 Players Who Must Improve During Hurricanes Bye Week
The Miami Hurricanes finally get a bye week after a 4-4 (3-2) start to the 2012 season. The Hurricanes started out strong winning four out of their first five games, but have lost three straight.
Miami is currently in second place in the Coastal division behind the Duke Blue Devils who are currently 3-1 in the ACC.
The Hurricanes have four games left on their schedule: Virginia Tech, Virginia, South Florida and Duke.
Miami will have plenty to work on this weekend, and there are five players in particular who have been struggling through some injuries and inconsistency and have tons of room for improvement.
Stephen Morris started the season with a bang throwing for 1,635 yards, nine touchdowns and just four interceptions through the first five games of the season.
The last three games have been less than memorable as Morris has thrown for just 579 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The Hurricanes have lost all three contests.
Granted, Morris has been hampered by injuries, so the upcoming bye week couldn't come at a better time. Morris needs to use this time off to rest and try to get to 100 percent before next week's game against Virginia Tech.
With a struggling defense, the Hurricanes need to rely on the junior quarterback to get the offense rolling again.
Much like Stephen Morris, Phillip Dorsett needs to get back into his rhythm. Ever since the four drops against Notre Dame, Dorsett seems to have lost a lot of confidence.
He continued to drop passes the following week against North Carolina, and it looks as though Morris has lost confidence in Dorsett.
Dorsett must find a way to rebuild what he lost in Chicago. He is an extremely talented wide receiver, and he proved that in two straight games earlier this year when he caught 16 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns.
Dorsett needs to be reliable again, and a week off should help him.
If there was one big surprise heading into the bye week it was the inconsistency of kicker Jake Wieclaw. Wieclaw has made just 10-of-15 field goals, including an 0-for-3 performance against North Carolina State.
It's not the misses that frustrated me. It's how bad he missed them. Remember, Wieclaw was a Lou Groza award semifinalist last season which is given to the nation's best kicker.
With four winnable games left on their schedule, the Hurricanes needs Wieclaw to regain his consistency, and this bye week should provide him with the opportunity to get back on track.
Through the first three games of the season, Duke was first in the country in all-purpose yards, averaging over 200 yards per game—he has now dropped down to 28th.
Now, it isn't all on Duke. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch hasn't utilized him as much as he did earlier in the season, and I am not sure if that's due to nagging injuries or opposing teams scheming to stop him.
Either way, Duke needs to get the ball. He is Miami's best playmaker, and special things happen when the ball is in his hands.
Duke needs to take this week off to heal, and the coaches need to use this time off to find ways to get the ball into his hands more often.
Last season as a true freshman, Anthony Chickillo showed signs of greatness as he finished the season with 38 tackles, five sacks, a forced fumble and 6.5 tackles for loss in nine starts.
Through eight starts this season, Chickillo has just 28 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Over the offseason, Chickillo put on some weight but instead of helping, it seems to have hindered his performance. He just hasn't improved considering what we saw from him last season.
Chickillo needs to take this bye week to shrug off his "sophomore slump" and bring back the Chickillo that all the Hurricane fans remember from last year.