No Stephen Morris, no problem.
Morris' bad luck continued on Saturday afternoon as he aggravated an ankle injury from last week and was forced to leave in the second quarter, paving the way for junior Ryan Williams.
Miami's 6'6" backup once again responded beautifully, completing eight-of-14 throws for 153 yards (10.9 yards per attempt) one touchdown and one interception, capping off the 49-21 win over South Florida at Raymond James Stadium.
Williams only needed to manage the game against a far inferior opponent, so it's important not to read too much into this. But some of the throws he made—a 33-yard completion to Stacy Coley on his first play from scrimmage, 54-yard completion to Herb Waters and an 11-yard TD throw to Coley—would have been impressive no matter who the opponent.
Miami now leads USF 42-7. 42 points is most scored by either team in the series' history. pic.twitter.com/nae9siJUtw— Hurricanes Football (@MiamiHurricanes) September 28, 2013
This marks the third game that Williams has appeared in this season, and he is now 22-of-31 (71 percent) for 369 yards (11.9 yards per attempt), three touchdowns and one interception.
Again, Florida Atlantic, Savannah State and South Florida aren't exactly Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech, but it's apparent that Williams has taken big steps forward since last year.
It's too early to go slamming the panic button when it comes to Morris. As Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald pointed out, there was no further damage to his ankle:
WQAM's Josh Darrow said QB Stephen Morris was stunned, in a lot of pain, but after being examined he's OK. He's not coming back today #UM— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) September 28, 2013
Besides, the Hurricanes were ahead 21-7 at the time, so there was very little reason to risk putting QB1 back into the game.
This sounds like more of a precautionary move than anything else.
How would you compare Morris to Williams?
Still, when you consider Morris' worth to this 4-0 squad, it's understandable to be a little nervous.
He entered Saturday with 404 yards passing, four touchdowns and two interceptions, and before leaving against South Florida on Saturday, he was a staggeringly efficient 11-of-16 for 222 yards (13.9 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns, one of which was a ridiculous 34-yard back-legged throw on the money.
Nevertheless, Williams has made it abundantly clear: Even if Morris can't go, this is offense is going to miss very few beats with a confident, capable backup under center.