Miami Hurricanes De-Fang Florida A&M: Rattler Band Prevails

Brandon MoorContributor ISeptember 4, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 07:  Quarterback Jacory Harris #12 of the Miami Hurricanes throws a pass against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 7, 2009 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The luxury of not having to kick off the 2010 college football season against the Bobby Bowden-less Florida State Seminoles is a benefit. 

Starting off against the Rattlers of Florida A&M perks up the benefit that much more for the Miami Hurricanes. Only one condition. Miami understood good and well that a statement was in order playing Florida A&M. Blow the scoreboard out of control, move the ball in a positively reckless behavior, and shank each snake with extreme prejudice. 

Lets face it, the one intimidating feature the Rattlers brought to the big stage was their drumline band. Strike em’ up and rock it loud.

Last night in Miami’s Sun Life Stadium, the Hurricanes hung 45 points up on Florida A&M; in fact the first 35 points occurred before the Rattlers could figure out what had happened to them.

Heisman dark horse Jacory Harris went 12 of 15 in the first half compiling 210 yards and three touchdowns drilling his main target Leonard Hankerson twice for touchdowns.  Harris’ third touchdown came courtesy of a dump-off pass to running back Damien Barry completing a 32 yard scamper propelling the Canes up 21-0 with under 12 minutes left in the second quarter. 

Miami massively out-gained the Rattlers 405 to 110 in terms of total yardage….not bad, not too bad at all. 

Though the Canes clobbered Florida A&M on the offensive end, the encouraging story belonged to Miami’s suffocating defense, sacking A&M sophomore quarterback Martin Ukpai eight times in a 5 for 11, 58 yard passing performance Thursday night.

The Miami Hurricanes did their job showing Florida A&M little mercy in a tune-up performance prior to next week’s marquee confrontation at the “Shoe” in front of a capacity crowd of 105,000 as Randy Shannon’s 13th ranked bunch locks horns with the No. 2 team in the country, Ohio State.

Ohio State whipped the Marshall Thundering Herd handily Thursday night in the Buckeye’s home opener 45-7.

The last time both teams met head to head came in the mist of the 2003 National Championship Game where Ohio State edged Miami in stunning fashion 31-24 in double-overtime. It’s been almost seven years, but the scar gives the impression of a fresh open wound for the Canes.

The second half of Thursday night’s game against Florida A&M allowed Jacory Harris to rest while sophomore quarterback Alonzo Highsmith and junior quarterback Spencer Whipple filled in aiding the Hurricanes into sticking another 10 points on the scoreboard. 

Heading into next week’s long awaited rematch with the No. 2 ranked Buckeyes, a couple of questions stem forward for the Hurricanes.

Knowing Jacory Harris only played one half in Miami’s season opener, can the offense play four full quarters with Harris on the field?

Last season, playing 60 minutes of football became the central concern for the Miami Hurricanes. Instead they played 50-55 minutes of proficient, quality pigskin time.  Not going to work next week, but Randy Shannon clearly comprehends the tough task that lie ahead.

For Ohio State, they gave up seven more points than Miami.  Not much comfort or difference for that matter, but it is worth noting.

Next week, you can bet the 13th ranked Miami Hurricanes will steam into Columbus with hurricane warning flags waving erratically and frothing at the mouth to shake up the polls.  Its games such as next week’s that Coach Shannon pictures himself basking under the lights of his dream job.

Hurricanes-Buckeyes, round two coming up.