Jacory Harris' propensity for turnovers has frustrated Miami fans, but is outright animosity fair?
I'm like most Hurricanes fans these days.
When Jacory Harris tosses a ball 30 yards downfield, I cringe and want to look away. I feel a sense of relief when these throw falls incomplete, considering the propensity of lurking safeties to put a quick end to any sustained drives.
I'm sure every opposing secondary looks forward to games against Miami as an opportunity to add a few numbers to their INT column.
That being said, I think the Miami fans calling for Harris to be benched are forgetting what Jacory Harris does for this team, and has done for this team in the past.
Remember last year? He threw 17 interceptions. He also threw the game-winning touchdown against Wake Forest, torched Florida State through the air, led Miami to a comeback win against Oklahoma, ripped Georgia Tech, UCF, and USF apart, and has been one of the biggest reasons Miami went from unranked to start the 2009 season to its current rank at No. 13 in the nation, poised to make some real noise.
Yet because he has Brett Favre's propensity for picks, Canes fans want him benched?
Look, Miami has no depth at the quarterback position. If Harris gets injured, a 6'0" dual-threat will be warming up. Or maybe the walk-on son of the offensive coordinator will line up under center! Neither solution will get us to the BCS game Canes fans yearn for, in my opinion.
If Miami is to win the ACC Championship, if Miami is to compete for a national title either this year or next year, you'll see No. 12 as the signal caller.
How times change. I remember the days of Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman, who both took the team on their backs and put in their best efforts to get the L for the Hurricanes. I remember Robert Marve, who, though supremely confident in his own abilities (as evidenced by his own initials tattooed on his arms), was never the leader or the winner Harris is.
Now we have an unquestioned starter for the first time since Ken Dorsey, who has led us to several wins against great teams by himself, and because he takes too many risks, Miami fans are calling for his head.
I understand the frustration. Harris wasn't supposed to throw so many interceptions this year. He was supposed to make better decisions, throw the ball underneath, and be a believer in the short throw philosophy of Mark Whipple's offense. Instead, he's on track to throwing a whopping 24 interceptions.
But keep this in mind: Miami has won back-to-back road games, and is now 3-1.
Finally, the Hurricanes will return to Coral Gables for a home game against Florida State, which will be the biggest game of the season thus far. In addition, Harris has done much better at home than he has on the road.
Or, more specifically, he has turned the ball over much more on the road. See: 2009's games against Virginia Tech and UNC, and this year's game against Ohio State.
If Jacory Harris throws for less than two interceptions and the Canes win the game, will the antagonistic rhetoric from the media and fans die down? Possible, but unlikely.
If he throws more interceptions than he does touchdowns, and Miami loses the game, will he be booed? More than likely.
But he won't lose the starting job as long as he stays healthy.
And my opinion that he's the leader the Hurricanes have sorely needed for years will remain unchanged.
I'll still rip my hair out every time he throws another Hail Mary, though.