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Maryland-Miami Preview: Randy Shannon's Canes Look To Rebound Against the Terps

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 9: Head coach Randy Shannon of the Miami Hurricanes watches second half action against the Florida State Seminoles on October 9, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Seminoles defeated the Hurricanes 45-17. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
Danny DolphinAnalyst INovember 5, 2010

Kickoff: 12:00 PM Saturday, November 6, 2010

Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL

TV/Radio: ESPN U, 560 WQAM

Overall Records: Miami 5-3 (3-2), Maryland 6-2 (3-1)

Line: Miami by 8

Miami Injuries

DT Curtis Porter – Out (Knee)
DT Josh Holmes – Questionable (Knee)
QB Jacory Harris – Out (Concussion)
RB Damien Berry – Out (Lower extremity)

Maryland Injuries

RB Gary Douglas – Questionable (Leg)
CB Avery Graham – Questionable (Leg)


When Miami has the ball…

True freshman quarterback Stephen Morris will make his first collegiate start after stepping onto the field for the first time last week.

He showed poise, arm strength and excellent mobility as he passed for two touchdowns in the Canes' loss. His two interceptions were both catchable and much of the blame was on the receiver in both circumstances. With Jacory Harris out for some time, the Canes’ receivers must step up and make some plays to help the frosh out.

Maryland comes in with a solid defensive resume. They only give up 3.1 yards per rush and their red zone defense ranks eighth in the nation.

Miami should run the hell out of the ball even with Damien Berry out. Mike James and Lamar Miller are going to have plenty of opportunities to bust this one open. It’s important that Miami establishes the run early and gives their freshman quarterback some support.

Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple has to improve. Get rid of the deep bombs and go more west-coast: quick passes, screens and counters. He doesn’t have the personnel to air it out.

 

When Maryland has the ball…

Terrapin returner Tony Logan has already taken two punt returns to the house on the season. Teams are starting to take notice and haven’t been kicking to him lately. Let’s see if Miami goes that route and plays it safe.

Quarterback Danny O’Brien isn’t a big arm or freak athlete. But he is smart and doesn’t make many mistakes (three interceptions, which all came in one game). It’s the same deal with any quarterback. Get pressure on him and he’s going to crumble.

 

3 Keys

1. Establish the run- The best aid to a young quarterback is a successful running game.

2. Special teams coverage- Don't kick to Logan.

3. Win the turnover battle- rarely do teams lose when winning the turnover fight.

 

Prediction

Maryland’s 6-2 record is deceiving. The teams they beat have a combined record of 18-29. Their best win is, what, Navy? If Morris plays the way he did in the fourth quarter last week, Miami should handle their business at home.

Miami 27 Maryland 20

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