Miami Football 2011: Is Al Golden Making a Mistake by Starting Jacory Harris?

Danny FlynnSenior Analyst ISeptember 8, 2011

Miami head coach Al Golden has chosen Jacory Harris to start against Ohio State
Miami head coach Al Golden has chosen Jacory Harris to start against Ohio StateJamie Sabau/Getty Images

After a disappointing loss to Maryland on Monday night, Miami head coach Al Golden has made the decision to start Jacory Harris at quarterback for the Hurricanes’ next game against Ohio State on Sept. 17.

Harris, who has started 24 games in his three year career at Miami, was previously serving a one-game suspension for his involvement with notorious booster Nevin Shapiro, however, he’s now eligible to resume his duties with the team.

Even though Golden believes in him, the problem is that Harris might not be the best option at quarterback.

Although he threw a disastrous pick six at the end of the game, Harris’ backup, Stephen Morris, fared pretty well in relief duty against the Terrapins, completing 19 of his 28 attempts for 198 yards.

Morris was consistent and effective and he did a good job of managing the game and letting RB Lamar Miller carry the offense down the field.

The sophomore signal-caller also looked more mobile and athletic than Harris.

So it makes you question if Golden’s decision to immediately hand the keys of the offense back to Harris is the right one or not.

Even though he’s the more experienced of the two, the senior quarterback has certainly had his problems in the past.

Last year, Harris was an interception machine, throwing 15 picks in just 10 games.

His worst game of the season actually came against Ohio State when he threw four interceptions in a 36-24 loss.

Harris has always talked a big game and he showed a ton of promise early in his career, but he just never materialized into the difference-maker that many thought he would become.

Instead, he’s now an average starter, who often times struggles against tough defenses.

Is that really the kind of player you want to hitch your wagon to if you're Al Golden?

After all, that’s gone on over the last month at Miami. It’s not as if anyone’s expecting the Canes to pile up a double-digit win season and win the ACC.

An eight-win season would seem to be a fairly realistic and reasonable goal for this team, considering all the suspensions they have to deal with.

So why not put Stephen Morris in there, let him take his lumps, let him make some plays with his feet and let him develop for the future?

Sure, there would probably be a game or two that Miami loses solely based off of Morris’ play, but there have been enough games that Jacory Harris has single-handedly lost to justify taking that type of risk.

Unless Jacory Harris all of a sudden matures into a much more accurate and consistent quarterback than the one we saw during the last two years, this would seem to be a questionable move by an otherwise intelligent head coach.