Miami quarterback Jacory Harris not expected to play against Maryland
Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 11:01 PM
With Harris out, true freshman Stephen Morris, one of only two available quarterbacks on the roster, is expected to start against the Terrapins, who can ensure a winning regular season with a victory. Miami Coach Randy Shannon did not formally name Morris the starter Tuesday, but Harris did not practice and Shannon told reporters he would "probably not" be available for the game.
"There is going to be a lot of weight on his [Morris's] shoulders, but we are going to have to rely on our defense, really," Shannon said. "Our defense is going to have to play extremely well this week for the young man to be successful."
Harris was knocked out of Saturday's game early in the second quarter. The junior remained on the ground for four minutes before being helped to the sideline. Doctors are monitoring several aspects of Harris's condition, according to the Associated Press, including how sensitive his eyes are to light and how he responds to noise and subtle movements of his head.
The Hurricanes had hoped to redshirt Morris this season, but they had no options after Harris left the game and Spencer Whipple threw interceptions on two of his six passes against the Cavaliers. A.J. Highsmith, who started the season as the backup quarterback, is injured and unavailable.
Morris played well in relief against Virginia, helping the Hurricanes (5-3, 3-2 ACC) rally from a 24-0 deficit to make the game competitive. He threw two touchdown passes and ran for another in the fourth quarter.
"It'll be good that we have Stephen, who has gotten some playing time, been in the game like that, coming back from behind and making some plays and calling the offense," Shannon said.
In high school, Morris was a three-star prospect, according to Rivals.com, and threw 22 touchdowns and six interceptions as a senior at Monsignor Pace High in Miami.
Before Shannon gave an injury update Tuesday, Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen said his team was preparing as if Harris would at least play some on Saturday. Harris had thrown 14 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions while completing a career-low 53.9 percent of his passes this season.
"We just have to be ready for whoever they play," Friedgen said.
Ferrara could kick
If Maryland needs to make a long field goal - 45 yards or longer - Friedgen said he would send sophomore Nick Ferrara out to attempt the kick even though he has yet to attempt a field goal this season.
Ferrara has a stronger leg than kicker Travis Baltz, but Ferrara has seen too many of his kicks blocked in practice. Friedgen would prefer Ferrara win back the starting job - he made 18 of 25 field goal attempts last season - so Baltz can concentrate on maximizing his effort as punter. Friedgen said Ferrara had his best kicking practice Monday.