A rookie QB gets the call for Miami against Terps
His guy can, anyway.
And now Miami is about to see if its freshman can answer the challenge.
Stephen Morris‘ ascension from fourth-stringer to starter _ a path that unexpectedly started a week ago _ becomes complete Saturday, when Miami (5-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) hosts the Terrapins (6-2, 3-1). The Hurricanes need a win to keep slim ACC hopes alive, while Maryland would be assured of remaining no worse than a half-game out of the Atlantic Division lead with a victory.
“We’re going to have to go down and play the best we’ve played all year to be in this game,” Friedgen said.
Maryland’s Danny O'Brien has 10 touchdowns and no interceptions at home. But the redshirt freshman has three touchdown passes and three interceptions in two trips away from College Park; the interceptions all came in a loss at Clemson, the TD throws all came a week later in a victory at Boston College.
Right there, that proves freshmen quarterbacks can be up and down _ a lesson the Hurricanes got last week in Morris‘ debut.
Taking over when Jacory Harris was knocked out with a concussion, Morris threw two interceptions against Virginia, then got hot in a torrid three-touchdown, six-minute stretch of the fourth quarter when the Hurricanes made a 24-0 game into a 24-19 affair. Morris ran for a score and threw for two more, but never got the ball again after Miami’s final TD with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
“Jacory’s the calmest cat I’ve ever seen, and I just try to mimic him in all ways possible,” Morris said.
“We just kind of do what we do. We tweak it a little bit each week,” Friedgen said. “But some teams handle it well, some teams don’t. I’m assuming that Miami sees a lot of that. They’re one of the top teams in the country. They’re going to be prepared for it.”
It’s Morris‘ team now, at least for the short term.
How long that’ll be the case remains officially unclear.
A person familiar with Harris‘ recovery process told The Associated Press that it could take at least two weeks before the junior returns, meaning Morris would figure to start again next week against Georgia Tech. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Miami had not authorized releasing specific information about Harris‘ condition.