- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (AP) - A return to Duke might be what cures everything that ails Jacory Harris these days.

Miami’s quarterback is hurting in more ways than one, his maladies including a sore shoulder, pulled groin and bruised ego after last weekend’s four-touchdown loss to archrival Florida State that knocked the Hurricanes (3-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) out of the Top 25.

The Seminoles silenced Harris, not letting him throw for a touchdown. Miami coach Randy Shannon has silenced him as well, since the often-gregarious Harris hasn’t spoken publicly in nearly a month. And Harris‘ struggles _ 32 of 70 passing in his last two games _ have led to inevitable questions about how the junior is dealing with a season that’s already had its share of rocky moments.

Worry not, the Hurricanes say.

J12 is just fine.

“He’s back to normal,” wide receiver LaRon Byrd said Tuesday. “I think he’s doing good right now. He’s ready for Duke. He’s preparing, doing the things we need him to do for us to win.”

That’s probably not what the Blue Devils (1-4, 0-2) wanted to hear.

Duke was in position for what would have been a colossal win two years ago, taking a 24-14 lead against Miami in the third quarter. Then Harris just took over, first running for a 15-yard touchdown, then throwing TD passes to Aldarius Johnson, Travis Benjamin and Byrd, all in a seven-minute span, as the Hurricanes pulled away to a 49-31 win.

Harris accounted for a career-best five touchdowns in all that day, and did so without even starting the game.

“He’s just big, smooth, fluid, fast, tremendous arm,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “He’s got great vision down the field and puts the ball in unique spots. He seems to see the big receivers. They’re all eye level, for one thing. (Leonard) Hankerson and those guys look at him eyeball to eyeball. They’re the only ones on the field who are that tall. He’s just got great poise, a very fluid athlete.”

True, the 6-foot-4 Harris does possess the edge of having receivers like the 6-foot-4 Byrd, 6-foot-3 Hankerson and 6-foot-3 Johnson at his disposal.

But it’s not receivers’ height that’s on Shannon’s mind right now. It’s their hands.

The stats say Harris has completed 87 of 166 passes so far this season, a modest 52 percent success rate. By Shannon’s math, Harris is accurate 73 percent of the time _ when factoring in 34 drops that the Hurricanes have had this season.

Big difference.

“It is what it is and it’s not just one person,” Shannon said. “If it was one person, you could fix it. But it’s running backs, tight ends, receivers, everybody. So what can you do about it? Just keep working. I keep saying it, but just keep working.”

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