The Washington Times - July 25, 2008, 02:13PM

If you’re playing ACC fantasy football —- as a few folks I know certainly are —- it would be best to avoid Miami’s quarterbacks.

Not that they will be bad. They very would could be pretty good. That’s to be determined.


The problem is that they are a “they” as opposed to a “he.”

As in, coach Randy Shannon is committed to playing multiple guys.

“We’re going to have a starting quarterback and then the second guy will be able to come in and play in games,” Shannon said this week. “We’re not going to sit him out. We’re not going to make it a two-platoon quarterback situation or a situation where this guy’s coming in because this guy’s not doing very well. That’s the one position I don’t think we have great depth at right now because it’s all freshmen, and we have to get them guys some experience.”

It could even be three guys. Maybe redshirt freshman Robert Marve. Or true freshman Jacory Harris or Cannon Smith.

As much as Shannon’s 5-7 debut should arch a few eyebrows, the reality is his quarterback situation was unpleasant last year. Kyle Wright was subpar, Kirby Freeman was even worse and the Hurricanes’ offense had as much of a shot to fly all over the place as a bicycle without E.T. along for the ride.

I mean, seriously, look at these numbers the Hurricanes’ QBs (aka Kylie Wrightman) produced on a game-by-game basis:

Opponent Comp/Att Yards TD INT Sacks
Marshall 9/21 81 1 1 0
Oklahoma 10/23 82 1 0 2
Fla. Int’l
10/19 224 1 2 1
Texas A&M
21/26 275 2 0 2
Duke 20/25 245 2 2 2
North Carolina
17/33 302 2 4 3
Georgia Tech
8/18 56 1 0 1
Florida State
10/21 147 1 3 2
N.C. State
1/14 84 1 3 0
Virginia 9/21 94 0 3 4
Virginia Tech
21/36 215 1 1 5
Boston College
23/42 198 2 1 3

What in the name of Bernie Kosar, Jim Kelly, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson, Gino Toretta and Ken Dorsey happened here? (And, no, that N.C. State total is no typo).

Well, throwing for less than 100 yards a game in an offense that requires a passing game to be effective tends not to work well. And sure enough, The U was 1-4 when it couldn’t hit the century mark through the air.

Those interceptions didn’t help, either. Miami managed to go over 100 yards AND throw more touchdowns than picks only twice all year —- and unsurprisingly, one of them was in an impressive drubbing of Texas A&M that served as the cue to unleash of the hounds on noted newsletter editor Dennis Franchione.

In some ways, it’s probably for the best the Canes have a bunch of kids who have never played a down. Experience is all well and good, but at some point it becomes proof the job just is never going to get done.

Yet in the current situation, Shannon’s plans are probably the best best for the long-term health of his program. That’s not to say this year is being sacrificed, but a reasonable outsider could probably be convinced that perhaps mixing and matching QBs this year at the possible cost of a game or two because of continuity issues might just be worth peace of mind for the next three seasons.

“[If] we go into the season and play one guy as the starter the whole entire season and then the next season come back and the guy get nicked in the first game or the offseason, now you’re back coaching the guy all over again,” Shannon said. “We have to make sure we build depth on the team, and that’s why we’re going to play both quarterbacks.”

Fantasy leaguers —- and Hurricanes fans —- consider yourselves warned.

—- Patrick Stevens