Every weekday, we’ll bring you a Hurricanes top five list at lunchtime. It’s something to look forward to.
Mondays: Answers to Top 5 Game Preview from Friday
Tuesdays: Top 5 in the ACC
Wednesdays: Unique Top 5 List
Thursdays: Unique Top 5 List
Fridays: Top 5 to Watch for Upcoming Game
5. Will there be a rivalry atmosphere? Another interesting finish could help this evolve into a rivalry game, but it’s still been only four contests. Last year ended in overtime where the Bulls beat the Hurricanes in Miami; and the Hurricanes sought and achieved some revenge this time, beating the Bulls on a last second field goal as the clock hit zero.
4. The Miami quarterback rotation. It was all Jacory Harris in this one. Harris finished 27-of-35 for 259 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The Miami offense punted eight times and couldn’t seem to get into the groove they found earlier in the season. Head coach Al Golden noted that it was important to the team to get Stephen Morris snaps, which is why he has rotated on certain plays over the last couple weeks. Not this time, though. With the university choosing not to play in a bowl game this year as the NCAA investigation continues and sanctions loom, it will be interesting to see if Morris plays at all in what will be the season-finale against Boston College. If you ask me, it should be all Harris in his Hurricanes finale.
3. Turnovers, penalties, and special teams. Miami’s six penalties for 45 yards were pretty much on-par with their season average (5.73 penalties, 42.00 yards). There was only one Hurricanes turnover when Travis Benjamin fumbled on the opening drive, but the defense got it back the very next play on a Brandon McGee interception. Miami one field goal blocked, but Jake Wieclaw hit two others including the game-winner as time expired. Meanwhile, only one of Dalton Botts‘ eight punts was really returned–an eleven-yard return for Victor Marc. Another was returned just one yard, and the others were not returned at all.
2. USF quarterback B.J. Daniels. The Canes defense has played very well the last two games. They’ve gone six quarters without allowing a touchdown, and have allowed 16 points or fewer in each of the last three games (FSU scored a touchdown on a punt return, giving them 23 points on the day). Before being injured in the third quarter–he did not return–Daniels completed 11 of 18 passes for 97 yards and threw a first quarter interception.
1. Miami OL vs. USF DL. The Bulls recorded six sacks on the day, and 11 tackles for loss. They’re ranked second nationally in the former category, and lead the nation in the latter. Miami has struggled to keep the Seminoles and Bulls at bay up front the last couple games. FSU is sixth in the country in sacks, and 18th in tackles for loss. The pressure was the cause of a good deal of the Hurricanes’ offensive woes, as four of the six sacks came on second downs–pushing the Hurricanes into longer third downs. Four of the sacks came on possessions on which the Hurricanes punted. One came on the possession on which Miami missed the field goal, and another came on the final drive that ended in the game-winning field goal.