Miami Hurricanes vs Louisville Cardinals: Four Must Watch Player Matchups


Monday’s Labor Day game against the Louisville Cardinals will contain some imposing match-ups that will have a significant impact on the outcome of the game. Expect these match-ups to be consistent throughout the game, barring any injuries or changes in strategy from Al Golden or Bobby Petrino.


CB Tracy Howard against WR James Quick

The matchup for Tracy Howard was primed to be against Devante Parker. Last year in the Russell Athletic Bowl game, Parker had nine receptions for 142 yards and one touchdown. Granted, most of those were on true freshman Artie Burns, not Howard. After the bowl game, I think Howard would have been on Parker all game this season. Unfortunately, news came out that Parker broke his foot:

This puts James Quick as the number one receiver for the Cardinals. Quick had gotten in trouble with law enforcement three months ago when police found marijuana in his apartment. Those charges have been dismissed, and he’s ready to be the leader of the Cards receiving corps. Tracy Howard will have to deal with Quick’s agility and outstanding vertical ability. Quick is two inches taller than Howard, but Howard has more mass. The key for Howard will be to jam Quick at the line as much as possible. Howard will have to use his mass to his advantage because the freshman Quick has the speed to be able to fly by Howard.

LT Ereck Flowers against DE B.J. Dubose

Ereck Flowers has been one of the most impressive players during Canes training camp this year. He’s been working with Anthony Chickillo and the other defensive ends in practice and Golden is very impressed.

“He (Ereck Flowers) has a chance to be as good as anybody” – Al Golden

He will be filling

Seantrel Henderson

‘s rather large shoes, but it is looking like it will be a perfect fit.  Flowers is a clear cut starter and will be matched up against Louisville’s DE

B.J. Dubose

. Dubose is a senior from Oakland Park, Fl. The name may ring a bell because he was committed to Miami and flipped to Louisville on signing day in 2011. He did not play much at all last season, only totaling 1.5 sacks and 16 tackles for the season.

Marcus Smith

, now playing for the

Philadelphia Eagles

, was the Cardinals right defensive end last season, and he just so happened to win the AAC defensive player of the year award. Dubose checks in at 6’5 but only 265 lbs. I think that Flowers will be able to control Dubose for a majority of the game, but any slip up on blocking technique and Dubose can get to the Miami backfield.

DE Al-Quadin Muhammad against LT Jamon Brown

Al-Quadin Muhammad is poised to have a huge sophomore campaign. His first hurdle will be trying to get through Louisville’s Jamon Brown. This is not going to be an easy task for AQM. Brown is 6’5 and weighs in at a whopping 350 lbs. I think Brown will be Muhammad’s biggest challenge this 2014 season,even with FSU’s starting left tackle Cameron Irving still on the schedule.

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Brown pulled first team AAC honors last season and looks like he may do the same this season in the ACC (unless Flowers has something to say about that). AQM will have to use pure speed against Brown. Browns biggest flaw is his speed and agility. If AQM explodes off the line, he can have an easy time getting around, but that is if he can explode off the line. Brown’s hand work is impeccable and he can jam DE’s at the line with ease. This is the most important matchup in my opinion because  the Canes need to be able to get in the backfield and disrupt Louisville’s new starting QB Will Gardner. If Muhammad can create holes for the linebackers to get to the RS Sophomore QB, the Cardinals whole offensive game plan may have to change.

WR Stacy Coley against CB Charles Gaines

This is not the most important matchup of this game, but it will be the most exciting. Both of these guys right here can be considered the most electrifying players on their teams. Every Canes fan, even the casual fan, knows who Stacy Coley is. The only player in College Football last season to score a TD four different ways. With Allen Hurns gone to the NFL, Coley is the go to receiver for the Canes. That means the Cards will have their top CB Charles Gaines covering Coley. Gaines was another first team AAC player. He led the Cards in 2013 with five interceptions, returning one of those for six. He also returned a fumble for a TD, and took a punt return back as well. This wide receiver turned cornerback will have his hands full trying to guard Coley. Both run almost the same 40 time, Coley’s only being a bit faster. Gaines also talks a lot of trash and tries to get in his opposers head:

Coley doesn’t talk much so I don’t think the trash talking will affect Coley in any way. I also think Coley will going to have a huge game, even with Gaines covering him.