In part four of our "Five Questions" series of feature articles we reached out to our long-time friends at WVUM. For those of you who don't know WVUM is the on-campus radio station that plays music that old guys like me and many other bloggers at Canespace have never heard before.
In addition to their eclectic music menu the student-run radio station also has an excellent sports department led by our good friend and Sports Director Chris Whittyngham.
Whittyngham is a solid student, a rabid 'Canes sports fan and an excellent broadcaster who can be heard on WVUM covering football and baseball games. Chris is also an insightful analyst and helped break down the five questions in great detail for his opportunity to be heard on Canespace.
Canespace: Tell us your opinion on QB Stephen Morris winning the starting role at the most important position on the field and whether or not you have faith in his ability to lead the 2012 Hurricanes team to victory against a tough schedule? Can Morris get the job done in Jedd Fisch's pro-style offense?
WVUM: I do believe that Stephen Morris is ready to lead the Canes. I actually thought he should have been the starter last year because I think we probably should have known that we were in for growing pains last year, and it would have been wiser to have been a little more forward-thinking and prepare your then sophomore QB for the future. As it is, I think Stephen has far better arm strength than Jacory Harris did last year which opens up the vertical passing game. The key is going to be the receivers. Hurns, Dorsett, Thompkins, and Scott have all shown it in flashes, but they all need to step up to be regular contributors in every game. And I don't think Gray Crow will be the starter here for a while. From what I saw in spring and fall he doesn't look even close to ready yet. I think Morris will have a good year. Interceptions will be a problem because he has a tendency to throw them (Career 7 TD/11 INT in 6 starts) and because I don't know how reliable the receivers will be.
WVUM: There are 15 freshmen listed on the most recent two-deep depth chart (Lewis, Isidora, Flowers, Duke, Waters, D. Crawford, Hamilton, Ivery, Moore, McCord, Terry, A. Crawford, Bush, Jenkins, Howard) and I imagine 10 of them will probably hit the field. It could be more depending on injuries and where the season goes.
Canespace: You know about our Legends of the Fall routine from last season. Select one offensive and defensive player that you think will "break out" this season? Also pick one Freshman and one assistant coach that you think will be difference makers for the Hurricanes in 2012?
WVUM: For break-out I imagine on offense it will be Allen Hurns and for defense I think it will be Shayon Green. Allen had good games, like Ohio State last year, but for the most part was overshadowed by the great play of Tommy Streeter. I think this year he's probably your number one
receiver and he will play well in the role. I think Green has been one of the coaches favorites and has kept the black jersey for most of camp. There's a reason the coaches like him and I think he'll have a good season. In terms of freshman, without question it's Duke Johnson. He's already making explosive
plays in camp and I think in the role they're giving him he will flourish. And I think Jedd Fisch will be the difference maker as an assistant. UM is glad to have him back, along with the rest of the staff, because uniformity in what you're being taught is huge. They'll need to improve in the red zone to be
better and I think Fisch has some new ideas to build on his offense from year one, like his idea to liven up the pace and break the huddle faster and get more plays in.
WVUM: I would say right now that the offense is probably the strength of the team. They have playmakers that have played well in camp and I think with the exception of a guy like Denzel Perryman, I don't think there's anybody on defense you can count on to make big plays consistently. Hopefully Miami's games won't turn into shootouts but I think the defense will need to get better over the course of the season.
Canespace: OK, time to get real. I need your season record prediction for the 2012 Miami Hurricanes football team in their second year under head coach Al Golden?
WVUM: I'm going 7-5. I think there's a good chance the Canes start the season well. I think Canes fans expectations should be to start the season 2-1 and from there you have to take the season in quarters. I think Miami fans and students have a big burden to provide a home field advantage
because Miami's 2 biggest games of the season (FSU, VT) are at home. Fans need to come strong in those games to help lift the home team. But in the end, I think it will be 7-5 for Miami in 2012.