MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Being a near 60-point favorite seemingly guaranteed Miami a victory against Savannah State on Saturday night. It didn’t make the Hurricanes immune to injury.
Quarterback Stephen Morris left midway through the first quarter with what the school said was a lower-extremity injury. He did not return.
“I just saw him, he looks good,” UM coach Al Golden said following his team’s 77-7 victory. “We just held him out. But the X-rays were negative. We’ll be cautious with it, (keep him) off his feet for the next 48 hours or so, but it looks like he’ll be fine.”
Morris was on the ground after throwing an incomplete pass on second-and-8 from Miami’s 23 on the Hurricanes’ third possession. He had been hurried by defensive end Alex Wierzbicki.
Hurricanes running back Dallas Crawford, who scored three touchdowns, didn’t hesitate when asked what he thought when seeing No 17 on the ground. “Get up,” he said.
Morris did get up and walked off on his own. He was replaced by redshirt junior Ryan Williams.
Wearing a UM baseball cap, Morris limped noticeably as he headed to the locker room through what used to be the Florida Marlins’ first-base dugout. He did not speak with the media after the game.
Golden said injuries to key players is always a concern when playing an opponent who’s clearly overmatched.
“That was my greatest fear from the time (the score) got to 35, to be honest with you,” Golden said. “We went quickly to the second-teamers, and then quickly third-teamers.”
The Hurricanes led 14-0 at the time Morris exited. He had connected with Allen Hurns on an 80-yard touchdown pass with 12:03 left in the first quarter and finished 3 of 4 for 82 yards.
Golden said sitting Morris and other star players against Savannah State was never an option.
“These guys work so hard. Try to go and tell Stephen he’s not playing after a bye week,” the coach said. “It was an unfortunate circumstance. We’re blessed and we’re grateful that he’s healthy, and he’s going to be OK.
“At the same time, we learned about Ryan (Williams). And I thought Gray Crow came in and did a good job, too.”
Williams completed 11 of 13 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Crow, a redshirt freshman, was 6 of 6 for 55 yards and a score.
“I had an opportunity like that last year and didn’t get the job done,” Williams said. “It really ate me up inside knowing I let the team down, so I made sure I didn’t let that happen again.
“When Stephen went down, I had to come in and convert a third-and-long third down and make sure we didn’t miss a step.”