Seminoles vaunted pass rush targets UM’s Harris
Miami’s Jacory Harris will be in the crosshairs of one of the
nation’s top pass rushing teams Saturday when the Hurricanes and
Florida State renew one of the nation’s most noted rivalries for
the 56th time.
Harris is capping his four-year career at Miami (5-4, 3-3
Atlantic Coast Conference) with his best season yet, leading the
ACC in passing efficiency. He has thrown 18 touchdown passes this
fall with only four interceptions.
Harris’ 68 career touchdown passes rank fourth all-time in the
conference’s record book and are eight fewer than former North
Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson, who sits in third place
Harris will be lining up Saturday against one of the toughest
defense he’s seen this year.
Florida State (6-3, 4-2 ACC) ranks fourth nationally in total
defense and the Seminoles’ 30 quarterback sacks lead the ACC.
”They’re the most talented defense that we face this year,”
first-year Miami coach Al Golden said. ”This will be our greatest
test, irrespective of the rivalry or the series.”
Miami offensive line coach Art Kehoe has been around for many
games in the series and said his troops have a ”massive
challenge” Saturday in protecting their quarterback.
”They’re coming after your passer,” Kehoe said. ”That’s what
Defensive ends Bjoern Werner, Cornelius Carradine and Brandon
Jenkins have combined for 13.5 of the Seminoles’ sacks.
Golden is also concerned about Florida State’s depth on
”Just the number of guys that they play on the defensive line
and then the second wave comes in and they’re as effective as the
first wave,” Golden said. ”Very skilled and quick lateral
movements to get around you.”
Harris is returning to the site of one of his best performances.
The 6-foot-4 quarterback threw for 386 yards and two touchdowns and
ran for another in Miami’s 38-34 victory over Florida State on the
Seminoles’ home field in 2009.
The Seminoles will also have to deal with Miami running back
Lamar Miller, who is second in the conference in rushing with 1,016
Both teams have plenty of talent offensively and have had little
problem scoring points.
Florida State is averaging 35.9 points a game and has scored 30
or more points in its last six games while Miami averages 30.7
points and hung 35 on 10th-ranked Virginia Tech in a losing
Florida State junior quarterback EJ Manuel, who ranks 12th
nationally in pass efficiency and second in the conference in total
offense, is also getting back his most dangerous deep threat in
time for Saturday’s kickoff. Freshman Rashad Greene is second on
the team with 26 catches for 457 yards and leads with six TD
catches despite missing the last four games with an ankle
Receiver Rodney Smith leads the Seminoles with 28 catches for
486 yards. The 6-5 junior has three touchdown catches.
Miami has its own 6-5 receiver in Tommy Streeter, who has caught
32 passes for 666 yards and eight touchdowns.
Florida State has won four straight since a three-game losing
streak early in the season knocked them out of the national polls
and most likely any chance of playing in the ACC title game next
month. Clemson can lock up the Atlantic Division crown with a win
Saturday over Wake Forest.
Fisher is hoping the Seminoles have retained the momentum built
over the past month with easy victories over Duke, Maryland, North
Carolina State and Boston College by a combined 154-39.
”We’re learning how to take care of what we’re supposed to take
care of on a daily basis,” he said.
The Seminoles are defending state champions with wins over the
Hurricanes and Florida and would like to repeat. They finish the
season at Florida in two weeks.
”It’s about bragging rights,” said Florida State defensive
back Lamarcus Joyner, who is from Miami. ”That’s what’s going to
make this game that much more fun.”