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

with 76.

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

they’re about.”

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

defense.

”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

yards.

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

effort.

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

injury.

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.”