Miami head coach Al Golden says the Hurricanes are more than willing to evaluate various quarterback options by way of transfers, but if the season started this week he feels he has a starter in Kevin Olsen.
“This time of year we always have our eyes open,” Golden said during an ACC coaches conference call Wednesday when asked about the possibility of adding a transfer quarterback to the roster before the fall. Golden said he could not comment on specific names he and his staff may be interested in, due to NCAA rules of course, but Golden’s reluctance to say the quarterback situation is solved was pretty much telling the story.
Ryan Williams suffered an ACL injury during the spring practice schedule that required surgery to repair. Williams was thought to be the likely started heading into the fall, but now he will focus on rehab instead. During the conference call Wednesday, Golden stated Olsen would likely be the starting quarterback to lead the Hurricanes on offense if the decision had to be made right now.
Olsen was given a redshirt season as a freshman in 2013, so he has not seen any playing time since committing to Miami. He brings plenty of potential to the field though a sa highly-rated recruit out of high school. Considered one of the top pro-style quarterbacks from the Class of 2012, Olsen could jump into the starting role this season and help build the foundation for the offense for years to come if all goes well.
Golden said what any coach would probably say in suggesting the staff and team will be comfortable with whoever ends up lining up under center in the fall. Miami opens the 2014 season on the road at Louisville, the first ACC game for the Cardinals.
Miami senior quarterback Ryan Williams suffered an ACL injury in his right knee Friday night during a scrimmage. The non-contact ACL injury will lead to a surgery to be completed in the next week, according to a statement released via email by Miami on Saturday.
The 6’5″, 223-pound Williams has been competing for the starting job under center for the Hurricanes, so this injury will likely bring an end to that thought for the time being. Williams appeared in four games backing up Stephen Morris in 2013. In those four games, Williams completed 22 of 32 pass attempts for 369 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
There has been no timetable given for a return to action by Miami at this time.
The Miami Hurricanes have a certain swagger back, and the ACC should be taking notice. Miami dominated South Florida in Tampa Saturday afternoon, 49-21. While a victory against the Bulls is little to boast about at this time, Miami has looked very good in the first month of the season and appear to be every bit the title contender in the ACC as Clemson or Florida State.
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris completed 11-of-16 attempts for 222 yards and two touchdowns before taking an early exit with an ankle injury and the game well in hand. Ryan Williams took over and had 153 passing yards and a touchdown. Duke Johnson carried the football 14 times for 84 yards and also got the benefit of some early rest. Stacy Coley was a big target in the passing game, with two touchdowns to lead the receivers. The Miami defense just abused the Bulls all day long as well, aside from South Florida’s opening drive of the game that resulted in a touchdown.
South Florida starting quarterback Steven Bench was up against the best pass defense he may face all season, and it showed. Even with the game out of hand, South Florida head coach opted to stick with Bench through the entire game rather than get someone else in the game. Perhaps that suggests Bench’s job as quarterback will be safe for another week.
Miami will get a chance to flex some conference muscle next weekend when they return home to host Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech will have a couple extra days to prepare for Miami after losing to Virginia Tech at home Thursday night. Following that Georgia Tech game, the Hurricanes get a bye week before visiting a North Carolina team that is really struggling this season. Wins in those two games would set Miami up nicely to make a run to appear in their first ACC Championship Game since joining the conference. Miami’s toughest challenges will come in back-to-back weeks in early November against Florida State and Virginia Tech. If they can avoid slumping through October, Miami should be in very favorable position.
Miami has already defeated Florida and routed the rest of the competition. Now comes the test that is ACC play. If Miami plays the way they have in September, Miami could very well be playing in the ACC Championship Game and give Clemson or Florida State a serious threat.
The situation at South Florida is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Willie Taggart‘s job is just beginning in Tampa and it is pretty clear the Bulls have a lot of rebuilding to do. South Florida had just three wins last season, so the bar is not exactly set too high right now. However, a glance at the rest of the 2013 schedule may prove difficult to predict three wins the rest of the way for South Florida.
Miami made a trip to Tampa to play South Florida and the Hurricanes are already on cruise control, leading 35-7 at the half. Quarterback Stephen Morris left the game with a left ankle injury but not before throwing for 222 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Duke Johnson has rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown as well, but was examined for what looked to be a concussion at one point. He did return to the game.
Miami opened the game with a touchdown run by Dallas Crawford on the game’s opening possession, but South Florida responded. Steven Bench, the Penn State quarterback transfer making his first start, and running back Marcus Shaw led the Bulls 74 yards down field for a touchdown to tie the game early on. But it has been all Miami since.
Miami strung together 28 straight points, including a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery in the end zone. The Hurricanes put together 17 first downs to South Florida’s four and have seen an incredible advantage in the passing game. Morris and his back-up Ryan Williams have combined for 301 passing yards while Bench has been held to just two completions for 16 yards.
There are some mistakes Miami can clean up though. Miami has fumbled three times and lost two, including one by Johnson inside the South Florida 10-yard line. Miami’s defense would make up for it though by knocking the football loose from Bench in the end zone and pouncing on it for a touchdown.