Questions To Be Answered

With the Spring Game only a few days away there are several questions yet to be answered for the Miami Hurricane football team. How many of these will be answered on Saturday?

Who is the quarterback?

Two weeks into the spring the Hurricanes are still playing musical chairs at quarterback with Derrick Crudup or Brock Berlin the likely starter. UM coach Larry Coker has said recently that he would like to have a better idea of who it's going to be before breaking spring camp. So this is the final chance for either QB- in a competitive situation- to make a statement this spring. Berlin appears to be the favorite though Crudup is being every opportunity to win the job. The University of Florida transfer led the team on a scoring drive in the first scrimmage of the spring and was effective last week despite being under constant pressure from the defense. Crudup, who is currently No. 1 on the depth chart, has looked sharp but the Hurricanes have too much invested in Berlin to make him sit. Marc Guillon and Kyle Wright will probably have to wait their turn.

Is the defense this good or the offensive line that bad?

From the looks of it so far the Hurricanes have either assembled another one of those dominating defenses of the past or the offensive line isn't very formidable. Berlin and Crudup have been hurried and on the run this spring thanks to a front four that has applied plenty of pressure. Good news on defense where the Hurricanes lost six defensive linemen but not so good on offense where the offensive line must find a way to protect the quarterback -- whoever it is. The Hurricanes are still looking for consistency out of Vernon Carey, Carlos Joseph, Joel Rodriguez, Chris Myers and Joe McGrath.

Can injuries be overcome at receiver?

It's to the point here that Larry Coker has thrown Buck Ortega into the mix because he has good hands. Whatever. With four receivers out Miami desperately needs somebody- Roscoe Parrish? Jason Geathers?- to step it up a couple notches. For as good as Frank Gore is the Hurricanes can't afford to go into the season without a blanket behind Kellen Winslow. If not Miami will have to get used to seeing seven defenders stacked up front.

Is it too early to pronounce Frank Gore healthy?

Whispers of a 1,500-yard and 25 TD-season from Frank Gore are already circulating around Coral Gables but it would only be fair to hold off on those projections a little while longer. Remember the offensive line hasn't looked particularly sharp this spring and that won't help Gore any if it continues.

Will the Hurricanes have problems opening up running lanes?

None of the Hurricanes leading front men have shown, to this point, they can get the job done. But then again it's not easy going up against one of the best defenses in the country on a daily basis. With a new quarterback and Gore returning from an injury it's crucial that the Hurricanes find some protection. That's obviously one of the things Coker will keep his eye on this Saturday.

Is there anything special about the kicking game?

Nobody is going to rush to put Todd Sievers and Freddie Capshaw in the Hall of Fame. But they might be worthy after taking a look at what the Hurricanes were left with. It's still early but Mark Gent and Jon Peattie haven't kicked the socks of anyone yet.

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