Miami News & Notes (9/19)

Miami welcomed backed five starters who had sat out the opening loss at Maryland, and there's no question about the impact they made in the Hurricanes' 24-6 victory over Ohio State.

The players had all served NCAA-mandated suspensions as a result of their roles in the booster scandal that engulfed the program in August.

On their return:
--QB Jacory Harris threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter to get the Hurricanes out to a quick 14-0 lead. He later threw two interceptions in the first half that led to three Buckeye points, but redeemed himself by engineering a fourth-quarter drive that erased nearly nine minutes off the game clock and culminated in the Hurricanes' final touchdown.
--WR Travis Benjamin had only three receptions but returned a punt 24 yards that left the Hurricanes only 53 yards to travel for their second touchdown.
--LB Sean Spence had six tackles, and his closing speed kept the Buckeyes to shorter gains than might have been expected.
--DT Marcus Forston had two tackles and helped plug the middle of Miami's rushing defense.
--DE Adewale Ojomo also started and was credited with three stops, including an assist on a tackle for a loss.
"Clearly the guys we got back made a difference," coach Al Golden said. "Sean Spence runs the show, and the guys that had to make moves had another six practices to get better.
"JoJo Nicholas played great at the safety position. Denzel Perryman played a lot more for us. Sean Spence, Marcus Forston, Adewale Ojomo all made a big difference.
"We put more pressure on the quarterback." After being slashed by Maryland's Danny O'Brien for 348 yards through the air in the opener, the Hurricanes held Ohio State's Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller to just 35 with 22 of that coming on the game's final two plays when it didn't matter.
The Hurricanes recorded two sacks, the first the Buckeyes have given up this season.
The game was the first of three in a row at home for the Hurricanes, who host Kansas State next. After that Sept. 24 game, they entertain Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 1, then go back on the road to Virginia Tech on Oct. 8.

--Ohio State's pride in its rushing defense took a big hit from the Hurricanes. Miami sophomore Lamar Miller gouged the Buckeyes for 184 yards with 116 coming in the first quarter. He galloped 54 yards on his first carry to get well on his way to becoming just the second 100-yard rusher against the Buckeyes in the last 25 games. In all, Miami rushed for 240 yards, averaging 5.7 per carry.
--Perhaps the most remarkable drive of the game came in the fourth quarter. After recovering a Buckeye fumble, the Hurricanes took over at their own 31-yard line up 17-6 with 9:21 left in the game. They then covered the 69 yards in a methodical 14 plays, converting three third downs (two on passes and one on QB Jacory Harris' scramble) and ending the drive on TB Mike James' one-yard, fourth-down plunge with just 33 seconds remaining in the game.
--The win over the No. 17 Buckeyes was the first over a ranked opponent for Miami since the Hurricanes beat then-No. 8 Oklahoma 21-20 on Oct. 9, 2009.
KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Allen Hurns -- The sophomore had two catches for touchdowns among his game-high six receptions. He is Miami's leading receiver with 10 receptions for 123 yards.
LOOKING GOOD: The Hurricanes churned out 240 yards rushing with sophomore TB Lamar Miller getting chunks of 54, 25, 19, and 16 yards on his way to a 184-yard night. Miami's defense held Ohio State to 4-of-18 passing for a meager 35 yards and had one interception and a fumble recovery.
STILL NEEDS WORK: Obviously, QB Jacory Harris hasn't completely solved his interception problems. He threw two against the Buckeyes, one on his first deep throw of the night.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I tripped over myself and tried to get my balance, but I couldn't get it."
-- Sophomore RB Lamar Miller, who may have gotten into the end zone on his 54-yard run had he not tripped getting past the secondary, which slowed him and allowed defenders to catch him at the Ohio State nine-yard line.

--Sophomore TB Lamar Miller posted career highs for carries and yards with his 16 runs for 184 yards against Ohio State. His previous highs were 22 runs against Maryland last year and 163 yards against Virginia Tech, also in 2010.
--Senior DT Micanor Regis started on the defensive interior and came up with several big plays for the Hurricanes. He made two successive stops after Ohio State reached a first-and-goal situation at Miami's 8-yard line in the second quarter, forcing the Buckeyes to settle for a field goal after they threw incomplete on third down.
--Senior QB Jacory Harris threw two touchdown passes against Ohio State, giving him 52 TD passes in his career, No. 2 all-time. Ken Dorsey is the leader with 86.

ROSTER REPORT --Junior OL Brandon Washington has had his versatility on display this season. After playing his first two years at guard, Washington started the opener at Maryland at right tackle. Against Ohio State, however, he was flipped to the left side at tackle.
--Senior TE Blake Ayles, a transfer from Southern California, will be lost for the season. Miami listed his injury as "upper extremity."
--Redshirt freshman RT Jon Feliciano made his first collegiate start.

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