Midseason Grades: QB

The Hurricanes are a little past the halfway point of the 2011 season so lets evaluate the state of the team, beginning with the quarterbacks.

The Good Stuff: Jacory Harris has been a starting quarterback at the University of Miami since his freshman season. Leading up until this season, Harris was one of the program's most criticized players in recent history. And when the NCAA scandal broke and Harris was involved, he didn't get any more popular. Up until this season his numbers -- mainly TD:INT ratio and his record as a starter -- were very average for a Miami quarterback. However, keep in mind that he's now working under his third quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator in four years. A lot of fans were calling for Stephen Morris -- even after a rocky opener against Maryland -- to be the team's starting quarterback.

Ever since Harris' return to the starting lineup for the Ohio State game he's been one of the best players on the entire team and has been, quite frankly, one of the best quarterbacks in all of college football. His QB rating is 10th nationally heading into November. His TD/INT ratio is now at 15/4, with one of those interceptions going right through his backup fullback's hands.

Harris has shown excellent leadership, an excellent grasp of Jedd Fisch's new offense, and even the ability to make things happen with his feet. He's throwing higher percentage passes. He's averaging over 200 yards passing and more than two touchdowns per game through the air this season.

The Not So Good: While Harris has been excellent for pretty much the entire season, there were some tough times along the way. It took him a game to really catch rhythm. He wasn't overly sharp against Ohio State -- especially in the first half. Although not all his fault, he came up a foot short of beating Kansas State on the final play of that game. He didn't manage the two-minute drill all that well against Virginia Tech in the final moments of that game. He dropped the ball during a potential touchdown drive deep in Virginia territory in the last game.

Bottom Line -- Moving Forward: Say what you want about Harris and the 2011 Hurricanes but there is one bottom line so far -- Harris has played well enough for the Canes to be 7-0 in his seven starts. He will likely continue giving Miami an excellent chance of winning games. Playing at Florida State will be the toughest test but considering how well he played at Virginia Tech, he should be up for the challenge.

It would be nice to get Morris some more opportunities for playing time. He started the Maryland game, got mop up duty against Cookman, and played the final two snaps of the Virginia game. Hopefully the team builds up a big enough lead in a game or two down the stretch that will allow the coaches to insert the likely starter in 2012 into the game.

GRADE: A


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