Spring Game: 5 Key Questions

Miami's spring football game takes place on Saturday evening. CanesTime's Mike Bakas takes a look at five key questions heading into it.

1) How far away is Kevin Olsen from being able to successfully lead this team?

Aside from a strong November from Stephen Morris in 2013, it's been a long time since Miami has gotten quality quarterback play. Olsen is the most talented quarterback the Canes have had in several years but he is just a freshman. He needed his first year to mature. It's his time now. Are we looking at the next Kyle Wright or a young signal caller who can become a Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde type? He will make mistakes. He will struggle with leadership at times. However, the physical tools are there and it'll be very comforting to see him doing a lot of the little things tomorrow that a lot of people are wondering about.

2) Can Gus Edwards effectively handle part of the workload at RB?

Edwards gave James Coley a big back he wanted in his first recruiting class here. Unfortunately, he played a very limited role in 2013 and came with a very stiff, upright running style. Can he lower his pads and become a more natural runner? Can he become more of a factor in the passing game? Duke Johnson's the man when he returns. Joe Yearby will likely play a big role. Can Edwards truly give Miami a big back presence that they can trust when games are still on the line? We should learn a lot about that tomorrow.

3) Has the defense really improved, aside from several guys just being a little more experienced now?

We've heard a lot about how the defense has improved. It makes sense. Most of the two deep is back. The pass rushers are back. The best linebacker now plays in the middle. More players, like Calvin Heurtelou, are in the mix for playing time. None of that will matter if the unit continues playing uninspired football that they frequently played to end the 2013 season. It sure will be nice to see an attacking style of defense tomorrow and one that seems to really want to be on the field and having fun doing it.

4) Which defensive tackle is ready to step up and emerge as the guy next to Olsen Pierre?

Earl Moore and Calvin Heurtelou are competing for the starting nose tackle spot next to Olsen Pierre. Both have been up and down throughout the spring and might look average or below average tomorrow. That's a very important position, and they'll welcome Mike Wyche to the mix over the summer, but it sure would be nice to see one of these guys really emerge as THE GUY at the position.

5) Just how good can Denzel Perryman be in the middle?

Perryman is clearly Miami's best linebacker and has been for the last couple years. He's now playing the mike, which means he will have a chance to run the show on that side of the ball. Having Jimmy Gaines in the middle of your defense is a whole lot different than having Perryman. He could have a huge senior season, and we should see glimpses of it tomorrow.

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