Having Fun

Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Derrick Morse (Fort Myers, FL) has started the last three games at right guard in place of Tyler McMeans who suffered a knee injury. Morse has been enjoying this season and everything that goes into being a Hurricane.

Derrick Morse is enjoying playing this year, but even last year when he redshirted he enjoyed the year. One of his closest friends on the team is John Rochford, who is the serving as the long snapper in punt formations.

"It is just fun," Morse said. "This whole college experience is fun. even last year when I wasn't playing was even fun. of course now I am getting to play and it is better. I am having a good time."

Morse (6-5, 325) is known for his aggressiveness especially on run blocking. Sometimes the coaches get after him for going too hard and they make sure to tell him not to do anything after the whistle.

He is one of nine players in his 2003 freshman class that have already started a game for the Hurricanes. The future for Miami looks bright and it is important for them to improve every practice and every game.

"I am learning a lot every game," Morse said. "I've been improving every game and I've been playing hard. I've been making calls and I have guys next to me making calls."

Last week against Virginia, the team rushed for 203 yards and passed for 177 yards. It was the first time since the third game of the season against Houston in which they rushed for more yards than they threw for. It is something the offensive line has taken upon themselves to improve on.

"At first it was the other way around," Morse said. "Our pass blocking needed some work and we weren't giving Brock time to throw. Then they told us to start getting better at pass blocking and we did that. Then our running game went down a little bit so we made it a point to run the ball by doing extra stuff. Now we have a pretty even offense."

This week the Hurricanes take on Wake Forest (4-5, 1-5) at home in the Orange Bowl. Wake Forest ranks ninth in the conference against the run giving up 161 yards per game and rank 10th in the conference in pass defense giving up 222 yards per game. Despite their defensive struggles, Morse sees some potential troubles for the Miami offense.

"Their defense looks fast and real good," Morse said. "We have to be ready and they run a lot of blitzes. We just have to study film and be ready for what they throw at us."

Tyler McMeans is expected to play after missing the last three games due to a knee injury. Morse is still expected to start this week, but it will be a position battle to watch in the upcoming weeks.

"I don't know if McMeans is going to replace Morse because he is now where McMeans was," head coach Larry Coker said. "McMeans was a work in progress and was getting better and better. That is where Morse is right now. We would like to get McMeans back in the fold. To say he is healthy and throw him back in there is hard to do. Just having him back will be a plus with us."

Morse is just going to keep playing hard and having fun regardless of the decision.

"They haven't told me what is going to happen," Morse said. "I just will keep coming out and whatever happens, happens."

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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