Friday Stock Report: 10/7

It is time to focus on the positives of the 2005 season. There has been a lot of talk around the program with the fans, players, coaches, etc. about how the team is not performing up to its capabilities. That is true, however there are positives with the team and things to look forward to as the season progresses.

OPENING THOUGHTS…
With a 3-1 record, the Miami Hurricanes are currently ranked ninth in the country in the AP Poll while averaging 23 points per game—good for 78th best in the country. Things clearly have not been clicking in all-facets of the game, but there are positives to enjoy with this team. So enough of the negativity that has surrounded the team four games into the season, here are some positives things to enjoy…

WRIGHT HAS EXPERIENCE WITH PRESSURE
Wright has four starts under his belt and although his numbers are not staggering, he has been through two close games and has made some big-time throws in key situations during those two games. He converted four third-downs in a row during the final drive at Florida State and completed two first down passes in the overtime sessions against Clemson. His experience in those two games on the road will help him battle in remaining road games at Temple, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

PASS EFFICIENCY DEFENSE LEADS NATION
Once again defensive coordinator Randy Shannon's guys lead the nation in pass efficiency defense with an 80.2 rating. This is due to the pressure by the defensive line, linebackers in the right position, and great coverage downfield by the secondary. All three factors have been prevalent in the beginning of the season. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 49 percent of their passes for an average of 165 yards per game.

MOSS LEADS THE OFFENSE
Junior running back Tyrone Moss leads the team in all-purpose yards with 386—averaging 96.5 yards per game. He also leads the team in touchdowns with six. Without a doubt, Moss has been carrying the offense on his back and is doing a good job of it. Moss has pleased running backs coach Don Soldinger this season after receiving criticism from him in the past. One stat jumps out at you when assessing Moss's performance is his 11 lost yards on the season (2.75 yards per game), which means he is consistently moving forward. In comparison, 2002 RB Willis McGahee lost 55 yards on the season (4.2 yards/game).

INTERCEPTIONS
Through four games Miami has recorded eight interceptions. It is only a matter of time before the defense returns an interception for a touchdown, which would give the team a huge boost. Last year Miami recorded 13 interceptions on the season. Lovon Ponder, Marcus Maxey, and Brandon Meriweather all have two interceptions apiece.

MERIWEATHER AROUND THE BALL
Junior safety Brandon Meriweather has done a nice job in the early going of being around the ball. Through four games, he leads the team with 35 tackles including 5 for loss. He has provided a spark on the defense with his swagger and is one of the ‘energy' guys on the team. As a safety he has also done a good job of keeping everything in front of him.

BROWN STEPPING UP
Defensive tackle Kareem Brown filled in admirably for Baraka Atkins when Atkins was dealing with an injury. Brown currently leads the team in sacks with 2.5 and is a solid contributor in the defensive tackle rotation with Atkins and Orien Harris starting. There is not a lot of quality depth at the defensive tackle position, but Brown is able to step right in without losing a beat.

HILL AS AN OFFENSIVE THREAT
Senior fullback Quadtrine Hill has 113 total yards of offense and is averaging 7.5 yards every offensive touch. He is second on the team in rushing yards and has a touchdown reception to his credit. Whenever his number is called on, he has provided a boost to the offense. Hill has also done well with his blocking and understands the offense as good or better than anyone on the team.

BEASON WORTHY OF STARTING POSITION
Sophomore linebacker Jon Beason has been the starting weakside linebacker this season after playing sparingly last season. Beason has lived up to expectations and attacks the run very well. As he gains experience he will become an even better all-around linebacker. Beason is also one of the guys that will be a great leader when it is his time to lead.

NEXT TWO GAMES KEY FOR CONFIDENCE
With the next two games against Duke and Temple it is time to put it all together and put points on the board. It is time for Miami to regain its confidence in all facets of the game before heading into a three-game stretch against Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech. The two games against Duke and Temple could not have came at a better time. It is time to take care of business and blow them out of the water.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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