Friday Stock Report: 11/4

It is a busy weekend for Hurricane sports as the #5 ranked football team faces #3 Virginia Tech, the baseball team begins fall practices, and the men's basketball team kicks off their exhibition schedule with a game on Saturday.

WRIGHT FACES TOUGH CHALLENGE

If you thought Kyle Wright had plenty to prove in the season opener, he has even more now. With a 6-1 record as a starting quarterback Wright needs to assert himself as a top-tier leader despite only being a sophomore. This is the perfect opportunity for Wright to show what he is capable of as he faces the nation's number one defense. He will need to mix up his throws down the field with the short passes, but the biggest area of concern with Wright is his ability to avoid ‘negative plays' such as sacks and turnovers.

Talking with an NFL Director of Pro Personnel earlier this year, he discussed how he pays close attention to how often quarterbacks get sacked. He stated that he wants quarterbacks that get sacked once every 15 pass attempts and that once every seven times is not a good ratio. In Wright's career, he has been sacked once every 6.9 pass attempts.

MOSS TO THE NFL?

Junior RB Tyrone Moss rushed for 195 yards and four touchdowns last week. With the performance he now has 12 touchdowns on the season and is on pace to rush for 1,150 yards. With his expected finish, one has to wonder whether or not Moss will leave early for the NFL draft. My prediction, yes he will leave. Heading into the season I expected Moss to have a stellar season and leave early. There is no reason to change my mind on this issue. There is still at least five games for Moss to improve his stock for the NFL.

HESTER WITH THE BALL

Last year Hester touched the ball 45 times (3.8 per game) and believe it or not, he is right around the same average this year. Through seven games, Hester has just touched the ball 26 times (3.7 per game). Coker stated he could see Hester getting more offensive touches down the stretch, which could give the offense a nice boost.

NANTON LEADS TEAM WITH 6 SACKS

DE Javon Nanton is doing his thing once again, sacking the quarterback. Last week against North Carolina, Nanton recorded three sacks and currently leads the team with six. DT Kareem Brown is second on the team with 3.5 sacks. In 2003, Nanton led the Big East with eight sacks. With four more, he'll be tied for 10th on Miami's all-time sack list.

THREAT TO BE A FACTOR

Although Greg Threat has not been much of a factor this season, look for him to be called upon against Virginia Tech. Threat is a physical safety who plays the run very well and will be needed against the Hokies. Although the coaching staff has elected not to play Threat for the majority of the season, this is not the week to keep him off the field.

GOODEN IN 2006

LB Tavares Gooden started at strongside linebacker in the season opener against Florida State. Gooden injured his shoulder in the game and had surgery. He has not played since and is not expected to play the remainder of this year. Gooden will receive a medical redshirt this year and have two years remaining beginning in 2006. He is expected to be fine for spring practices and will compete for a starting linebacker position in 2006 with Jon Beason, Romeo Davis, Willie Williams, Spencer Adkins, and Darryl Sharpton.

CANES VS FIU

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Hurricanes will face FIU in 2006 and 2007 in the Orange Bowl. Since the team will be allowed to play 12 games in the season, they would like to play seven home games according to athletic director Paul Dee. Also on the 2006 non-conference schedule is Florida A&M, Louisville, and Houston.

CANES BASEBALL

The Miami baseball team begins fall practices today at 2:15 and will be open to the public. Practices will be held until November 19 and will be at Mark Light Field. Fans planning on attending practices are asked to enter the right or left field foul lines or the entrance on Ponce De Leon Boulevard. The ‘Canes top returners are LF Jon Jay (.408-1-52), 1B/3B Danny Valencia (.300-6-63), and C Eddy Rodriguez (.320-8-33). Also returning is RHP Chris Perez (5-1, 2.56 ERA, 7 sv).

CANES BASKETBALL

Yesterday it was announced that Miami PG Anthony Harris will miss 3-6 weeks due to a hairline fracture in his right foot. Look for freshman PG Denis Clemente to fill in his spot after performing well in fall practices. Clemente has excellent speed and uses it to his advantage especially on the offensive end of the court. The ‘Canes have their first exhibition game of the 2005-06 season on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the Convocation Center as they take on Nova Southeastern.

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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