Friday Stock Report: 11/11

The #3 Miami Hurricanes (7-1) are coming off a huge win against Virginia Tech last Saturday. Miami looks to carry over the momentum tomorrow when they face Wake Forest (4-6).

OPENING THOUGHTS…
The Hurricanes had an amazing performance at Virginia Tech, winning 27-7 and forcing Marcus Vick into six turnovers. It is certaingly a game Vick would like to forget, but the 'Canes will not. It was a great win for head coach Larry Coker, his staff, and players. The defense is playing with a lot of energy and the offense has been productive, but not spectacular.

The Hurricanes have a tough test tomorrow against Wake Forest who will be playing their final game of the season. It could go either way. The Demon Deacons could play with a lot of emotion since it is their last or they could play flat. It will be interesting.

TOUGH NEWS FOR MOSS
Junior RB Tyrone Moss tore his ACL last Saturday against Virginia Tech. Moss becomes the sixth Hurricane in the last 12 months to suffer a torn ACL. He finishes the 2005 season with 701 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. It appeared he was certain to leave early for the NFL draft, but this definitely puts him a tough situation. It wouldn't be out of the question for Moss to leave early despite the injury. In fact senior offensive lineman Eric Winston contemplated whether or not to leave early for the 2005 NFL Draft after suffering a torn ACL on October 2, 2004. Former Hurricane Willis McGahee suffered a torn ACL in the championship game, but he decided to leave early for the NFL draft and was the first running back taken.

CHARLIE JONES GETS THE START
Sophomore RB Charlie Jones will get the start Saturday replacing Moss. Jones filled in admirably for Moss last week when Moss went down late in the first quarter. Jones finished with 97 yards on 24 carries. He didn't think about his new role, there wasn't any time to think. He went in and did his job. It will be very interesting to see how he does against Wake Forest who allows 127 yards rushing per game (38th in the nation, 9th in the ACC).

THREE OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
There are three players on offense I would like to see get more opportunities to make plays. WR Ryan Moore, RB Derron Thomas, and WR Lance Leggett. I think all three have tremendous ability and are game breakers.

Moore has the unique ability to over power guys at the line with his size and go downfield with his athletic ability. There aren't too many cornerbacks in the country that can jump with Moore and it would be beneficial for the offense if Moore had one-on-one coverage where he can use his unique abilities. Moore also does a nice job of catching the short-to-medium pass, which ‘Canes fans saw a number of times in 2003 when he was a freshman.

Thomas was the top offensive player of the spring and was doing well in fall practices. However, he dropped on the depth chart after the Florida State game and is trying to get back up. It is tough for a running back to get positive yards at the end of the game when the defense knows a run is coming. It doesn't help running behind the second-string offensive line either. Just because Jones has the start doesn't mean Thomas is out the picture or conceding to Jones. Look for Thomas to run hard when he gets his opportunities.

Leggett has speed and makes crisp cuts for a big receiver. He can still be a valuable asset to the offense if he gets opportunities to showcase his talent. It was great to see Leggett score a touchdown against Duke. Having Leggett catch wide receiver screen passes to get him involved is a nice start, but it is hard for him to do anything with it. Leggett is at his best on post routes. On the season, Leggett has 111 yards and he has the potential to match that in one game.

McINTOSH LEADING LINEBACKERS
Senior LB Roger McIntosh is leading the linebackers with 69 tackles and is on pace to finish with 112 tackles this season. Last year McIntosh recorded 111 tackles. If McIntosh cracks the 100-tackle mark again and the defense continues to shine, look for McIntosh to make a splash with NFL teams. He is a guy that will perform very well at Pro Day.

SAFETIES IN 2006
Earlier this week junior SS Brandon Meriweather received word that he was named one of 12 semi-finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. He said it didn't matter if he won because he would be back no matter what. Looking ahead to next year's safeties Meriweather returns along with current starting FS Kenny Phillips who will be a sophomore next season. However, don't forget about Anthony Reddick who has started seven games in his career before suffering a torn ACL in the season opener against Florida State. The coaches liked what they saw from Reddick and it will be interesting to see how the three players fit in together next season.

CANES VS FSU
With Florida State clinching the Atlantic Division title, Miami is in the drivers seat to meet them in Jacksonville on December 3 in the first ACC Championship game. Florida State defeated the Hurricanes in the season opener, 10-7 in Tallahassee. Florida State (7-2) is currently ranked 17th in the nation and travels to Clemson (5-4) tomorrow.

MORRIS ENJOYED NEW YORK EXPERIENCE
Miami baseball head coach Jim Morris enjoyed the off-season, as he always does, but this year was a bit different. Morris was a VIP guest for the New York Yankees in the heated September series against the Red Sox when owner George Steinbrenner invited him to his box. Steinbrenner had a driver for Morris while he was in New York. It was the first time Morris had been a guest of Steinbrenner's. It was an enjoyable experience for Morris who got to see the intensity of a heated rivalry up close. Morris has a big challenge this upcoming season with only five hitters returning and one of his top four starting pitchers. Practice resumes tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. and is open to the public.

CANES BASKETBALL
Earlier this week the Hurricanes signed PF Dwayne Collins (Miami, Fla.), SG James Dews (Westchester, Ohio), and PF Fabio Nass (Catarina, Brazil). All three players are scheduled to attend the University of Miami next fall. The Hurricanes begin their second season under head coach Frank Haith on Sunday against Texas-Arlington in Seattle at the BCA Classic. Last season the Hurricanes were 16-13 and will be led by SG Guillermo Diaz (18.6 ppg) and SG Robert Hite (17.3 PPG). Freshman Denis Clemente is expected to start at point guard for the injured Anthony Harris.

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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