MY THOUGHTSLast week I said the key for Miami to beat Georgia Tech was being able to run the ball
Gaining 71 yards on 34 carries is not going to get it done in the ACC.
I don't care about not kicking an onside kick, not reviewing a possible interception, or Lance Leggett not extending his arms on a deep pass.
If this team can't run the ball, they will not win the rest of the year. It's that simple.
Javarris James has done a pretty good job running the ball. Last week against Georgia Tech he ran for 113 yards, but Kyle Wright had minus-47 yards so that offsets James' performance.
And it goes both ways with negative yards by a quarterback. UM's streak of not allowing a team to rush for 100 yards was in jeopardy last week when Tashard Choice ran for 107 yards on his own, but Reggie Ball had minus-20 to keep Georgia Tech under 100 for the game.
Miami's rushing offense ranks 80th in the country averaging 120 yards a game.
And until the coaches and players figure out how important that statistic is in a pro-set offense, this team will continue to struggle.
STOCK UP• DE Calais Campbell - Had another good game and is looking like Miami's best defensive player unless Jon Beason can return to form and make big plays.
• DE Baraka Atkins - Atkins had his best game of the year last week with 2 sacks and 5 tackles.
• TE Greg Olsen - He had UM's lone offensive touchdown last week, a 41-yard reception in which he broke a couple of tackles and ran towards the endzone. Olsen finished with a team-high 91 receiving yards.
STOCK DOWN• LB Darryl Sharpton - He had his shot and struggled getting off blocks and making good reads in the running game as Georgia Tech went right up the middle.
• OL Andrew Bain - Continued to struggle in stretches with run blocking and conditioning still appears to be a problem with Bain.
• A reporter, who will remain nameless, who I witnessed run (more like a fast waddle) carrying "breaking news". It was one of those moments when you realize why members of the sports media have a bad rep.
FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES• So let me get this straight Larry, WR Ryan Moore looked good all week and there is no reason not to play him yet he is a "game-time decision". You got me, I really don't know what that means.
• DT Kareem Brown didn't hold back on his thoughts on Branden Ore this week saying Ore's back-to-back 200-yard games didn't mean anything because they weren't against UM. That's definitely making a statement before the game. Now let's see what Brown and the rest of the defense do during the game as Ore will likely help break UM's string of not allowing an opponent to rush for 100 yards.
• Earlier this week we did a couple of "Freshman Spotlight" articles on TE Dedrick Epps and DL Richard Gordon.
• It was nice to see LB Demetri Stewart get some playing time on special teams last week. Stewart's a good kid and I enjoyed meeting him when he made his announcement to attend the University of Miami two years ago.
• Grumblings around the team this week consisted of defensive players talking about the lack of production by the offense and players wondering why changes aren't being made on a team that is 5-3.
• Miami is 7-5 since the win over Virginia Tech last year.
• QB Kyle Wright is 14-6 (8-4 in the ACC) as a starter with 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He has averaged 199 yards a game while completing 60 percent of his passes.
AROUND THE ACC• The game to watch this Saturday is #16 Boston College (7-1, 3-1) at #22 Wake Forest (7-1, 3-1) at 7 p.m.
Other games on Saturday:
• Virginia (4-5, 3-2) @ Florida State (4-4, 2-4), 12 p.m.
• Maryland (6-2) @ #19 Clemson (7-2, 4-2), 12 p.m.
• Navy (5-3) @ Duke (0-8), 1 p.m.
• North Carolina (1-7) @ #11 Notre Dame (7-1), 2:30 p.m.
• #20 Georgia Tech (6-2, 4-1) @ N.C. State (3-5, 2-3), 7 p.m.
BASKETBALL UPDATEF Brian Asbury and G Jack McClinton have been the top performers this fall as the team has its first exhibition game on Monday night. While those two have been good, look for senior G Anthony Harris to have a great year this year. He's ready for a bounceback year after a great summer. Personally, I think its funny to see how many doubters he has. The kid can flat out play and will be an instrumental part of Miami's success this season.
Also, look for F Dwayne Collins to be a major impact on the team this year and break into the starting lineup at some point. He's too explosive to keep off the court.
BASEBALL UPDATEThe baseball team is practicing today for the first time after having yesterday's practice rained out. There are a number of key players back this year, but one of the most intriguing battles of the fall will be at closer. Junior college transfer RHP Enrique Garcia is a big guy (6-4/200) who throws hard. He'll be the one to watch and is scheduled to pitch today. With Blake Tekotte moving to centerfield and Dennis Raben starting the fall at rightfield, there is an opening at leftfield which a number of guys are in contention for.
Christopher Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org