MY THOUGHTSI assume everyone is tired of the 2006 season as it can't end soon enough.
So let's look at the 2007 team...
Projected Offensive Starters
QB Kyle Wright, Sr. or Kirby Freeman, Jr.
RB Javarris James, Soph.
FB James Bryant, Sr.
WR Darnell Jenkins, Sr.
WR Lance Leggett, Sr.
TE Greg Olsen, Sr.
LT Reggie Youngblood, Jr.
LG Andrew Bain, Sr.
C Matt Pipho, Soph. or Harland Gunn, Fr.
RG Derrick Morse, Sr.
RT Jason Fox, Soph.
The team will return 10 starters, which is a good place to start even if the offense was unproductive throughout the '06 season.
Projected Defensive Starters
LE Eric Moncur, Jr.
LT Teraz McCray, Sr.
RT Antonio Dixon, Jr.
RE Calais Campbell, Jr.
WLB Jon Beason, Sr.
MLB Darryl Sharpton, Soph.
SLB Tavares Gooden, Sr.
CB Glenn Sharpe, Sr.
CB Randy Phillips, Jr. or Bruce Johnson, Jr. or Carlos Armour, Jr.
FS Kenny Phillips, Jr.
SS Lovon Ponder, Jr. or Anthony Reddick, Jr.
The defense should be fast once again, but the defense needs playmakers other than Campbell.
Projected Special Teams Starters
K Matt Bosher, Fr.
P Daren Daly, Jr.
KR Ryan Hill, Soph. or Bruce Johnson, Jr.
PR Ryan Hill, Soph. or Rashaun Jones, Sr. or Bruce Johnson, Jr.
This unit should be fine assuming Bosher can kick in game-time situations. I'd like to see Hill get an opportunity at punt returns.
STOCK UP• QB Kirby Freeman - Completed 14-of-27 passes, but it felt like it was better than that. Generated four drives of 10 plays or more. Also ran for 50 yards on 9 carries. Look for Freeman to guide the 'Canes past Virginia this week to become bowl eligible.
• WR Ryan Moore - He missed the one touchdown, but he caught another. Finished with a team-high five catches for 50 yards.
• Miami defensive line - Still hasn't allowed a team to rush for 100 yards this season. On pace to set the school record for rushing yards allowed per game. Miami is allowing 2.2 yards per carry this year.
STOCK DOWN• Miami offense - On pace to be the lowest scoring team since 1979 when they averaged 17.4 points per game.
• WR Rashaun Jones - In the middle of his second suspension this year. Was suspended for the first four games of the season and now is a in a 2-game suspension (and no, he didn't get suspended for dropping the punt against Virginia Tech).
• RB Charlie Jones - Since starting the first three games and getting 14 carries against Houston on Sept. 14, Jones has a total of 12 carries for 23 yards in the next 6 games.
FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES• Just a tough, tough week with the Bryan Pata services Tuesday and Wednesday. The team appears to be in good spirits at practice, which is good, but something like this comes and goes throughout a day.
• QB Kirby Freeman and QB Kyle Wright will be an interesting battle to watch. Kirby's learning curve is a lot different than Kyle's in the sense that Kirby has 3-4 games to prove he is the team's best quarterback, where as Kyle was given 21 games.
• Wright said this in response to a potential quarterback controversy: "Two years ago there was a controversy between him and I and even when the new coaches came in during last spring, they kind of opened it up. That is fine, competition is something that I am completely comfortable with and I have proven it twice that I am the best quarterback. If I have to do it again, then so be it."
• WR Sam Shields has three catches for 21 yards in his last two games. Coker said Shields will start and is doing good for a freshman. The two previous games he had 11 catches for 133 yards.
• OL A.J. Trump tore his ACL last Saturday, which was disappointing. He has a long road to recovery and hopefully he will be ready for the Sept. 1 opener against Marshall.
BASKETBALL UPDATESG Jack McClinton scored 21 points on Tuesday and leads the team through two games averaging 17.5 points per game. Senior C Anthony King has back-to-back double-doubles. Senior PG Anthony Harris has 16 assists in two games, but averaging less than 5 points per game. I wouldn't be worried yet, let's see how he does in the upcoming tournament.
The 'Canes travel play tonight at 7:30 at Evansville. Then, they play Buffalo tomorrow at 8 p.m. and Cleveland State at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The Evansville game could be tough, but Miami should win all three games.
BASEBALL UPDATEThe baseball team concludes fall practices tomorrow with their scout day. The scrimmage is scheduled to go a full nine innings with a number of pitchers scheduled to throw at least one inning. Game time begins at 10:30 a.m. Guys to watch, who have had a strong fall are: 1B Yonder Alonso, OF Nick Freitas, 3B Gus Menendez, LHP Scott Maine and LHP Manny Miguelez.
Top freshman of the fall: SS Ryan Jackson
Christopher Stock can be reached at email@example.com