September 07, 2011
Last week, Jacory Harris got his senior season back when the NCAA decided he would only sit for one game for allegedly receiving improper benefits as part of the sprawling Nevin Shapiro scandal at Miami. Today, Harris got his starting job back when Miami listed him ahead of sophomore Stephen Morris on its most recent depth chart.
I hope he has the common courtesy to send Cameron Chism a thank-you card...
To that point, Morris had delivered a solid but unspectacular night in the 'Canes' Labor Day opener at Maryland, and hadn't been picked off. (He added his second interception a few moments later on a last-gasp Hail Mary in a driving rain as time expired.) But Miami's offense was driven primarily by the running game — Lamar Miller went over 100 yards on the ground for the third time in his career — and on Chism's pick-six to clinch the game for Maryland, Morris may as well have had a flashing neon arrow on his helmet pointing to the short hook route on fourth-and-short. Reenter Jacory.
Harris is one of three returning 'Canes — along with former Northwestern (Miami) High teammates Travis Benjamin at wide receiver and Sean Spence at linebacker — listed as starters for Miami's next game, a Sept. 17 visit from similarly suspension-ravaged Ohio State. Two others, Marcus Fortson (also a former Northwestern graduate) and Adewale Ojomo, are listed as co-starters on the defensive line. If last year's showdown with the Buckeyes is any indication, Morris may not have long to wait for another chance: Harris was picked off four times in Columbus, leading directly to 20 Ohio State points — two touchdowns and two field goals — on "drives" that began inside the Miami 20-yard line. His fourth pick of the afternoon, at the end of a 70-yard drive in the third quarter that threatened to get the 'Canes back in business in a nine-point game, was returned 80 yards to set up a touchdown that effectively put the game on ice.
To some extent, that's just Jacory being Jacory: He's thrown 32 interceptions over the last two years and 39 in his U career, more than any other active college quarterback. The last time we saw him in action, he was serving up three interceptions in 13 snaps in a Sun Bowl flop against Notre Dame. But that was then. Now, every new start is another chance to turn it all around.