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Hurricanes roll; Morris OK

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Miami Hurricanes fans can exhale now.

Quarterback Stephen Morris, who limped off the field early in the first quarter with a sprained right ankle, is not seriously hurt, according to Canes coach Al Golden.

"I just saw (Morris) and he looks good," Golden said after his Canes defeated Savannah State 77-7 on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium. "There was no need to put him back in, so we held him out.

"The X-rays are negative. We will be cautious with him and keep him off his feet for the next 48 hours, but it looks like he will be fine."

The question remains whether Morris will be able to play next week at South Florida or possibly return Oct. 5 for the Canes' ACC opener against Georgia Tech.

Miami, ranked 16th in the nation, improved to 3-0 and set a school record for points. The previous record was 75 points in 1954. The Canes also won their fifth straight game, their longest win streak since 2008.

Savannah State fell to 1-3.

Sophomore running back Dallas Crawford and freshman running back Gus Edwards led the Canes with three touchdowns each.

"Coaches told me earlier in the week to be ready," Edwards said. "I got my opportunity, and I was excited."

Canes freshman wide receiver Stacy Coley scored two touchdowns, including one on an 88-yard kickoff return.

"He did a great job on the kick return, made some nice moves on (a 20-yard) punt return, and he caught a nice little screen," Golden said of Coley, who dropped two potential touchdown passes in Miami's season opener against Florida Atlantic. "Obviously, the jitters are behind him now. We're trying to get him going."

In addition to Morris, Miami receiver Herb Waters also limped off the field. There was no immediate update on his condition.

DeQuan Daniels got Savannah State on the board with a 75-yard run with 2:22 left in the third quarter.

"All week we talked about how Miami likes to swing to the ball," Daniels said. "I reacted to the play. We don't usually cut back, but I felt I could get to the outside.

"It felt good at the time, but when the game was over, it didn't really mean much."

The Canes came up with four interceptions: cornerback Ladarius Gunter, safety A.J. Highsmith, defensive end Tyriq McCord and defensive tackle Earl Moore.

Miami did not punt or have a turnover, although Savannah State did stop the Canes on downs with 2:59 left in the game.

Because of the lopsided score, both head coaches agreed to reduce the fourth quarter from 15 to 12 minutes.

Miami scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions. The only time the Canes did not score was on the final drive of the half, when the clock ran out on third-string quarterback Gray Crow.

Duke Johnson took the game's opening kickoff back 95 yards to the Savannah State four. It was a spectacular run, featuring numerous cuts and twists, and it set up a one-play TD drive -- Crawford's 4-yard run.

Miami's next drive took twice as long -- two plays. The capper was an 80-yard pass from Morris to Allen Hurns, who looked up just in time to find the ball perfectly placed in his hands.

Morris was hurt four plays into Miami's next drive as he tried to scramble away from pressure. Junior backup Ryan Williams came in and completed the 11-play, 89-yard drive, capped by Johnson's 2-yard run.

The Canes closed the first-half scoring with Williams' TD passes of 5 yards to Crawford and 25 yards to Coley, a 16-yard run by Crawford and a 1-yard run by Edwards.

Despite the loss, Savannah State's first-year coach Earnest Wilson III was optimistic.

"I believe we can build this team," he said. "It's my first time, but I'll get there. And I believe our kids will get there."

NOTES: Johnson's kick return was the longest of his career. ... Canes safety Deon Bush, who has been battling injuries, saw his first action of the season. ... Miami was a 60-point favorite. ... Canes freshman DE Al-Quadin Muhammad had two sacks in Savannah State's first two drives. ... Miami center Shane McDermott did not play due to a lower-extremity injury. McDermott, who had started 14 straight games, was replaced by fifth-year senior Jared Wheeler. It was Wheeler's first career start. ... Savannah State received $375,000 for agreeing to play Miami. ... Savannah State entered the game having been outscored 170-32 this season. Its only win came against Division II Fort Valley. ... Senior quarterback Antonio Bostic got his first start of the season for Savannah. But LB Trevion Ashford, the team's leading tackler, sat out due to a shoulder injury.
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