Miami has one of the nation's top backfield tandems in QB Stephen Morris and RB Duke Johnson, and they are going to need one of their best performances this weekend to beat Florida.
Morris can excel in NFL
Further analysis of Miami QB Stephen Morris' game tape revealed a potential franchise passer primed for a long and productive NFL career, Bucky Brooks says. **More ...**
The Hurricanes have been waiting for an opportunity to get back into the glare of the national spotlight. The wait ends Saturday, when they host the Gators.
Morris and Johnson have the talent to deliver, but they are going to have to do it against a tough, physical Florida defense with one of the nation's best secondaries.
Johnson is everything you want in a running back. He's fast and explosive. He has good power and vision. He's going to continue to mature and get stronger. He also has great return ability and can catch the ball. When you're game-planning as a defense, you have to put a big star next to his name. I think he has the ability to carry the ball as many times as you want to hand it to him.
Morris is the total package. He doesn't have ideal height, but nobody's much concerned with that anymore. Look at what shorter QBs Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have done in the NFL. We want to know if he can make the throws, and Morris has plenty of arm strength.
I think he will be one of the top-five guys we'll be talking about at quarterback when the dust settles this season.
Tuitt-Lewan matchup intriguing
In the highly anticipated Notre Dame-Michigan game, I'm most interested in seeing what Irish DE Stephon Tuitt can do with Michigan's All-American LT Taylor Lewan in the run game. The Wolverines have been built as a running team for a while now, but their running style is different this season with Devin Gardner at quarterback instead of Denard Robinson. When they go head-to-head, I want to see if Lewan is moving Tuitt and creating those gaps. Gardner won't run it the same way as Robinson, who excelled in a read-option system. This is a much more a pro-style looking offense at Michigan, and that should make evaluations easier come draft time.
Keep in mind, though, Tuitt will not always work against Lewan; he'll move around. The Fighting Irish will try to find matchups and get Tuitt to a better spot. But when they're going head-to-head, we're all going to be watching. It will be interesting to see when Notre Dame goes to its nickel package if DT Louis Nix III will kick outside. We might have a few collisions with Lewan and Nix. It's going to be great to see all three of those big guys thumping all game.
Can Murray win big game?
Coming off a loss at Clemson, Georgia QB Aaron Murray is sick and tired of hearing he doesn't win big games. I think some of that is undo criticism, but on Saturday he gets South Carolina at home, and this is a huge one for him because the Gamecocks really believe they have his number.
Murray is 0-3 all-time vs. South Carolina, and if he doesn't step up in this game, his Heisman hopes -- and the Bulldogs' SEC title aspirations -- could go out the window.