Time for Canes to “wake” up

Now is the time for the Miami Hurricanes to respond.

No. 18 Miami is coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to Clemson and will attempt to come back with a vengeance on the road this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Wake Forest.

The Canes (5-2, 2-2 ACC) will look to pick up their sixth straight win over the Demon Deacons and get back to winning ways.

“Coach [Jim] Grobe has done a great job in all of his years there as he has had the ability to bring in some fourth and fifth-year players,” head coach Randy Shannon said. “It will be a test for us to rebound back, go out and play football like we normally do and have fun.”

This will be the first meeting between the Hurricanes and the Demon Deacons (4-4, 2-2 ACC) in Winston-Salem since a 47-17 Miami win in 2005. In that thrashing, former quarterback Kyle Wright threw five touchdowns and piled up 515 total yards.

But last season on Miami’s homecoming game, Wake Forest played Miami tough at Land Shark Stadium. It took a third down and long catch by sophomore receiver Thearon Collier to ice the game for Miami, 16-10.

That was last year and this is this year.

Last season the Hurricanes were lead by former quarterback Robert Marve and former offensive coordinator Patrick Nix against the Demon Deacons. This year the orange and green are under the direction of sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.

Through seven games, Harris has completed 64 percent of his passes has 1,774 yards, and 14 total touchdowns. He has a 155.1 passing efficiency, which ranks 10th nationally.

Harris is only ACC quarterback and one of two sophomores nominated for the Davey O’Brien Trophy, the national quarterback award in college football.

Harris has already put the Clemson loss behind and looks forward to moving on and improving on the season.

“That can’t ever happen again,” Harris said. “We’ve said that before, but now we’ve dug ourselves too deep in a hole. We can’t let it go any deeper. It’s just how you bounce back after things like this. I believe that I’m the type of person that can put this behind me.”

The Demon Deacons have lost two straight games, falling to Navy last week, as Navy didn’t attempt a single pass. They ran the ball 64 times. Wake Forest has only scored one touchdown in the last nine quarters.

However, Wake Forest is undefeated this season at BB&T Field at Grove Stadium. Senior quarterback Riley Skinner has thrown 11 of his 16 touchdown passes on his home turf.

The Hurricanes’ defense has suffered an enormous loss with sophomore linebacker Sean Spence not playing due to a leg injury. Spence is fourth on the team in total tackles but more importantly his presence on the field will be missed. Sophomore Ramon Buchanan will replace Spence.

“Right now, there’s no surgery involved or anything like that,” said Shannon of Spence’s injury. “He’ll be back this season.”

The key for Miami to pick up a win against Wake Forest is to be solid on defense, not turn the ball over on offense, and keep the Demon Deacons’ defense off balance.

“We’re 5-2. We’re still comfortable, but we’re not where we want to be at,” Harris said. “If being aggressive and making the correct read – but sometimes just slipping up a little bit – got us at 5-2, I got to keep on doing it and just try to lower my mistakes.”

Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at lledoux@themiamihurricane.com.