Through two games, UM’s passing offense has been fairly efficient. Capitalizing primarily on short and intermediate routes, quarterback Stephen Morris has completed 47 of 71 attempts (66.2 percent) for 422 yards and a touchdown and one interception. Even backup Ryan Williams went 2 for 2 with a pair of short passes – including a touchdown – against Kansas State.
But the Hurricanes, who threw deep quite a bit last season when Tommy Streeter was around, has yet to do so this year.
Outside of a 56-yard catch-and-run by tight end Clive Walford, only two other UM receivers have caught a pass of 20 yards or more: leading receiver Allen Hurns, who will miss Saturday’s game against Bethune-Cookman while recovering from a concussion, hauled in a 22-yarder at Boston College to convert a 3rd-and-16, and sophomore Rashawn Scott caught a 25-yard pass shortly before halftime while UM was in a two-minute offense at Kansas State.
“We have to do a better job vertically,” coach Al Golden said. “We’re getting the ball to a variety of players and we’re catching in-cuts better than we did a year ago. We’re catching the ball across the middle better than we did a year ago. But have we put it all together yet? No we have not.”
Whenever offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has called a pass on third and long, Hurns has usually been UM’s go-to-man. But with Hurns out, Fisch said he’s counting on others such as Scott to step up and make tough catches. Sophomore Phillip Dorsett made one last week – a leaping catch over the middle on third down.
There were no surprises on Thursday’s injury report. Linebacker Raphael Kirby (knee), defensive tackle Curtis Porter (appendectomy) and Vaughn Telemaque (knee) will miss Saturday’s game against Bethune-Cookman along with Hurns.