Miami Hurricanes QB Stephen Morris should play against USF

UM quarterback Stephen Morris’ ankle injury was determined to be a bone bruise, and he is expected to play Saturday against USF.

09/23/2013 12:01 AM

09/24/2013 12:42 AM

University of Miami coach Al Golden said quarterback Stephen Morris should be full-go for the USF game Saturday at noon in Tampa.

Morris sustained what was believed to be a sprained right ankle Saturday in the first quarter of UM’s 77-7 victory against Savannah State, but Golden said Sunday that Morris’ injury has “been classified as a bruise now.”

“It’s not really even a sprain,” Golden said. “It’s a bone bruise.”

When asked if Morris would be “full-go” for USF, the coach said, “Oh yeah, absolutely. I feel good about it. I really do. We might be careful with him [Monday], but our goal is to get him going for our Tuesday practice, which is obviously our most demanding practice.”

Morris, who injured the ankle with 8:51 left in the first quarter, had completed three of his four passes for 82 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown to Allen Hurns, when he was injured.

“There’s some soreness, certainly some stiffness — otherwise Stephen would have been back [Saturday] night. Everything is positive. He got through treatments and everything. Like I said, we’re going to be real careful with him in the first 48 hours, but it did not swell overnight; it didn’t go backwards overnight or anything like that.

“The young man did a great job getting on top of it right away [Saturday] night and early [Sunday] morning.”

Morris sprained his left ankle last year against North Carolina, thrusting backup Ryan Williams in the spotlight. Williams was slated to start the next game at Florida State — until Morris told coaches on game day he was ready to go.

Said Golden of Morris: “This was a kid a year ago going into Florida State where we didn’t even know he was going to play until he walked on the field. So, he’s a fast healer and he’s very tough-minded. Expect him to be back very soon.”

Morris also sprained his left ankle a few days before the Sun Bowl game in El Paso in 2010. He played in that game as well.

In other injury news, Golden said center Shane McDermott injured his foot against Florida. McDermott, seen on the sideline with his left foot in a boot, was replaced by senior Jared Wheeler.

“He’ll see the doctor again [Monday],” Golden said. “He’s making a lot of progress.”

Golden raved about Wheeler for “a great job” Saturday and for his command of the offense. “I’m really happy for him.”

Sophomore safety Deon Bush competed in about 26 plays, not including some special teams action, for the first time after undergoing hernia surgery in June and will continue rehabbing.

“A good start for him,” Golden said. “ He’s going to learn a lot from that game for sure. I expect his biggest gain to come now going into South Florida.”

Among other topics Golden covered:

• The durability of running back Duke Johnson and whether it’s a concern: “No, it’s not. He’s going to keep taking licks. That’s the way it is. His reputation precedes him. Kids see that as a personal challenge and they want to go after him — not that they’re being cheap or anything.”
• The Canes’ 10 penalties for 75 yards: “I’m annoyed. You know how to get me on Sunday and you got me. Before every accident there’s a warning, and if our guys don’t start heeding the warning it’s going to cost us. We had some selfish penalties, and we had some foolish penalties — we’ve got to eliminate those.”
• Thank-you texts from walk-ons who got playing time: “I got a number of texts late last night from guys thanking me for the opportunity. They work really hard. It doesn’t come along often in college football where you get that kind of win and get everybody in. We did a good job of clearing the bench and giving everybody an opportunity. I hope we didn’t miss anybody.”

The Hurricanes (3-0) rose in the AP rankings from No. 16 to No. 15, and from No. 17 to No. 15 in the USA Today coaches’ poll.

UM announced Sunday that the USF game, set for Raymond James Stadium, will be televised by ESPNU.

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