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Saturday, August 2, 2008
Three questions for Miami

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

1. Will a freshman quarterback be able to carry Miami back to a bowl?

The Hurricanes have no choice in the matter. Regardless of who the job falls to -- Robert Marve, Jacory Harris or Cannon Smith -- none of them have ever thrown a pass in a collegiate game. Taylor Cook fell behind because he wasn't there this spring and won't be getting as many reps at camp. If Javarris James and Graig Cooper develop into one of the better rushing tandems in the league -- as they have the potential to do -- it would help take some pressure off a rookie signal caller.

2. How much of an effect will injuries have on the defensive line?

A significant one. Defensive end Allen Bailey is questionable for the season opener against Charleston Southern because of a pectoral injury, Eric Moncur has struggled to stay healthy, and Courtney Harris will miss the season with an Achilles injury. Unless I missed it, there is no depth chart in the media guide, nor a season outlook, so it's pretty difficult to tell who's going where. (There is far more on the past in there than there is about this season.) Hurricanes fans have good reason to be excited about freshman Marcus Forston. He'll be competing with senior left tackle Antonio Dixon, Joe Joseph and Dwayne Hendricks for the tackle spots.

3. How many freshmen will actually see significant playing time at Miami this season?

It wouldn't be a surprise to see any of the guys who were there this spring make an immediate contribution -- Aldarius Johnson, Sean Spence and Arthur Brown quickly come to mind -- but coach Randy Shannon has been reserved about revealing if any of them will earn a starting job. Except, of course, for quarterback.