- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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Miami quarterback Jacory Harris said his playbook is “like a dictionary.”
“It’s huge,” he said. “You have to study it.”
As Harris enters his second season under coach Mark Whipple, he now knows it much better, thanks in part to the fact that Whipple has simplified it a bit by cutting down on some of the terminology. Still, there is the same amount of plays -- a number Harris estimated to be around 300, many of which are variations of each other.
Harris said the biggest difference in his second season under Whipple is simply a matter of being more comfortable.
“He expects a lot from me,” Harris said, “so that’s what I have to give him.”
He also expects fewer mistakes. Harris last year became the first quarterback since Ken Dorsey in 2002 to throw for 3,000 yards in a season, and he finished with 3,352 yards and 24 touchdowns. It was the 17 interceptions, though, that garnered the most attention. Four of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns (three coming in losses to Clemson and North Carolina). The 17 thrown last year were second-worst nationally behind Jevan Snead's 20.
“You could go out there and throw for as many yards as Case Keenum, 5,400 yards, but if I don’t cut down on my mistakes, it’s still the same outcome,” he said.
If there was one mistake from last fall Harris could have back, he said it would be one of his four interceptions in a 33-24 loss to North Carolina.
“I believe that without that interception, we win the game,” he said. “All I had to do was make the tackle. That’s why I don’t play defense.”
Harris doesn’t want to jinx himself, so he won’t actually say national championship, but he does feel the Canes are capable of reaching “the highest possible goal, without saying it.”
“I’m having a lot of fun,” Harris said. “Coach Whipple has made it so much fun just by being the type of person he is and by my becoming more comfortable with it. The more comfortable I am, the more fun I have because I know what I’m doing. It’s like the back of my hand. I know what I’m doing.”
3hSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
1dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney