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Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Hurricanes must eliminate turnovers

By Chris Fallica

The biggest decision new head coach Al Golden and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch will have is at the QB position. Will the Miami (FL) Hurricanes go with senior Jacory Harris or sophomore Stephen Morris?

Whoever is under center for the Canes this year will have one main goal. Eliminate turnovers.

The 'Canes have 57 of them over the last two years (only the Texas Longhorns have more among BCS AQ teams). Miami signal callers have tossed 44 interceptions over the last two seasons. That's five more than any other FBS team and seven more than the next closest BCS AQ school (Boston College Eagles, 37).

Since November 20, 2008, Harris has thrown 36 interceptions in 26 games - that’s the most in the country. His interception percentage of 4.77 percent is second only to the departed Dwight Dasher of Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. In fact, only one other QB who attempted 500 passes in that time frame - and there are 75 of them - has an interception percentage of 4.0 pct (Longhorns' Garrett Gilbert, 4.14 percent).

Over the last two years, the Miami defense has been tough to score on without the help of turnovers. Thirty percent of the points Miami allowed (167 of 567) in the 2009-2010 seasons have been a direct result of a turnover. Only one FBS team has a higher percentage - Rose Bowl champion TCU (31.1 percent). So the numbers tell us the Miami defense is about as tough to score on without the help of turnovers as TCU - and that’s some pretty good company to have.