Quarterback Stephen Morris continues to be a bit of an enigma for the Miami Hurricanes.
At times, Morris looks like a first-round talent, displaying a rocket arm and incredible accuracy. Then, there are times when he makes a poor throw or decision that proves costly for the Canes. In Saturday night’s 41-14 loss to the third-ranked Florida State Seminoles, both sides of Morris were on display.
In the first half, Morris simply outplayed Florida State’s freshman phenom Jameis Winston. He delivered the ball on time, and took chances down the field when he had the opportunity. One of those came late in the first quarter, when Morris dropped a perfectly thrown ball down the right sideline to Allen Hurns for a 33-yard touchdown that tied the game at seven.
Then, after Winston’s second interception of the game, Morris once again found Hurns for a touchdown. This one came with 22 seconds remaining in the half and cut the lead to 21-14 at intermission. This time, Hurns was running a corner route out of the slot and even though there wasn’t much of a window, Morris was able to squeeze it into Hurns, who did an incredible job catching it before going out of bounds.
Despite trailing by seven at halftime, the Canes had all the momentum heading into the second half, but struggled mightily against the heavily favored Seminoles. A lot of that was due to poor throws by the Canes’ senior quarterback.
After the Noles extended the lead to 28-14 early in the third, Morris tried to strike back quickly on a deep throw to freshman Stacy Coley. However, Morris under-threw Coley by a substantial margin and gave Williams a simple interception that really changed the momentum.
From there, Morris was under siege and never looked comfortable in the pocket again. He took huge sacks from Terrence Brooks and Mario Edwards Jr., then sealed the Canes’ fate with another interception, this one by freshman Nate Andrews.
In reality, it was going to take a brilliant performance from Morris to give the Canes any real chance at knocking off one of the best teams in the country. And for a half, it looked like he might be able to do it. However, as the game progressed, Morris made a few crucial mistakes that ultimately negated any chance Miami had.