Posted: 8:17 pm Saturday, September 21st, 2013
By Matt Porter
MIAMI GARDENS — On a night where avoiding injuries was the main goal, the Hurricanes missed the mark.
Senior quarterback Stephen Morris left the game with 8:51 left in the first quarter against Savannah State with a right ankle injury.
Morris was not available to the media after the game. Miami coach Al Golden said Morris was OK and x-rays showed no break, but the situation is clearly concerning for the team.
“I just saw him. He looks good,” Golden said. “The x-rays were negative. We’ll be cautious with it, we’ll get him off his feet in the next 48 hours, but it looks like he’ll be fine.”
On 560 WQAM, the Hurricanes’ flagship radio station, sideline reporter Josh Darrow said UM was “treating it like a sprain.”
Morris left the field under his own power favoring his right leg. He was checked out by trainers on the sideline, then donned a ballcap and returned to the locker room.
“There’s no need for him to go back in, so we just held him out,” Golden said.
Backup Ryan Williams completed his first nine passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. He finished 11-of-13 for 176 yards. Redshirt freshman Gray Crow completed 6-of-6 passes for 55 yards.
Sophomore running back Dallas Crawford said he had the same reaction as many Hurricanes fans likely did:
“Get up,” Crawford said. “Please get up.”
Morris sprained his left ankle last Oct. 13 against North Carolina and was listed as doubtful for the next week’s game against Florida State. In 2010, Morris sprained his left ankle four days before Miami faced Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl. Morris relieved starter Jacory Harris in the second quarter of that game.
Morris’ latest injury is extra insulting because it came against an opponent that was clearly overmatched. Golden said he had a difficult line to toe when thinking about when to rest his starters.
“It’s so difficult because I always get the questions going into a game. ‘Are you going to sit so-and-so?’” Golden said. “The reality is these guys work so hard. Try and go tell Stephen he’s not playing after a bye week. It was an unfortunate circumstance, we’re blessed and grateful that he’s healthy and that he’s going to be okay.
“And at the same time, we learned a lot about Ryan [Williams]. I thought Gray Crow came in and did a good job too.”
He can only hope he won’t need either.
Updated 11:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, 2013