Canes-Bulls Preview: Senior Day

What to watch for when UM hosts USF

By David Hill
|  Saturday, Nov 17, 2012  |  Updated 9:15 AM EDT
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Greatest Miami Hurricanes

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Mike James (#5) and the UM seniors look for one final home win on Saturday.

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Mike James, Brandon McGee and the rest of the University of Miami's seniors will play their final home game Saturday when the Hurricanes host the University of South Florida Bulls at Sun Life Stadium.

"They deserve to finish on a great note, a positive note," UM coach Al Golden said this week. "They have been through a lot. As a staff we're grateful to them and we appreciate what they have meant to our program, and hopefully they go off on a positive note here."

The 3-6 Bulls are in a down year, and without starting QB BJ Daniels, who broke his left leg in USF's win against Connecticut two weeks ago. Miami can clinch bowl eligibility with a win, while USF needs to win its last three to return to a bowl.

When the Canes have the ball: Miami's offense put up 31 points on the road last week against Virginia, averaging 7.1 yards a play. Stephen Morris seems to have recovered from his midseason swoon, going 17 of 25 for 179 yards and three touchdowns versus the Cavs.

Miami has lost WR Davon Johnson for the season with a knee injury, but the offense still runs through RBs Mike James (the senior) and Duke Johnson (the true freshman). They both average over 5 yards a touch and are effective receiving the ball.

USF's defense is ranked near the middle of FBS in most major categories, giving up 26 points and 397 yards a game. Before holding UNC to 6 points two weeks ago, the Bulls had given up 27 points or more in the previous 5 games, all losses.

When the Bulls have the ball: With Daniels out for the year, redshirt freshman QB Matt Floyd takes the reins on offense. USF notched two field goals after he entered the UNC game, he has completed 4 of 10 passes for 22 yards on the season.

RB Lindsey Lamar (who leads the Bulls in yards from scrimmage) also is on the sidelines, with Demetris Murray taking a bulk of the carries in his place. WRs Andre Davis and Terrence Mitchell have a majority of the team's catches and yards.

Freshman safety Deon Bush is out for the Canes, Kacy Rodgers II will start in his place. The Canes have given up 490 yards a game this season, 232 of those on the ground (121st in FBS).

Who has the edge? It is hard to predict how Floyd will perform, but freshmen quarterbacks have a spotty track record. Miami's offense humming, hopefully enough to counteract the Canes' historically subpar defense.

The pick: Canes 30-Bulls 24

Coverage begins at 3 p.m. on Sun Sports and ESPN3.com.

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