Like any player when he falls to the turf injured, Miami quarterback Stephen Morris feared the worst.
“You’re always worried about the big injury, whether it’s Achilles’ or ACL, or something with your knee,” he said.
However, it was a minor injury — a bone bruise on his right ankle — that knocked him out of Saturday night’s win over Savannah State. On Monday, Morris said he should be ready to go when Miami visits South Florida on Saturday (noon, ESPNU).
“The ankle’s feeling good. The ankle feels fine,” Morris said. “I feel pretty good about playing on Saturday. That’s the goal.”
Morris didn’t participate in practice Monday. He threw on the side. He told reporters his ankle was “kind of stiff” but didn’t cause him pain.
In other words, it was nothing like the left ankle sprain he suffered last year against North Carolina, which hampered him in the following week’s loss to Florida State.
Miami may not need Morris for the entirety of this week’s game. USF (0-3) has struggled, and it would help the Hurricanes to rest Morris for conference play, which begins Oct. 5 against Georgia Tech. Besides, backup Ryan Williams has shown he won’t hurt them.
Williams, a junior, completed his first nine passes and finished 11-of-13 for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Though redshirt freshman Gray Crow was 6-of-6 for 55 yards and threw his first career TD pass, Williams further cemented himself as the Hurricanes’ second-string quarterback.
“He doesn’t have the arm of Stephen, but that doesn’t preclude him from being a very good and accurate quarterback,” coach Al Golden said. “I think he’s starting to understand who he is.”
Williams, who is 6-feet-6, said he got a better handle on his mechanics in the offseason. Increased confidence helped him enter the game on third-and-8 following Morris’ injury and, without warming up, fire a 20-yard strike to Allen Hurns for a first down.
“I just know what my strengths are,” Williams said. “I can’t throw as far as Stephen can. I can’t throw as hard as he can. I just pride myself on being really accurate.”
True freshman Kevin Olsen would do well to study Williams’ example. When asked about Olsen, Miami’s potential quarterback of the future, Golden sounded as if he wasn’t happy with the young man’s worth ethic.
“He’s got to learn the game,” Golden said. “He’s got to be obedient to a regimen to be a quarterback. It’s got to be the same every day. He’s got to be disciplined, in terms of that. He’s not there yet.”
Golden said Olsen, who will redshirt this fall, wasn’t making proper use of his apprentice time.
“He can’t waste this year,” Golden said. “He’s got to get better.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.