When I first met Kayne Farquharson two years ago when he was signing with the University of Miami out of El Camino Junior College, I knew the Hurricanes were getting someone who loved the limelight. One of the first things Kayne asked me was how soon he might be able to find his way onto the front page of the Sports section.
Fast-forward to Wednesday and Kayne was asking the same question again after seeing the front-page story our Susan Miller Degnan wrote regarding the record true seven freshmen who have found their way into the end zone this season. Kayne tried his best to plead his own case for a front-page story: "I look good on front of The Herald," he told a group of reporters. "Put me in front of the Versace Mansion on Ocean Drive, the only mansion on Ocean Drive. I could just stand in front of the gates like this [striking a pose] with my Hurricanes jersey on. There could be a drop-top Phantom with 24s, an orange one with big rims. Yeah, I like that."
Truth is Kayne, I'm not sure you'll ever find your way back onto the front page. The face of this team -- whether the veterans like it or not -- has slowly become the monster freshmen class brought in to replace you. Over the past three weeks, we've seen the transformation. It started with Travis Benjamin and Sean Spence's big days against Florida State, continued with Brandon Harris' move to the starting spot at corner, Aldarius Johnson's 8-catch performance and Jacory Harris' magical second-half rally against Duke. Think about this for a second. Since Robert Marve's last-second heave skipped off Kayne's fingers and was intercepted by a North Carolina defensive back, UM's sophomore, junior and senior class has combined to account for 25 catches for 163 yards and 1 Chris Zellner touchdown. The freshmen? 30 catches for 379 yards and 7 TDs. Take away sophomore Graig Cooper (12 catches, 37 yards) from the veterans and the gap in production between the vets and young guys is even wider.
The good news is there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of jealousy. And that means Kayne (1 catch for 23 yards since he's near-heroic catch against UNC) still gets to be Kayne. Or, as I'm now going to start referring to him, Kayne Ocho-Dos. Farquharson once again put on a show for the media Wednesday in what has become his weekly ritual in an attempt to play the role of attention-starved receiver (the Canes' version of Chad Ocho-Cinco or Terrell Owens). I got to admit, I laughed at some of Kayne's antics. But I'm sure the coaching staff might get in his ear for being too silly. At one point, he even asked UM SID Kerwin Lonzo when he might get his own show. Lonzo basically ignored him. At least it was entertaining. If you want to listen to the exchange, click on the audio link here.
> One of the best emails I got this week was from loyal Eye On The U reader Chris Cox, who asked me why the media is stressing how the Canes are ranked 102nd in total offense (307.9 ypg) instead of pointing out how UM's scoring offense is ranked 30th nationally (32.6 ppg) and second overall in the ACC. After all, all coach Randy Shannon has ever said throughout his career is that all he cares about is scoring more points than the other team. It got me to doing some homework.
While UM would obviously like to pile up more yardage and do better on first downs (they currently rank 10th in the ACC at a 34.3 percent conversion clip), there are plenty of examples of teams with higher-ranked total offenses and fewer wins than UM. Southern Miss (2-5) is ranked 17th in total offense with 444 yards a game. 0-7 North Texas? They're 50th in total offense. On the other side of the coin, there are about four good teams who have an offense that produces less yardage than UM -- Virginia (4-3) is 104th, Auburn (4-3) is 107th, Virginia Tech (5-2) is 110th and Vanderbilt (5-2) is 118th. Meanwhile, there isn't a team with a losing record or even .500 ranked higher than UM when it comes to scoring points.
> Injuries obviously always play a big role week-to-week and one you might not know about heading into Saturday's game happened to Wake Forest center Trey Baily, who suffered a broken ankle against Maryland
last weekend and has since undergone season-ending surgery. The injury has forced the Deacons to shuffle their offensive line including moving left guard Russell Nenon to center and true freshman Joe Looney to left guard. If Looney starts against UM Saturday, he would become the first true freshman to start for Wake Forest since Oct. 22, 2005.
> As for the Canes' injuries, look for linebacker Jordan Futch, defensive tackle Josh Holmes and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke to return this week. All three have been listed as probable. Receiver Leonard Hankerson is likely to miss his third straight game. Also doubtful is sophomore safety Joseph Nicholas. Running back Lee Chambers has been ruled out.