UM interim coach Jeff Stoutland just spoke at a Sun Bowl news conference at the Hawthorn Suites in El Paso.
He was asked, as he has been asked continually, who is going to start at quarterback for the Hurricanes. Will it be junior Jacory Harris or will it be freshman Stephen Morris? Someone asked if he had told the team.
Stoutland: "I get asked that question about five times a day. I’ll get there with this thing. We are not going to announce that today or maybe even tomorrow.. There are still a couple of practices left. And when I tell you it's close, it’s real close. We’re monitoring a lot of the thing we just talked about. There might be times in the game where we might play both players based on what we’re doing schematically.
We have not announced that to the team – no, we have not announced that."
Is it important for the team to know?
"Not really," Stoutland said, "because if you notice you guys are out there and everyday they are rotating with the ones, with the twos. There really has been no one guy playing with the ones all the time. I think the only person sometimes who knows is the center."
Stoutland also said running back Mike James, whose mother died in a car accident last week, has not arrived because of the snow storms in the Northeast, where James had to go regarding family matters.
"He’s stuck in a snow bank,'' Stoutland said. "Really, I’m not joking. He’s in New Jersey. He had to go with family to New York. I talked to him last night and he literally can’t get a plane out. Those airports were closed down. So, we’re trying to get him on anything here. He should be here, if not today, tomorrow for sure."
Also, Stoutland said that all the coaches on the UM staff know their job status as far as if they will be retained by new UM coach Al Golden. He said he didn't know what had been formally released, because he said he doesn't read the papers.
"I just know there are three coaches who have been asked to stay,'' he said, referring to himself, receivers coach Aubrey Hill and linebackers coach Micheal Barrow.
Nothing has been announced regarding offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Joe Pannunzio and running backs coach Mike Cassano, so suffice it to say that it appears their UM coaching career will be over after this bowl.
"It has been an emotional week for the coaches,'' Stoutland said.
I'll be back after practice with any updates or news...
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN