TALLAHASSEE -- Some leftover notes from this week to get you ready for today's game at Doak Campbell Stadium:
> Former St. Thomas Aquinas star and FSU starting safety Lamarcus Joyner never got a chance to line up against former Miami Northwestern receiver Tommy Streeter in high school. So it's safe to say he's looking forward to trying to slow down Streeter and UM's vertical passing game Saturday.
Joyner, who grew up in Liberty City while despising the Hurricanes and loving the Seminoles, was named USA Today's High School Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, opposite UM offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, who was named USA Today's Offensive Player of the Year.
> FSU's defense has given up just 39 points over their last four games combined -- the stingiest four-game stretch for the Seminoles since the start of the 2003 season. FSU leads the ACC in defense, ranks 3rd against the run (78.89 yards per game), 4th in total defense (268 yards per game) and 5th in sacks (16 over their last four games).
Of the eight teams FSU has played that employ a single quarterback, the Noles have held seven below their season average for passing yards including holding Oklahoma's Landry Jones to just 1999 yards passing -- nearly 200 yards below his season average.
"Our main focus is to handle the line of scrimmage," Joyner said. "As for Jacory [Harris], he was already a great player. Everybody knew his potential. The guy is smart. So this is a big challenge for the secondary which is always a gift for me. We love opportunities like this. We just want to see where we're at with a quarterback who puts up those numbers Jacory is. With the great receivers he's got and the great running game with Lamar Miller, we embrace this challenge."
> Al Golden, who always speaks more candidly on WQAM's Hurricanes Hotline, said Wednesday offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch turned to him last Saturday when backup Stephen Morris threw a perfect strike to Travis Benjamin in the end zone that was dropped and raved about Morris' "elite arm."
"Sometimes that ball just jumps off his hands," Golden said of Morris. "The best thing for his career has been this year. Not just to see Jacory [Harris] flourish, but to listen to learn and get better everyday. The next time he plays for us he's going to be a very successful quarterback. If we had a better situation depth wise we probably could have redshirted him."
The Hurricanes have three quarterback commitments for next season -- St. Andrew Episcopal School's Preston Dewey (who came down for the Duke game) is really the only one considered elite. But Golden is confident Jedd Fisch, who is teaching an NFL system, will get the most out of all of them.
"I think he's one of the best quarterback coaches in the country," Golden said. "We got three young guys that can come in here, learn the system, get reps. There's not a lot of quarterbacks who are on the team. They'll be getting reps, they won't be just standing there.
"There's not one thing that we teach them that will not carry forward. Everything is putting money in the bank. Everything we teach them over the four years there here is gaining interest because when its time for the combine and questions about whatever they'll know exactly what they're talking about. Even on the [Jon] Gruden shows, ESPN guys, they all talk the same way. That's the language we're teaching these guys. A lot of programs don't do that right now. [They've got] gimmick offenses and might put up a lot of numbers and be successful and everything, but it doesn't carry over to the NFL. They're paying the quarterback too much money to carry the ball in the NFL."
> Here's what Fisch told me last week he thinks of transfer Ryan Williams, who has been running the scout team: "I don't get to spend too much time with him because he's been running our scout team. But he works super hard at things. He's done an excellent job of coming in extra, spending more time in the building, early, late.
"I would say his approach to the game is fantastic. It's a matter now that he hasn't been able to take reps with our offense because he's on the scout team. The spring will be huge for him, but mentally I think he'll be in a position where he's ahead of anybody coming in. He can make all the throws and obviously comes with great size. That always helps in the pocket."
> Getting back to Henderson for a second, Golden said he jumped up from getting about 10, 15, 17 snaps in his first three games since back surgery to around 50 plays in his first start of the season versus Duke. It sounded to me like Golden is happy redshirt freshman Jonathan Feliciano is back this week to cut into that workload. "Between these two guys we should get real good production over there," Golden said.
> In his five games back since a shoulder injury, FSU quarterback EJ Manuel has completed 83 of 125 attempts for 1,290 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions -- a 167.8 passer rating. He's now 12th in QB passing efficiency. Manuel has also run the ball 51 times this season and recorded a first down 18 times and scored a touchdown four others. "What we can't have him do is what the Virginia Tech kid did. We can't let that kid a two-headed monster," Golden said. "We have to make him one dimensional -- run it or pass it, but not both."
> ESPN's Corey Long weighed in on a few UM recruiting topics with me, including giving me his two cents on the Canes' latest commitments: Venice High running back Danny Dillard and Lakeland High receiver Ricquan Southward.
"He's extremely underrated and a heck of a pickup for them," Long said of Southward. "As for Dillard, he kind of fell off this year, had some injuries. He's a good powerful back, powerful legs, should be higher rated than he is, not a speedster. I think he's like a Mike James, same type of productivity. Good character kid. He might be 85 percent of what Mike James was. He gives Duke Johnson a nice compliment, a good combination."
Who makes the biggest impact of the incoming freshmen? "That's easy, Duke," Long said. "Lamar [Miller] isn't going to stay. I think he's too good. I think this kid Duke comes in there and has potential to be Miami's Reggie Bush. He's off the charts. I think he's the best high school football player in state of Florida. That's a guy if I'm starting a team in the state, he's the guy I choose. I have not seen a young man have the effect on a team like he does. He's awesome. He will be my favorite for ACC Rookie of the Year next year."
Long said he thinks defensive end Jelani Hamilton (St. Thomas Aquinas) and linebacker Reggie Northrup (Jacksonville First Coast) will eventually de-commit and head to other schools. But he thinks Miami Norland linebacker Keith Brown, who is visiting other schools, will stick.
"The more and more I know about it, I can see Brown sticking to that commitment. Keith Brown is just taking his visits and playing some games. I don't think he's confused," Long said. "The QB I do like is Preston Dewey. He came down this weekend. He's doing some recruiting. They've done a good job solidifying this class. There's still a lot of excitement of playing for The U and Coach Golden. At the end of the day it will be a solid class and a couple solid kids like Duke. They're going to fill in a lot of holes this year. Special teams. Linebacker. They just need bodies. You look at their roster right now, the numbers are just low."
> Norland coach Daryle Heidelburg said Johnson, Brown and a few other high school teammates would be visiting Illinois this weekend. Don't read much into it.
> For those of you worried about Golden leaving, the fears are legit. Penn State will make a run at him. But national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, who has known Golden pretty well since his days at Temple, thinks Golden will stay in Miami.
"He was on my show a couple weeks ago. He seems happy, focused on the job ahead of getting Miami back to the elite schools. However, it's got to be both ways," Lemming said. "Miami would be foolish not to give him a long term contract and entice him to stay. They've got one of the premier young coaches in the country. If they lose him, it's their own fault. Who are they going to replace him with? At Penn State, Bradley is the head coach, but there is no AD, no President. It may take awhile to name a coach. It gives Miami long enough time to get Al secured."