3 posts from November 11, 2013
November 11, 2013
He knows he's had an up-and-down season, thrown more interceptions than he's liked and been inconsistent at times. But Stephen Morris isn't letting any of it get to him.
In fact, he's been so focused on doing his job better he didn't even hear the boos or the chants for backup Ryan Williams during Saturday night's 42-24 loss to Virginia Tech.
"Seriously? For real?" Morris responded Monday when told the chants for Williams were being made as UM's offense struggled. "That's hilarious. I didn't hear that at all. I don't even know what to say to it. You know how Miami fans are. I'm not going to criticize them or praise the fans in any sort of way. It is what it is."
A year ago, Morris was viewed as a welcome replacement for the interception-prone Jacory Harris. Fans were chanting Morris' name often during Harris' troublesome times. In his first full season as a starter last year, Morris posted solid numbers, completing passes at a 58.5 percent clip for 3,345 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His QB rating was 138.07 (51st nationally).
This season, he's actually doing better in terms of completion percentage (58.9) and QB rating (148.8, 30th nationally) although he's thrown more interceptions (10) and has fewer touchdowns (14) and is averaging fewer yards per game (219.9) compared to last year (278.8).
Where Morris has thrived really is the deep ball, completing 21 pass plays of 30 yards or more including a pair of career-long 81 and 84-yard touchdown passes in the loss to the Hokies. Overall, Morris ranks fifth nationally in pass plays of 30-yards or more. Last year's Heisman winner Johnny Manziel and Baylor's Bryce Petty lead the nation with 28 pass plays of 30 yards or more.
Is it tough for his family to hear the boos?
"People are going to do what people want to do," Morris said. "They're not really concerned with that at all. My parents have tough skin. They've been through a lot themselves in the business world, seen the other side of people as well as myself. Playing quarterback, I could care less what people say. I don't read media, do Instagram or Twitter. I don't read that. I'm not into newspapers. I just put myself away from that."
UM coach Al Golden pointed out that in Saturday's loss receivers dropped five passes from Morris, who finished 16 of 29 for 324 yards, 2 TDs and no interceptions. UM also had six drops against FSU.
"We try not to use the weather as an excuse. It's tough, definitely tough," Morris said of the drops. "The good news is we have guys like Allen [Hurns], one of the best leaders on the team. I let Allen just talk to the receivers, let him encourage his guys, guys who dropped it, lift their sprits because it's disappointing for those guys. Like I've been saying, it happens."
Morris said Monday his troublesome ankle feels a lot better than it did before and it feels like its 100 percent.
"A lot of people really didn't know what was going on and that's how I like to keep it," Morris said. "I was trying to stay positive, do everything the training room told me to do. I was in everyday at 6 a.m., doing treatments. But when you go week in and week out with the same feeling, it's kind of depressing. But at the same time it is what it is - you have to push through it. I think that's what my lesson was to my teammates."