Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ACC Notebook; Harris' Transformation Has Lifted Hurricanes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ACC Notebook; Harris' Transformation Has Lifted Hurricanes

Article excerpt

There's an easy reason to pinpoint why the Miami Hurricanes have bounced back from a 1-2 start: Midway through his senior year, quarterback Jacory Harris finally stopped being an interception machine.

Better late than never.

Harris, who threw more interceptions (32) in 2009 and 2010 than any starting quarterback in the NCAA over that span, has only four this season and only one since the first half of the Hurricanes' loss to Kansas State Sept. 24. From the second half of that game (in which he led a comeback that nearly pulled it out) to last week's victory over Georgia Tech, Harris has completed 61 percent of his passes for exactly 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, with a passer rating of 172.2.

Harris' overall passer rating has improved to 155.9 this season, more than 40 points better than 2010. He's 14th in the nation and second in the ACC to Florida State's EJ Manuel.

Miami coach Al Golden credited the relationship between Harris and new offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch as the main reason. He said Fisch has staunchly defended Harris against all critics, and Harris has rewarded that loyalty by working harder and "staying within the system."

Fisch said during a recent radio interview that he and Harris had a fresh start, not dwelling on past performances.

WATKINS WATCH

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, barring injury, will finish the season holding every important ACC receiving record for freshmen - and maybe some for players of any class.

With four regular-season games to go, plus a possible ACC championship game and a bowl game, Watkins has already tied the ACC freshman record for touchdown receptions with nine, is four receptions short of the freshman single-season record of 58 and is 34 yards short of the freshman record for yards of 853.

Watkins is chasing one First Coast area graduate for a team record and one for an ACC mark. …

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