Posted by Chip Patterson
Miami has shuffled their offensive line several times this season, using different rotations in all three contests. While the positions continue to shift, the unit is getting an upgrade with the return of Seantrel Henderson.
Head coach Al Golden indicated this week he expects Henderson to start off as a backup this week, slowly getting worked back into that revolving rotation on the line. The sophomore has been battling his way back to the field since undergoing back surgery in August. Golden has complimented the work ethic of the Freshman All-American, pointing out the sophomore's 40-pound weight loss an example of efforts made to improve his overall health and physicality. Certainly Henderson's full recovery from back surgery is another example of that dedication.
Miami also hopes to have starting running back Lamar Miller ready for the Hurricanes' tilt with Bethune-Cookman. Miller injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter of the Hurricanes' 28-24 loss to Kansas State, but Golden appears to have very little doubt in his status for Saturday.
"He better be playing," Golden said of the sophomore running back. "I guess you would say he's probable. I don't think there's any question that he should be able to play."
With the investigation, suspensions, and injuries, the Hurricanes have had an abnormal start to the 2011 season. Equally inconsistent has been the play on the field, which has been impressive and mind-numbingly frustrating - sometimes in the same quarter. Every time the defense comes up with a big stop on third down or the offensive line opens up a great hole for Miller, it seems their good play is followed by a mental mistake or unnecessary penalty. The Hurricanes have the talent on board to make 2010 a very successful first year for Golden, and there have been flashes of that success in their first three games.
The Hurricanes' time to put it together is dwindling. After facing Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, Miami faces all five coastal division opponents in consecutive weeks. The stretch starts with road games against Virginia Tech and North Carolina, and finishes with a home stand against Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Duke. A successful showing in that stretch could put the Hurricanes in position to contend for the Coastal Division crown. However if the consistent play continues, they could find themselves battling for bowl eligibility come November.
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