AP Sports Writer
CORAL GABLES — When the Kansas State-Miami game was over, the coach defended the quarterback, which is typical.
Except, in this case, the coach was Kansas State's Bill Snyder.
And the quarterback was Miami's Jacory Harris.
“Jacory Harris gets a lot of, well, they chastise him a great deal,” Snyder said shortly after his team pulled out a dramatic 28-24 victory over the Hurricanes on Saturday. “Jacory Harris is a great quarterback. You're not the No. 3 all-time passing leader in Miami history and not be pretty good. We got one interception off of him but he threw some awfully fine footballs. He gave us some trouble.”
In the end, Miami needed Harris to cause just a little more trouble.
He was stopped near the goal line on a fourth-down rollout in the final minute, sealing Miami's fifth loss in its last six games dating back to last season. What's more, Harris even seemed to lose some in the home crowd — such as it was, the announced attendance was only 43,786, and even that seemed like a generous total — in the first half, when they regaled him with a chorus of boos.
Afterward, Harris said he wasn't bothered. His mannerisms told a different story.
Oddly, Saturday's effort against Kansas State went into the books as one of the most statistically effective games in Harris' career.
He completed 21 of 31 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns and one interception when he lofted a deep pass to a double-covered LaRon Byrd. After halftime, he was 11-of-13 for 191 yards, the lone incompletions coming when he misfired on a long try to Tommy Streeter with 10 minutes left (“Just made a bad throw,” he said afterwards), then on first-and-goal from the 2 when he acknowledged throwing too low for Clive Walford with 1:52 remaining.
Miami's final play was supposed to have been a shovel pass from the 1-yard line. Harris has been loudly criticized at times throughout his Miami career for forcing throws but, on that play, he took what the Kansas State defense gave him — which wasn't much. He rolled out to his left, realizing before too long that he would have to find his own way into the end zone. Kansas State linebacker Tre Walker got to him just before the goal line and replays showed that the Miami quarterback's knee was down before he broke the plane.
So now, Miami finds itself in a familiar pattern: trying to regroup.
Miami (1-2) hosts Bethune-Cookman (2-1) of the Football Championship Subdivision on Saturday, the Hurricanes' final tune-up before returning to Atlantic Coast Conference play with road games at Virginia Tech (Oct. 8) and North Carolina (Oct. 15).
Golden said Harris beat Stephen Morris out during training camp and in the two weeks since the senior returned from a one-game suspension for accepting extra benefits from a former Miami booster, the coach has insisted there's no quarterback dilemma.
The job belongs to Harris and that's not expected to change anytime soon.
Photo: AP Photo
Flashback: Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris, left, congratulating freshman quarterback Stephen Morris during their 26-20 win last year over Maryland.