The Connect: Injuries, Suspensions, Etc.

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Game day is but seven days away. But, first things first: suspensions injuries! Here's the damage, and how the Canes might be affected against Maryland:

  • Cory White (season): White has been moved between tackle and tight end various times throughout his UM career, and he wasn't expected to play any significant role this season. This injury should go unnoticed.
  • Blake Ayles: Ayles was a likely starter at tight end, but Miami is deep at the position and can afford a hit there. Though Ayles' injury hasn't yet been announced, I've heard that he's suffering from a concussion, so we'll see how long this stretches out for. Expect to see a heavy dosage of Clive Walford and Asante Cleveland alongside Chase Ford in Miami's base, two tight end set. It also wouldn't be a surprise to frequently see Maurice Hagens in an h-back role versus the Terrapins.
  • Seantrel Hednerson: This one comes as no surprise. The good news is that Al Golden told WQAM's Joe Rose that Henderson should be back at some point this year. Still, this will be a big test for UM. This past weekend, Golden intimated that the starting left tackle job will be won by either Malcom Bunche or Joel Figueroa. Bunche is an unknown who was supposedly impressive in camp, but Figueroa was a disaster in a short stint at right tackle last year and likely wouldn't be too much better at the more important spot this year. If Bunche can't win the job, the loss of Henderson will be magnified.
  • Shayon Green: Miami could use depth at the middle linebacker position, but Green is another unknown commodity. He was handed the first team MLB job last year in camp before that experiment quickly failed, and then he was again injured. The loss of Green might be felt only on special teams.
  • Curtis Porter / Luther Robinson: These are the biggest two injuries. One area where Miami was sorely lacking last season was depth at defensive tackle, where both Porter and Robinson were unable to contribute on a consistent basis. The 2011 season is unfortunately starting off on the same note. For now, Marcus Forston and Micanor Regis are solidly penciled in as starters, but the two players behind them— transfer Darius Smith and freshman Olsen Pierre— are neophytes. If Forston gets suspended for any amount of time, there will be, almost literally, a gaping hole at defensive tackle.

  • In that same interview with Rose, Golden gave a hint as to what the team might look like once the various suspensions are handed out. He praised both Thomas Finnie and A.J. Highsmith, so expect those two to fill spots left vacant by, say, JoJo Nicolas and Ray Ray Armstrong. He also complimented Gionni Paul and Denzel Perryman, both of whom should be first line to replace a suspended Sean Spence. He also singled out Anthony Chickillo, and it would be of no surprise if he started in a spot vacated by Adewale Ojomo or Olivier Vernon. Lastly, he noted the play of freshmen wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott, meaning that both would likely see a lot of playing time if Miami was without Travis Benjamin and Aldarius Johnson.

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