By Joe Zagacki

It’s looking more and more like backup quarterback Malik Rosier will start his first game against 18th ranked Duke Saturday night in Durham. Brad Kaaya has not been able to practice this week because of concussion symptoms. Rosier is a redshirt freshman from Alabama. He struggled last week against Clemson, passing 7 of 22 for 42 yards with two interceptions.

“It’s going to be a tough task taking on Duke,” Rosier said. “They’re a smart team, they don’t make mistakes. We can’t beat ourselves with penalties and turnovers. I have to do a good job getting the ball to the receivers and the running backs and get the ball out quick.”

Duke allows just 14 points per contest, 151 yards passing per game and they’re ninth in the nation in total defense, allowing 281 yards per game. The ring leader is safety Jeremy Cash from Plantation. Cash is an All American with first-round potential. He leads the nation with 14 tackles for loss.

“We need to know exactly where he is on every play,” interim head coach Larry Scott said. “He is a guy that can wreck your entire scheme and take over the game.”

If Rosier is the quarterback, it’s imperative that Miami generate some sort of running game. The Canes’ goal is to average 4.0 yards a carry against the Blue Devils, a defense with theory of we’ll bend, but we’re not going to break. They have one of the best red zone defenses in the nation, an area where they frequently send pressure at the QB.

Miami’s defense and the entire team got an emotional boost yesterday with the return of cornerback Artie Burns after his mother’s sudden death. Miami will need to stop the Duke running game and must gang up on the quarterback. Thomas Sirk who leads Duke in rushing and receiving.

Duke will be the best executing team Miami has played this year. The Blue Devils are content with long drives and high play counts because they rarely make mistakes so the Canes will have to find ways to disrupt the Blue Devils’ rhythm.

Since 2013, Duke is 23-4 in their last 27 regular season games and 14-3 against the ACC.

Be sure to listen to the Miami Hurricanes take on Duke this Saturday at 7 p.m. exclusively on Miami Sports Radio 560-WQAM!