Convincing victory overshadowed by miscues

A win is a win, but this Miami blowout is a little deceiving. After the ‘Canes jumped out to an early 21-0 lead, a boatload of mental mistakes resulted in a valiant comeback effort by the 37-point underdog Temple Owls.

Yes, Miami wound up winning 44-21, but they played nothing like the No. 1 team in the nation should play against a lackluster opponent.

Mental mishaps were the theme – missed field goals, poor punt snaps, and fumbles. The ‘Canes seemed to manage to pull off every mistake in the book on Saturday, and the players and coaching staff know that they can ill afford to do that again, especially against the surplus of quality teams left on their schedule.

Miami’s carelessness began in the second quarter when punter Freddie Capshaw could not handle a low snap, and subsequently fumbled, giving Temple the ball at Miami’s one. The Owls would punch in a touchdown by halfback Tanardo Sharps.

Miami continued its mental errors with a Jason Geathers fumble on the following possession. This resulted in another Sharps touchdown, pulling the Owls within a touchdown, 21-14. This was as close as Temple would get, but it was a little to close for comfort.

“It’s like we were asleep,” Miami center Brett Romberg said. “I never felt we were into this game. It was almost like we were practicing or something.”

In addition, the usually automatic Todd Sievers missed field goals of 34 and 45 yards and also missed an extra point.

“Last week, we had no problem keeping our (concentration),” head coach Larry Coker said of UM’s 41-16 victory against No. 6 Florida in Gainesville. “There were 80,000 people in the stands against an in-state rival. Today, we were playing in a stadium that was half-full in a game, that on paper, wasn’t as important as last week’s.”

“You learn something each week,” said Coker. “There’s no lead that’s safe. Hopefully, that’s something we learned this week.”

Killer Klecko

Temple’s All Big East defensive lineman and son of former New York Jets star Joe Klecko put up a valiant effort against the Miami offensive line.

Klecko managed to sack Dorsey once, while harassing him much of the game.

“He’s been telling me every year, ‘Maybe you’ll get me next season,” Klecko said of Dorsey. “I finally got him.”

Backup quarterback Derrick Crudup was also sacked – the UM offensive line has given up four on the season – one more than all of last year.

McGahee Mayhem

Sophomore running back Willis McGahee rushed for 134 yards and scored four touchdowns. It was McGahee’s second consecutive week rushing for over 100 yards, following his monster performance against Florida last week. McGahee has rushed for 398 yards and five touchdowns in three games so far this season.

‘Cane Streaks

With the victory, Coker improved to 15-0 overall as a head coach. Coker’s start at Miami is the best of any first-time head coach in the modern era of college football without a tie or loss. Coker’s unbeaten start is the best by a first-time Division 1-A head coach since Walter Camp of Yale won his first 28 games before a loss in the 1888-89 season.

The Miami victory also extended Miami’s national leading win streak to 25 games and Big East record win streak to 18 games.


True freshman cornerback Glenn Sharpe made the most of his first career start. On top of playing solid defense, Sharpe recovered a fumble on kickoff coverage, setting up a Ken Dorsey touchdown pass to Kevin Beard…Ethenic Sand’s 53-yard catch in the fourth quarter was the longest of his career and the longest by Miami this season…Miami’s 112 rushing yards was their lowest total in a regular season contest since they rushed for 101 yards against Troy State last season…After getting off to a fast start in 2002, Jason Geathers was held to minus four yards rushing and a fumble.

Brian Poliakoff can be reached at

September 17, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It was just two and a half short months ago that the Miami Hurricanes walked off the field at Hard R ...

A six-pack of UM notes on a Friday: ▪ Four-star Oregon-based quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. told Ri ...

On the eve of her team’s NCAA Tournament opener, University of Miami coach Katie Meier took the oppo ...

The defeated and deflated Miami Hurricanes quietly packed up their bags and trudged out of their Ame ...

Even before Donte Ingram broke Miami’s heart and sent the Hurricanes home from the NCAA Tournament w ...

Keeping a 30-year tradition, graduate students organize a fun-filled Hurricane Challenge for youngst ...

From bringing communities together to understanding the impacts of urbanization on the groundwater s ...

Novelist Jennine Capó Crucet’s book talk on March 20 explores belonging, identity, and what it means ...

Musical theatre students spent quality time learning (and laughing) with Avenue Q co-creator Jeff Ma ...

The University of Miami takes concrete steps to become the hemispheric university as it builds a rel ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team was just a point away from its first true road victor ...

Miami's offense shook off a slow start to the series, and the Hurricanes departed Durham Bulls ...

The No. 31 Miami women's tennis team posted its seventh win in the past eight outings by toppin ...

The University of Miami rowing team closed out its spring opener at the 2018 Oak Ridge Cardinal Invi ...

The Canes closed out the Hurricane Invitational with a strong showing on the track and in the field ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.