OFFENSE: Another strong performance for Javarris James against UNC has the Hurricanes getting into a groove. FIU recently replaced their starting running back, so any success for FIU would have to come through the air.
Advantage: MIAMI

O-LINE: Pass protection has been better for Miami, but the real improvement has been in the line’s ability to open running lanes for their backs. A standout player on the FIU O-Line is redshirt sophomore Xavier Shannon, the son of Miami’s defensive coordinator, Randy Shannon.
Advantage: MIAMI

RUNNING BACKS: Javarris “Baby J” James (52 carries 361 yards) continues to shine, and Charlie Jones’ pass protection has also greatly improved. For FIU, sophomore Julian Reams has taken over the starting job, averaging 3.8 yards per carry.
Advantage: MIAMI

RECEIVERS: FIU’s Chandler Williams leads the Golden Panthers with 41 grabs for 424 yards but hasn’t tasted the end zone yet this year. Miami tight end Greg Olsen was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the week for his performance against UNC.
Advantage: MIAMI

QUARTERBACKS: Both starters in this game have more interceptions than touchdowns. Padrick and FIU pass more often than Miami, but he only completes 57 percent of his passes. Wright should have good protection against FIU, giving him time to pick the secondary apart.
Advantage: MIAMI

DEFENSE: FIU comes with a group that has been able to play with division 1-A offenses, holding Maryland to only 14 points, but struggled against conference foe Arkansas State. Miami’s defense is starting to roll, especially the front four.
Advantage: MIAMI

D-LINE: One man to really watch for is FIU’s defensive end Antwan Barnes. The senior leads the country in sacks this year, with four in a single game. The ‘Canes terrorized Carolina’s backfield last week and will look to do the same with FIU.
Advantage: MIAMI

LINEBACKERS: Jon Beason sparked the Hurricane defense with an interception on a key drive. The captain also was in on every run stop play alongside Tavares Gooden and Glenn Cook. Keyonvis Bouie is the first FIU player to be invited for a postseason all-star game. He also leads the team in tackles.
Advantage: MIAMI

SECONDARY: Kyle Wright should be able to have some fun with FIU’s secondary if he can get protection to throw. FIU’s strong safety is only 5 foot 10 inches, which should benefit tall receivers like Lance Leggett and Greg Olsen. Miami’s Lovon Ponder has Miami’s longest touchdown pass of the season due to his 37-yard flea-flicker to Sam Shields.
Advantage: MIAMI

SPECIAL TEAMS: FIU gave up a safety early against North Texas when a high snap went over punter Chris Cook’s head. Field goal and extra point woes have also plagued FIU this year, including in a one point loss to South Florida, 21-20. Jon Peattie has made some long field goals against UNC, and Brian Monroe had a 74-yard punt, with only five yards of bouncing.
Advantage: MIAMI

Rodolfo Tomarchio may be contacted at

October 13, 2006


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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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 on Thursdays during the regular academic year.