Sports

UM v. SU for Big East Title

After narrowly escaping the first obstacle in their quest to Pasadena, the Hurricanes will host No. 14 Syracuse tomorrow in a contest that will decide the Big East title as well as Miami’s national championship aspirations.

The Hurricanes enter Saturday with a nation best 18-game win streak. Last weekend at Chestnut Hill, Mass., Miami needed an amazing game-saving interception by Matt Walters and subsequent Ed Reed touchdown return in the final seconds to sneak past an upset-minded Boston College team 18-7.

With a victory tomorrow, Miami will solidify the Big East title, however tomorrow’s contest is only one step in the Hurricanes’ race to the Rose Bowl. After Syracuse, Miami must defeat Washington and Virginia Tech to remain in the top two of the Bowl Championship Series rankings.

With that in mind, Miami can’t overlook the Orangeman, who bring an eight-game winning streak to the Orange Bowl. That includes a quality win over Virginia Tech three weeks ago.

“Syracuse has always been a tough match-up for us,” said Hurricane coach Larry Coker. “They are well-coached and are a very exciting football team that has won eight games in a row. Their defense and kicking game have been spectacular.”

Syracuse is led by that dominating defense as well as a dangerous rushing attack. Senior defensive end Dwight Freeny leads a unit that has allowed 15.7 points per game.

Freeny’s two sacks at West Virginia last week gave him 16.5 on the season – already an NCCA single-season sack record. Freeny will face off against Hurricane offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, who has not allowed a sack in his career.

“[Freeny] is one of the toughest challenges we will face all year long,” said Coker. “He is one of the premier players in college football. He can take over a game.”

Clifton Smith, second on the team with 107 tackles, leads an Orangemen linebacker unit that is extremely fast. Outside linebackers Rich Scanlon and Charles Burton are quick to the ball and have 50 and 47 tackles, respectively.

The Syracuse pass defense has a lot of athletic ability, holding opponents to an average of just 5.9 yards per pass. Free safety Quentin Harris will be all over the field as he leads the team with 107 tackles and four interceptions.

After struggling mightily last week, Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey will not change his game plan against the Syracuse defense.

“We moved the ball great last week, but just made too many mistakes,” said Dorsey. “I’m still going to throw the ball downfield. We will bounce back.”

The Syracuse offense is run oriented with senior tailback James Mungro getting the bulk of the carries. Mungro will be Miami’s focus as he leads the team with 937 yards and 12 touchdowns on 199 rushes. Mungro rushed for 68 yards on 21 carries and recorded a career-high four receptions last week against West Virginia.

“Syracuse’s strong suit is running the ball,” Coker said. “Mungro is a great tailback.”

Sophomore quarterback R.J. Anderson, who runs the option for the Orangemen, has thrown for 810 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 218 yards and four touchdowns.

The passing attack should not pose much of a threat to the Miami secondary, as the Orangmen’s strength is on the ground.

Last time out against West Virginia, Anderson was just 10-of-18 passing for 86 yards.

“They run the option real well,” said Miami linebacker Jonathan Vilma. “The front seven must stop the run.”

Miami controls its fate for the remainder of the season. The Hurricanes must win out to secure a Rose Bowl Bid.

“If we win Saturday, the Big East and BCS looks good for our team,” Coker said.

November 16, 2001

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

From the onset, the Miami Hurricanes' plan was for the Carol Soffer football indoor practice fa ...

Gino DiMare on Tuesday stood in a spot that two men before him had crafted into a pinnacle of succes ...

The NBA Draft is on Thursday, and the buzz around the league is that the University of Miami’s Lonni ...

Former NFL and University of Miami star Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested Thursday for numerous allege ...

Trevor Darling's perseverance paid off. After not being selected in the NFL Draft, the former U ...

Teachers tackle challenging questions at the Holocaust Studies Summer Institute. ...

A University of Miami lecturer explores the role of the front porch in black communities. ...

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, two public health sciences students traveled to Puerto Rico to ...

Colder Atlantic temperatures could change hurricane season forecasts, but the trend isn't expec ...

UM neurorehabilitation expert David S. Kushner, M.D., who helps modern patients recover from brain s ...

NBA Draft will be held Thursday evening in Brooklyn. ...

First-year Miami head soccer coach Sarah Barnes released Wednesday the team's schedule for the ...

Gino DiMare was officially introduced as the 10th head baseball coach in program history Tuesday in ...

Jaquan Johnson was named to Athlon Sports' Preseason All-America First Team, while Shaq Quarter ...

An outstanding showing at the USATF Championships earned Symone Mason a trip to the World U20 Champi ...

TMH Twitter
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.