With the No. 1 Hurricanes not playing this weekend, it gives us a chance to look at Miami’s competitors in regards to the National Championship picture.
Second ranked Texas, who is bothered by injuries, heads to Tulane this weekend for a non-conference game. Because of the injuries, most notably to that of star wideout Roy Williams (listed as questionable), the Longhorns will have to utilize a few reserves this game. However, head coach Mack Brown said that he will not rest his starters for more time than necessary over the next few weeks.
This match up calls attention to a few family feuds that might occur. Texas guard Beau Baker will get the chance to block his younger brother Blake, the Green Wave’s starting middle linebacker. In addition, there will be family opposition between Tulane running backs coach Greg Davis Jr., and his father Greg Davis, the Longhorns offensive coordinator.
Nate Hybl, starting quarterback for No. 3 Oklahoma, is finally doing what the Sooners recruited him for. Hybl ranks ninth in the nation in pass efficiency, and he hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 54 attempts this year. Hybl has become more comfortable throwing the ball deep, and that is something the Sooners have tried to accomplish with their offense. Oklahoma’s head coach Bob Stoops, will host his good friend Jim Leavitt and South Florida, who he was a co-defensive coordinator with at Kansas State.
Big East foe Virginia Tech will travel to Western Michigan for a noon game tomorrow. The Hokies hold a 4-0 record and hope that their starting quarterback, Bryan Randall, will be healthy enough to play and keep them undefeated. An injury to starting linebacker Mikal Baqee will also hinder Virginia Tech this weekend. The Holies, who are playing for the first time in Kalamazoo, Michigan, beat the Broncos 31-0 last year in the first meeting between the teams. Western Michigan was 1-for-13 on third-down conversions and had only one first down rushing.
Last weekend against Tennessee, the Gators found the motivation to capsize their ranking with a 30-13 stomping over the Vols. Over the loud speaker at Tennessee before the game, coach Ron Zook, successor to former coach Steve Spurrier, was called a “fluke”. Florida used their annoyance of the situation to attain a victory.
Kentucky will visit the Swamp this weekend riding high at 4-0 . The Gators have come out triumphant in 21 of the last 22 meetings between these teams. Florida has averaged 53.4 points in its last eight meetings.
For Miami, they still have an extremely tough schedule left his season that includes games against Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Tennessee. After this week off, Miami will take on UConn at the Orange Bowl next weekend to continue towards its ultimate goal of the season – to end up in Tempe, Arizona for the National Championship.
You can reach Dana Strokovsky at Hoopg1rl6@aol.com.