No Place Like Home

The No.12 University of Miami Hurricanes (1-1) finally return home on Saturday afternoon to face the Colorado Buffaloes. Miami, who has faced two ranked opponents on the road to begin the year, will face a Colorado team that is 2-0.

After defeating Clemson 36-30 in a triple-OT thriller last week, Miami will take the field at the Orange Bowl for the first time since last December’s loss to Virginia Tech. Quarterback Kyle Wright completed 16 of 26 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown. Running back Tyrone Moss rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns on a career-high 31 carries at Clemson. Moss also was named the ACC offensive back of the week.

Head Coach Larry Coker said he wants to see Moss and the other running backs break some more long runs.

“I really made the backs run a lot today,” Coker said. “We’re making six-yard runs. We need to make 60-yard runs.”

The two schools have met seven times in the past, with Colorado leading the all-time series 5-2. The last time they met was in 1993, when the Hurricanes went to Boulder and defeated a strong Buffaloes team that included QB Kordell Stewart 35-29. CU has not visited the Orange Bowl since 1975, and they have won both games played in Miami.

Colorado is no pushover in 2005. It has received votes in both national polls and looked solid in both of its games. Before its bye week last Saturday, the Buffs defeated arch-rival Colorado State and New Mexico State.

The Buffs will be leaving Boulder for the first time all season, and they could be in store for quite a shock when their plane lands at Miami International Airport on Friday. The heat and humidity will be a factor in this game, as it is anytime the Hurricanes play a team from the north or west. CU is located in the thin air of the Rocky Mountains, where the temperature already feels like fall.

Miami will have to deal with a Colorado offense that has put up a total of 70 points in its first two ballgames. RB Hugh Charles is the leading rusher on the season, with 229 yards on 36 carries. For the second straight week, the Miami defense will have to deal with a senior quarterback. The Buffs will start Joel Klatt, who has completed 40 of 58 passes for 469 yards and two touchdowns.

Colorado likes the big play and it has been able to get the ball downfield in a hurry. Through its first two games, 28 percent of offensive plays have been for over 10 yards.

As for the Hurricanes, they are currently ranked 17th in the nation when it comes to defense. The ‘Canes are 11th in pass defense and 28th against the run. Freshman safety Kenny Phillips also received recognition from the ACC after his 13-tackle performance at Clemson.

Miami will face a feisty Buffs team who will finally complete the home-and-home agreement that was made before the Hurricanes visited Boulder in 1993.

Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at