Sports

Football: Tough week to get even tougher with UVA game

It’s been a tough week to be a Miami Hurricane and it doesn’t get any easier as the ‘Canes prepare for their final road trip against the University of Virginia.

Just days after defensive lineman Bryan Pata was murdered, the Miami Hurricanes fell 14-13 on the road to the University of Maryland. The loss, Miami’s third straight, dropped the Hurricanes to a meager 5-5 for just the second time since 1980.

“Last week was a tough week and I don’t know that this week will be any easier,” Coker said. “Our guys are a little bit sore, a little beat up, but we’ve got to fill our tanks back up and get ready to play our best on Saturday. We’re trying.”

The Hurricanes have no other choice. If Miami looks to be bowl eligible, they must win one of their next two games. The Virginia Cavaliers (4-6) are coming off a bye week and are still recovering from getting shut out by Florida State 33-0.

Still, Coker knows a victory this weekend at Scott Stadium will be no easy task.

“Virginia has a terrific quarterback and a big running back,” Coker said. “The quarterback can really make some things happen.”

Virginia’s quarterback, James Sewell, has had a stellar freshman season. He has completed 110 of 193 passes for 1,059 yards and five touchdowns. UVA’s defense is currently No. 21 in the nation.

Both schools have faced each other three times before, with the Hurricanes winning every contest.

Last season, Miami defeated the Cavaliers 25-17 at the Orange Bowl during a game in which quarterback Kyle Wright threw for 248 yards, completing 23 of 30 passes.

But this Saturday, Wright, who suffered a thumb injury against Virginia Tech and might require surgery, will not be suiting up. Instead, back-up quarterback Kirby Freeman will make his second career start for UM.

Against Maryland, many wondered whether Freeman was capable of leading Miami’s offense against the plucky Terrapins. Freeman silenced the critics by completing 14 of 27 passes for 140 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Freeman also rushed for 51 yards.

“Everybody’s saying they were surprised with how I performed [against Maryland],” Freeman said. “I knew I could do it all along. I just needed a chance to prove it. We saw what I could do on the run. I just have to get more comfortable in the pocket.”

Senior receiver Ryan Moore, who led the Hurricanes in receiving yards against Maryland with five receptions for 50 yards, believes Freeman is capable of improving Miami’s chances on offense against Virginia despite the 14-13 loss to Maryland last week.

“Kirby did a very job in his first start-better than most people expected,” Moore said. “He can do a lot of things moving around. He’s another offensive playmaker, which we’ll need against a big, muscular bunch like Virginia. Even though we lost to Maryland, it was a vast improvement, especially on offense. We got a little momentum from our performance this past Saturday.”

Indeed. Against Maryland, the Hurricanes trailed 14-0 early on. But the team battled back, limiting the Terrapins to only six first downs and 56 rushing yards.

Freeman agrees the ‘Canes have some momentum heading into this Saturday.

“Virginia has an excellent defense, but we’re concentrating on getting back to the basics,” Freeman said. “We need to win this game to be bowl eligible. Last time we saw Miami not in a bowl game was a long time ago and we’re not trying to bring that to the surface at all.”

Victor R. Rodriguez may be contacted at v.rodriguez18@umiami.edu.

November 17, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Even after snagging Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, UM has remained highly aggressive in its pursu ...

As the NFL’s conference finals were unfolding Sunday, Manny Diaz – the UM coach who doubles as a soc ...

The University of Miami womens’ basketball team made sure North Carolina fans didn’t get to celebrat ...

Throughout the four years he spent as a tackle for the Miami Hurricanes, Tyree St. Louis never consi ...

Finally, a marquee home game for the University of Miami men’s basketball team, a game big enough th ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

The Miami women's basketball team will play its highest-ranked opponent of the season thus far ...

University of Miami Athletics announced Monday that it will host its fifth annual Celebration of Wom ...

Beatrice Mompremier of the Miami women's basketball team was named the ACC Player of the Week, ...

Bennie Blades will serve as host of the UMSHoF's Eighth Annual Celebrity Bowling Tournament, on ...

The Miami women's basketball team defeated North Carolina for the fourth consecutive year with ...

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.