Football

Matchups: Miami vs. Duke

Quarterback: Duke’s star is Thaddeus Lewis, a junior from Hialeah Lakes who seems to play against the Canes with a chip on his shoulder. He is emerging as one of the top quarterbacks in the conference, and he  has completed 60 percent of his passes this season. Miami’s Robert Marve, on the other hand, is regressing. He has eight interceptions to go with his six touchdowns and has looked bad in his last two starts. Jacory Harris is beginning to loom in his rear-view mirror and will once again see snaps. EDGE: Duke

Running Back: Graig Cooper starts off strong every game for Miami but has had trouble finishing. Getting his partner in crime (Javarris James) back is huge. Look for James to work back into the rotation as the number two running back against a run defense that has given up 161 yards per game this season. For Duke, senior Clifford Harris leads the way with four yards per carry. EDGE: Miami

Receivers: Duke’s Eron Riley has 27 catches and 6 touchdowns. He is a possession receiver but, at 6’3″, he can create matchup problems. Miami’s receivers have shown lots of talent, and several guys have played well. But a go-to has yet to step up. Travis Benjamin is the most explosive, but he needs to be limited to maintain his explosion. Miami has the talent, whereas Duke has a clear go-to guy. EDGE: Duke

Offensive Line: Miami’s running backs are all averaging over four yards per carry, and the quarterbacks have usually had time to throw this season. The return of two linemen will help the cause. For Duke, their line has been solid but has not seen anyone with the athleticism of the Canes front four on defense. EDGE: Miami

Defensive Line: Duke is led by star tackle Vince Oghobaase. He is a load in the middle and can control opposing run games at the point of attack. Miami’s front four is coming off a big week, and the return of Adewale Ojomo will only boost them. EDGE: Miami

Linebackers: Daryl Sharpton, Glenn Cook and Sean Spence all had solid performances last week, highlighted by Sharpton. If Cook is good to go after getting shaken up last week, then this is not even close. EDGE: Miami

Secondary: The Canes responded well from a toasting at the hands of FSU with a defensive shutout against UCF. If someone can matchup with Riley on the jump ball then this unit should be fine. For Duke, the key will be confusing Marve. Last week the safeties were able to bait him into bad throws. Will it be a repeat? EDGE: Miami

Special Teams: Matt Bosher has got to punt better. Travis Benjamin has been electric on returns, so the coverage and blocking units need to make room for him. If everyone does their job, Miami could have a big play in store this week. EDGE: Miami

October 15, 2008

Reporters

Dan Stein

Senior Sports Writer


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