Brutal schedule a tough test for football team



No more cupcake games like Marshall and Charleston Southern to open the season.

The Canes will have no room for early error as they open their 2009 campaign facing four straight top 25 teams, arguably the toughest schedule amongst any of the 120 Division I college football programs.

The Hurricanes also have been picked to finish fourth in the ACC Coastal Division behind Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and North Carolina respectively.

But none of that matters to the Miami players as they are set out to prove the nation wrong.

“I don’t really pay attention to that,” sophomore linebacker Sean Spence said. “People are going to predict what they want to predict, but when two teams get on the field, that’s when it’s settled to me.”

The Hurricanes do not mind having their opponents being the favorites against them.

“It’s all about motivation,” sophomore wide receiver LaRon Byrd said. “It always starts with the underdog. The underdog always wants to be on top. I feel that’s going to drive our players more and more. They’re disrespecting Miami, so after this season they better respect Miami.”

For the first time in three years, the Hurricanes will open the season on the road in Tallahassee against nemesis Florida State. Last year, the Seminoles defeated the Canes in soggy conditions, 41- 39, at the old Dolphin Stadium.

Miami then plays ACC foes Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. Miami gave up an embarrassing 472 rushing yards against the Yellow Jackets last season while Virginia Tech is the two time reigning ACC Champion.

In their fourth game, the Canes will host Oklahoma, which returns to Land Shark Stadium after losing to Florida in the BCS National Championship game. Two years ago Oklahoma throttled Miami, 51-13 in Heisman winner Sam Bradford’s second collegiate game.

“They’re all going to be tough,” senior safety Randy Phillips said, who only played two games last year due to a left knee injury. “Those teams made noise last year. It’s a great opportunity for me to show what I got, and every defensive guy on our team is thinking like that.”

Now, Miami is lead by sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris and head coach Randy Shannon is in his third season.

“It’s time for us to win the ACC,” Harris said.

The Canes will welcome back three former starters. Phillips will return to safety, senior Eric Moncur will slide back into rotation at defensive end, and linebacker Colin McCarthy will be back in the heart of the defense. If all three stay healthy, each of them will see signifcant time on the field.

“Everyone is working hard and we’re just excited,” McCarthy said. “An ACC and a national championship, that’s what we play for. Anything less is frowned upon.”

Byrd echoed the same sentiments.

“We feel good about ourselves. This is definitely the year we have to make a point that says ‘Hey, Miami’s back.”

Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at

August 23, 2009


Lelan LeDoux

Senior Sports Writer

Around the Web
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Thousands gathered at the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus for a weekend of creativity and ...

Some of the last uninhabited islands on the planet are serving as a natural laboratory for a Univers ...

The Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center’s 18,000-square-foot fitness room named in honor of Norm ...

University of Miami theatre arts students and faculty members come together for a whirlwind day to c ...

The #SuperCoralPlay campaign combines education and outreach with research and restoration efforts t ...

The Miami men's basketball team will play its fourth top-15 opponent in a six-game, 18-day span ...

The Miami women's tennis team turned in a spectacular performance in singles play Monday to con ...

Miami women's basketball returns to the Watsco Center on Thursday. ...

The Canes will open the 2020 season with multiple top-5 preseason rankings for the first time since ...

Miami Athletics officially dedicated the Boich Family Scoreboard at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center Sa ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.