"We're the ‘U,'" Murphy told reporters, stealing the nickname the Hurricanes use for their school. "I don't refer to them as the ‘U.' I refer to them as Miami. If the ‘U' is for university and winning championships, we're the ‘U.'
"They are Miami, and that's what I call them."
Well, these Sunshine State powers aren't annual rivals. They've played only four times since 1987, after doing so in 48 of the previous 49 seasons. And they won't play again until 2013. But Murphy's quip and the heated reaction of Miami's players proved one reality: This game should take place every season.
Many of the Gators and Hurricanes faced one another in high school. That kind of familiarity simply breeds contempt, which should make tonight's 7 p.m. contest on ESPN an entertaining one. How close Miami keeps this game will determine how much progress second-year coach Randy Shannon's program has made.
First Road Test For Rebels
Ole Miss looked the part of a 2008 bowl team during its win last Saturday over Memphis. Sure, first-year coach Houston Nutt has warned against such predictions, pointing out the lack of depth his Rebels possess. But loaded with the kind of starting talent that former coach Ed Orgeron stockpiled, Nutt has Ole Miss dreaming big.
The Rebels' trip today to No. 20 Wake Forest should provide an accurate gauge of how high the Ole Miss ceiling is. The Demon Deacons, led by almost-Arkansas coach Jim Grobe, went to Baylor and drilled the Bears in their opener last week.
Ole Miss will need an even better effort from quarterback Jevan Snead, the transfer from Texas who threw for 185 yards and two scores against Memphis.
Maybe a change of venue will help out first-year coach Bobby Petrino and his Razorbacks. Arkansas nearly experienced a disaster of massive proportions on Aug. 30, rallying for a four-point victory over Football Championship Subdivision foe Western Illinois at Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium.
At least the Hogs will leave the scene of the mediocre effort for tonight's contest. The Hogs take on Louisiana-Monroe at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, knowing full well the Warhawks can test them just like the Leathernecks did.
Louisiana-Monroe did get shut out last week at Auburn. But the Warhawks have explosive threats to go with talented quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster.
With running back Michael Smith back from suspension, expect more balance and production from Arkansas' offense.
Auburn fans were surely thrilled with their team's defensive performance last week. The Tigers scored a touchdown on defense and held Louisiana-Monroe to 220 yards in a 34-0 win. Too bad those fans couldn't feel the same about their offense, though. Quarterbacks Chris Todd and Kodi Burns combined for 85 passing yards and must improve to beat Southern Mississippi. ... Alabama will likely be without mammoth offensive tackle Andre Smith because of a sprained MCL. But don't expect the Crimson Tide to struggle at all with Tulane in its 2008 home opener. ... LSU's game with Troy was postponed and rescheduled for Nov. 15 because of the aftereffects of Hurricane Gustav.
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