The second-ranked Hurricanes (4-0), off last Saturday, are at home Thursday against West Virginia. Of course, all eyes are starting to focus on Oct. 11, when UM and fifth-ranked Florida State (5-0) renew their storied rivalry.
Unless the Hurricanes, who have replaced 12 starters from last season, blow off course against the Mountaineers (1-3), their showdown with the Seminoles will simply add to the rivalry's lore. It will mark just the fourth time that both teams enter ranked in the nation's top five and first since 1992.
How does that bode for FSU?
Well, the Seminoles, who have dropped three consecutive to UM, have defeated the Hurricanes just twice in 11 games when entering as the lower ranked team. No. 15 FSU beat No. 4 UM 38-3 in Miami in 1984. Five seasons later, No. 9 FSU upended No. 2 UM 24-10 in Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Seminoles, of course, are coming off an easy victory at Duke Saturday night. The players arrived back in Tallahassee around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning and showed at the training room Sunday afternoon as required.
For starters, FSU should be near full strength for UM.
Linebacker Kendyll Pope (knee) and defensive end Eric Moore (left hand) both said they could have played against the Blue Devils if needed.
Tight guard Bobby Meeks, who has dropped 15 pounds, spent last week in the hospital with pneumonia. He said he was released Friday.
Meeks, who also was diagnosed with sleep apnea while in the hospital, says he wants to play against the Hurricanes. Meeks says he's hopeful to now have his tonsils and adenoids removed following the season. His status will be re-evaluated this week -- the Seminoles return to practice Tuesday.
Additionally, tight guard starter Eric Broe revealed he was struck by an automobile last Tuesday while riding his motorcycle. Broe, who was making a left-hand turn, said the car pulled out at an intersection and hit the left side of his motorcycle, striking his hip and knee. He said he did not lose control and his motorcycle suffered minor damage.
Of course, FSU should also be aided by the expected return of tailbacks Lorenzo Booker (ankle/knee) and Leon Washington (elbow).
Seminole players say they will be busy studying film of the Hurricanes the upcoming week. UM's offense, under the direction of Brock Berlin, has been plagued by mistakes and penalties thus far. Many of the struggles have been blamed on a banged up offensive line and a young receiving unit.
While the offense probably won't score as many points as it did last season, Pope says it remains potent. He also believes Berlin can be pressured into errors. Berlin was 18-of-30 for 151 yards against Boston College two weeks ago before giving way to back-up Derrick Crudup in the latter stages of the second half.
"Miami's offense is not one of those offenses where they have so many formations. They come out…they run what they what to run and they do it good. People have to stop them and put them in long third downs," Pope said.
"I don't think they are real good in long third-down situations. But the way we are playing now, I think we are going to cause some problems for Brock. From the games that I saw, he don't look good when pressure is in his face. He throws a lot of erratic balls that he just throws up. I was watching the Florida game, they were blitzing in the first half. Then when they stopped blitzing, that's when he started having that good game. I know our coaches are going to put in a plan for defenders to try to get in his face."
Cornerback Bryant McFadden agreed.
"(Ken) Dorsey (last year's starter) and Berlin, from what I've seen, are different quarterbacks," McFadden said.
"Dorsey was a more of an executor. He always made the right decisions it seems. He was very smart. Berlin is a little more athletic but he has the same potential. I guess getting the feel of things, getting accustomed to a new system since he was at (Florida) previously."
Quarterback Chris Rix said he's looking forward to using the next two weeks to prepare for the Hurricanes.
"We would could have done better but we got the job done," Rix said of the Seminoles' win over the hapless Blue Devils. FSU scored touchdowns on its first three drives and took a 28-7 halftime lead and Rix finished with two scoring passes.
"The job is (now) getting focused. The job is getting ready for Miami," Rix added. "We have two weeks prepare, which plays in our favor and we are very fortunate to have that advantage and hopefully we can make the most of it. But we got the win convincingly against Duke and we came away with things we can improve on."
Rix also said he plans on talking with the media again after taking a one game hiatus -- his statements Saturday night on the Seminoles' effort were issued through the school's sports information office. Rix said he was upset by last week's media coverage on his choice of parking spots.
"I think it was just taking a week off. It's not going to be a weekly thing," Rix said.
"I was just a little disappointed with some of the people in the media last week and how they blew some things out of proportion. I was happy with the win and I wanted to let some of my other teammates get some interviews last night. It was nothing personal. It was just what I felt in my heart. I really didn't want to speak to anyone after the game. That's just the way I felt last night."