Miami - FSU Preview

Miami faces Florida State in the season opener tonight at the Orange Bowl (8:00 p.m. eastern). Last year Miami defeated Florida State twice including in the FedEx Orange Bowl Classic by a score of 16-14. The two teams meet this year after a four-day postponement due to Hurricane Frances.

PREVIEW - GAME 1
#6 Florida State Seminoles (0-0) vs. #5 Miami Hurricanes (0-0)
Orange Bowl – Miami, Florida
September 10 – 8:00 PM Eastern on ABC

The game is the fourth straight in which both teams have been ranked in the top 10. Altogether, there have been 12 games in which both teams were ranked in the top 10, with the Hurricanes holding a 9-3 edge.

The Miami Hurricanes have won nine consecutive games over the Seminoles that have been decided by three points or less.

The University of Miami has won 16 consecutive night games in the Orange Bowl. Miami's last evening home loss at the OB was on September 19, 1998, when UM lost 27-20 to Virginia Tech in overtime.

Since the 2000 season Miami is 46-4 and Florida State is 38-14.

MIAMI HURRICANES - STARTERS
QB	Brock Berlin		
TB	Frank Gore		
FB	Kyle Cobia		
TE	Kevin Everett	
WR	Ryan Moore	
WR	Roscoe Parrish		
LT	Eric Winston		
LG	Tony Tella		
C	Joel Rodriguez	
RG	Tyler McMeans		
RT	Chris Myers		

LE	Baraka Atkins		
LT	Orien Harris	
RT	Santonio Thomas		
RE	Javon Nanton	
WLB	Tavares Gooden	
MLB	Leon Williams	
SLB	Roger McIntosh	
CB	Antrel Rolle			
CB	Kelly Jennings	
FS	Brandon Meriweather
SS	Greg Threat
HURRICANE INJURY STATUS
OL	Rashad Butler		(Foot)		Out	
CB	Terrell Walden	        (ACL)		Out
RETURNING TEAM LEADERS

Miami
Passing – Brock Berlin (2419 yards 60% 12 TD 17 Int)
Rushing – Tyrone Moss (511 yards 4.8 avg 5 TD)
Receiving – Ryan Moore (44 rec 637 yards 3 TD)
Defense – Antrel Rolle (51 tackles, 2 Int), Thomas Carroll (51 tackles, 5 sacks)
Kicking – Jon Peattie (22-28 FG, 37-37 XP)

Florida State
Passing – Chris Rix (3107 yards 57% 23 TD 13 Int)
Rushing – Leon Washington (387 yards 5.2 avg 1 TD)
Receiving – Craphonso Thorpe (51 rec 994 yards 11 TD) Chris Davis (23 rec 264 yards 2 TD)
Defense – B.J. Ward (80 tackles, 1 Int) Jerome Carter (78 tackles, 2 Int)
Kicking – Xavier Beitia (19-25 FG, 50-51 XP)

NOTABLE TEAM STATISTICS - 2003

Florida State – Passing Offense (269.6)
Miami – Passing Defense (140.9)

Florida State – Rushing Defense (119.4)
Miami – Rushing Offense (179.8)

2 KEY MATCHUPS

When Florida State has the ball…
WR Craphonso Thorpe vs. CB Antrel Rolle

Thorpe is the big play receiver for the Seminoles and Rolle is Miami's answer. Rolle can beat Thorpe with his size and strength off of the line, which would limit Thorpe's downfield chances. One thing to watch in this matchup is if Thorpe goes across the middle to open space for his other receivers. Can Miami's other defensive backs stay with their assignments and not lose track of the Seminoles receivers?

When Miami has the ball…
RB Frank Gore & RB Tyrone Moss vs. FSU Linebackers

These games tend to come down to who can dictate the game with the run. If Miami's running backs can get up around 125-150 yards rushing, they will be tough to beat. The Florida State linebackers will have to make sure they stay off of blocks especially on the outside fighting off the tight ends. Both Hurricane backs have the ability to run up the middle and bounce outside.

KEEP YOUR EYE ON

Florida State WR Chauncey Stovall – He can be a big-time playmaker in a crucial point in the game if the Hurricanes lose track of him. He averaged almost 18 yards a reception last year and finished third in yards.

Miami WR Darnell Jenkins – He had a great off-season and could see more reps than normal if starter Roscoe Parrish has trouble with his lingering knee problem. Jenkins has great speed and can stretch the defense with his big-play ability.

COKER'S FINAL WORD

"It is going to be a tough, tough football game. We are going to have to respond, and that has been the attitude we have been taking as coaches and as players."

PLAYER QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Running back Tyrone Moss on Florida State linebacker Ernie Sims:

"Man, I have been hearing about that guy since high school."

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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