Offense on Alert

University of Miami quarterback Brock Berlin's job is safe - at least for the Hurricanes' initial offensive snap Saturday. UM coach Larry Coker's discontent with the offense through the first three games of the season could mean changes if the No. 4 Hurricanes (3-0, 1-0) fail to put a hurting on the Bobby Dodd Stadium scoreboard against Georgia Tech.

Coker reaffirmed on Wednesday the Hurricanes' offense needs to improve - especially Berlin - significantly against the Yellow Jackets in order to avoid some serious reshuffling that could include the insertion of backup quarterbacks Kyle Wright and/or Derrick Crudup.

Although Coker did not signal out Berlin by name it was clear he wants to see better production out of the senior quarterback. Despite averaging 34 points per game the Hurricanes passing game ranks 87th in the nation after being held to 99 yards in last week's 38-13 victory over Houston.

"The biggest thing we have to do is we have to pass protect, run better routes and take care of the football," said Coker. "There's no question that to be a good football team we need to improve in those areas."

Coker would not rule out the possibility of Wright or Crudup playing against Georgia Tech if Berlin struggles at some point in the game. Berlin, who was sacked five times by Houston, has a passing efficiency of 117.24 and is 43 for 73 with two interceptions and two fumbles.

Berlin's problems were clearly evident against the Cougars as he repeatedly overthrew receivers and could not avoid pressure. On the Hurricanes first offensive series of the game Berlin overthrew a wide-open Sinorice Moss on a roll-out before getting sacked two plays later. He had 15 passing yards in the second half.

"I'm not ready to go into panic mode, but we need to step up and play to our capabilities," said Coker.

Despite Coker's comments, Berlin isn't worried about losing his job and intends to take positive steps on Saturday. Berlin did indicate he has to make better decisions with the ball in his hand.

"I know there have times that I should have gotten rid of the ball quicker," says Berlin, who has never thrown for more than two touchdowns in a game. "I've learned from my mistakes."

The game will be the first meeting between both teams since Miami defeated Georgia Tech 28-13 in the 1999 Toyota Gator Bowl. Coker said WR Ryan Moore (sprained ankle) is out for Saturday's game while freshman Lance Leggett should see increased playing time.


Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey didn't disclose much after being asked Wednesday about the Yellow Jackets' gameplan against Miami.

"I got a lot of coaches speak if you want to hear that. If I tell you you're going to write it," said Gailey.

Gailey did say the Yellow Jackets would have to stop Miami's running game because it sets up their 'passing game'.

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