'O' Getting Better

This Thursday night against Louisville, University of Miami quarterback Brock Berlin wants to continue the same offensive firepower that was on display in the 27-3 victory at Georgia Tech. Berlin has looked sharper this season and is putting in extra time to continue his improved play.

When the Hurricanes step on the field Berlin expects Louisville will to be a tough challenge. The Cardinals defense is currently ranked ninth in the nation in total defense and third in the nation in scoring defense. The Cardinals are one of two teams that rank in the top ten nationally in total offense and total defense.

Berlin expects Louisville, who is ranked 17th in the coaches poll, to bring their "A game" and put up a good fight.

"I think that every team we play tries to upset us. We know they are a good team. They are going to come fired up, we know that. We aren't worried about how they feel, or what they say. We are going to come out and play and do what we have been doing all season, getting better each game."

Miami's offense is getting better each game. The passing attack is starting to come alive, which is essential to Miami's success and quick strike ability. Miami has won 118 consecutive games when they score 30+ points.

In the last game against Georgia Tech, Berlin passed for a career high three touchdowns. Two of the touchdowns came on 44 and 57 yard bombs to speedy receivers Roscoe Parrish and Lance Leggett, giving an indication that the usual explosive Miami offense is back.

"We would like to do some of the things we did last week (against Georgia Tech)," Berlin said. "Our goal is to be able to get better with each game. I think we have done a good job of working hard each day after practice and getting ready for the next game. Our guys have focused and had a great week of practice."

The big plays have come as no surprise to Berlin and the receiving corp. The quarterbacks and receivers spend extra time getting their rhythm and timing in sync each day after practice. Brock says that not only do the big plays excite the offense, it also brings an extra energy to the defense.

"It fires our defense up and gives a boost to everybody. You want to be able to hit a couple of those big plays a game. You got to take your chances and hit some of those."

The biggest question mark for UM against Louisville will be at left tackle. Rashad Butler will make his first start at left tackle for the injured Eric Winston. Berlin has total confidence that Butler will protect his blind side just fine.

"It's a tough loss when you lose a guy (Winston) like that. Not only is he a great player, but he is a great leader," Berlin said. "He brings a lot of leadership on the field but we have total confidence in Rashad. He was ready to play at the beginning of the season and got hurt, but now he's back and ready to play and he's had a good week of practice."

Berlin's statistics show that he is noticeably more comfortable in the offense this year. He has thrown for 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, with a 57% completion percentage. Berlin is looking forward to playing under the lights Thursday night in a primetime match-up against Louisville.

"It's fun. That is what you come here to do. You come to play in these big games and play on national television. It's an incredible feeling."

Notes: Berlin's record of 15-2 gives him the fourth highest winning percentage (.882) among returning QB's. Berlin's winning percentage is even above Heisman Trophy winner Jason White (.870) … Berlin is very efficient on third down. In 2003 Berlin connected on 68.3% of passes on third down. This year he has completed 54% (13/24) for 9 first downs.

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