New Enthusiasm

After two consecutive losses to North Carolina and Clemson, the Hurricanes travel to Charlottesville to take on the Virginia Cavaliers in a must win game. The Canes are still in the ACC hunt and looking for a BCS bowl bid. As a leader on the defense, cornerback Kelly Jennings will look to slow down the balanced Cavalier offense and lead the Canes to victory.

It would be an understatement to say the past to weeks have been disappointing for the Miami Hurricane football team. After winning two games they could have lost, the Canes have now lost two games they should have won.

The reasons for the sudden fall of the Hurricanes are unknown. The injury bug has depleted the team of many of its starters, the defense has looked vulnerable, and intensity seems to be missing in the second half.

The Hurricanes can still win the ACC and earn a BCS bowl game. Junior cornerback Kelly Jennings says that while injuries and missed plays have occurred during the season, the team must move on and focus on Virginia and the rest of the season.

"(Injuries) happen in the season," Jennings said. "It is not the way we wanted it to happen, but we have got to stay even keeled. If everyone goes out and does there job and takes their responsibility then we'll be fine. When I watched film, there were a lot of people making mistakes that we shouldn't be making. I think we need to just look at that, remember that, but let it go also. We are looking forward to Virginia and making sure we have everything down for that (game)."

Jennings noticed a new enthusiasm that has not been in practice since the two a day drills. The players were flying around and the coaches were excited. Jennings expects "to see a big improvement from the defense this week."

The defense will certainly need to improve. In the first half versus Clemson, the Canes allowed just 41 yards rushing and 115 yards passing and three points. But Clemson ended the game with 371 total yards (258 passing and 113 rushing) while allowing three touchdowns.

This week the Canes battle the 10th ranked Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia will bring a balance attack that ranks 11th in the nation in total offense. Quarterback Marques Hagans, who ranks 11th in the nation in quarterback efficiency, is a quarterback who can hurt a defense with his legs and his arm.

Lately, the Hurricanes have been hit hard by injuries, especially in the secondary. With All-American Antrel Rolle wearing a boot, Devin Hester will probably be seeing more playing time and may even start. Jennings expects opposing teams to pick on him, because Rolle lines up on the other side.

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