#12 Miami Hurricanes (7-2, 4-2) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-5, 1-5)
Orange Bowl – Miami, Florida
November 20 – 12:00 PM Eastern on ESPN
One down, two to go. Fresh off an upset win at No. 10 Virginia, the Miami Hurricanes need victories in their final two games to very likely go to a BCS bowl game. They control their own destiny heading down the stretch. Following the Wake Forest game, Miami has an open week before closing out the regular season on Dec. 4 at home against Virginia Tech, the current Atlantic Coast Conference leader. If the Hurricanes win the final two games, they would most likely win the ACC championship through a complicated tiebreaker system and be the league's representative in a BCS bowl game.
Wake Forest is in 10th place in the ACC after losing to North Carolina 31-24 last Saturday. The Demon Deacons were 5-7 in 2003. They are led by running back Chris Barclay, the leading rusher in the ACC and the school's third all-time leading rusher. Head coach Jim Grobe has a record of 22-23 in four seasons at Wake Forest and is 55-56-1 in 10 seasons as a head coach.
Even though the series began in 1928, this is only the seventh game between the two teams, with each team having three wins. They have not met since 1971 and only twice since World War II.
MIAMI HEAD COACH LARRY COKER
"It's certainly good to be back at this press conference with a win. The sun always comes up in South Florida, but it has been a little brighter the last few days. We have a tremendous challenge this weekend against Wake Forest. The biggest loss they have had this season has been seven points and they have lost a couple of games in overtime. They beat a very fine Boston College team and they are doing some things very well. Jim Grobe is an outstanding football coach. I read somewhere that nobody knows that he may be the best college football coach in the country. I think people are starting to figure that out, because he does an excellent job. They do a great job rushing the ball and they lead the league in rushing. Chris Barclay is an outstanding football player. He is not big, but he's very fast and explosive. They do a great job at the quarterback position. Offensively, they are very high in a lot of categories in the ACC. They have a great punter. They present some real challenges for us. I think this is the first time they have gotten on an airplane this season, while we have been on several. Its good to be home in the Orange Bowl and we are excited about the game."
WAKE FOREST HEAD COACH JIM GROBE
On the team:
"Our players have known for two or three games that we need to start winning some games down the stretch. We're playing good teams. We're playing real, real hard. We're not playing exceptionally well at times, but I can't ask for more out of our guys as far as effort is concerned. Hopefully we can put it together. I told the players I still don't think we've played a complete football game where all three areas, the kicking game, offense and defense, have clicked in one football game. You'd like to see that happen somewhere before the football season is over. Hopefully in these last two games we'll play a little bit better in all three areas."
On playing at Miami:
"I told the players that this is an environment you dream about. You dream about playing one day in the Orange Bowl. They've certainly seen lots of games on television, great tradition, and all those things. Our guys realize that you have to take advantage of it, because these opportunities don't come along too often."
Offense Defense QB Brock Berlin LE Bryan Pata RB Frank Gore LT Baraka Atkins FB Quadtrine Hill RT Orien Harris TE Kevin Everett RE Thomas Carroll WR Roscoe Parrish SLB Jon Beason WR Lance Leggett MLB Leon Williams LT Rashad Butler WLB Romeo Davis LG Tony Tella CB Kelly Jennings C Joel Rodriguez CB Devin Hester RG Derrick Morse FS Anthony Reddick RT Chris Myers SS Greg Threat PK Jon Peattie P Brian MonroeKEY INJURIES
TE Greg Olsen Wrist Probable LB Tavares Gooden Shoulder Probable LB Roger McIntosh Shoulder Probable WR Darnell Jenkins Arm Probable FS Brandon Meriweather Shoulder Probable WR Ryan Moore Foot Questionable QB Kyle Wright Ankle Questionable OL Tyler McMeans Knee Questionable DT Santonio Thomas Knee Out FB Kyle Cobia Shoulder Out OL Eric Winston ACL Out for season CB Glenn Sharpe Knee Out for seasonNOTABLE PLAYERS
Miami: 32.3 ppg – 19.0 pag QB #7 Brock Berlin 2009 yards 56% 17 TD 4 Int RB #3 Frank Gore 736 yards 5.0 avg 7 TD WR #1 Roscoe Parrish 31 receptions 474 yards 7 TD WR #9 Lance Leggett 13 receptions 246 yards 3 TD CB #6 Antrel Rolle 53 tackles 1 interception SS #5 Greg Threat 106 tackles 3 interceptions PK #13 Jon Peattie 11-20 FG long 49 34-34 XP Wake Forest: 24.0 ppg - 20.9 pag QB #17 Cory Randolph 870 yards 53% 3 TD 4 Int RB #28 Chris Barclay 850 yards 4.3 avg 7 TD WR #83 Nate Morton 25 receptions 384 yards 1 TD WR #80 Jason Anderson 18 receptions 299 yards 1 TD LB #40 Jonathan Abbatte 84 tackles 1 sack CB #3 Marcus McGruder 27 tackles 3 interceptions PK #81 Ryan Plackemeier 4-8 FG long 41 9-9 XPNOTABLE TEAM STATISTICS
Miami – 42th in Pass Offense (230.9)
Wake Forest – 74th in Pass Defense (222.2)
Miami – 66th in Rush Defense (156.7)
Wake Forest – 15th in Rush Offense (217.9)
When Miami has the ball…
WR Roscoe Parrish vs. CB Marcus McGruder
Parrish (5-9, 170) is having a lot of fun playing the game of football right now. It is clear to see in practice with the catches he makes and head coach Larry Coker recently commented on his performances in pregame. This could be the day he records his first 100-yard receiving game. McGruder (5-9, 190) is a small cornerback that will enjoy a match up with a small receiver in Parrish. McGruder leads the team in interceptions with three and has returned all three for touchdowns. The senior from Fairburn, Ga. has seven interceptions in his career.
When Wake Forest has the ball…
RB Chris Barclay vs. LB Leon Williams
Barclay (5-10, 175) leads the ACC in rushing averaging 94 yards per game. Miami has allowed five straight 100-yard rushers including last week's performance by Virginia RB Alvin Pearman who rushed for 106 yards. Barclay has two straight 100-yard games. Williams (6-4, 235) looks to return to the starting lineup with injuries to Roger McIntosh and Tavares Gooden. Williams has struggled at times this season and has a big test with the quick Barclay.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON
Miami CB Devin Hester - Hester is currently 2nd in the nation in punt returns (22.1) and 13th in kickoff returns (26.8). Primarily a cornerback, he will be used on offense occasionally. This season on offense he has 40 yards rushing and 25 yards receiving to go along with three interceptions.
Wake Forest QB Ben Mauk – Mauk is a redshirt freshman who has had the majority of the snaps the last two games. Last game against North Carolina he was 10-for-24 for 100 yards while rushing for 96 yards on 12 carries. On the season he has passed for 515 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.
COKER'S FINAL WORD
On running against Wake Forest:
"Wake Forest is a team that is difficult to run against. They are a little undersized in some areas on defense, but they are very quick and they put a lot of people up front to stop the run. We will have a challenge this game"
PLAYER QUOTE OF THE WEEK
RB Frank Gore on the potential big day for the passing game:
"They usually play with an eight or nine man front so the receivers and quarterback should have a real good game."
Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org