Time is Near for Beason, Canes

Jon Beason is a 6-foot-0, 225-pound sophomore who is currently the first-team weakside linebacker. Beason and his teammates have pinpointed the Florida State game since the summer--now it is just around the corner.

The current first-team linebackers are WLB Jon Beason, MLB Romeo Davis, and SLB Tavares Gooden.

However, seniors Roger McIntosh and Leon Williams have been battling with injuries this fall and could see themselves in the starting lineup Monday night in the season opener.

"With the exception of Roger there isn't any linebacker with a lot of experience," Beason said. "The coaches are still trying to get a good fit. I think we are all confident in each other to get the job done."

Six different linebackers started a year ago for the Hurricanes who finished with a 9-3 record and allowed 155 rushing yards per game--8th in the ACC.

"It doesn't matter who is in the game," Beason said. "We are going to try to put pressure on them and get them rattled a bit."

Miami will have to contain Florida State running backs Leon Washngton and Lorenzo Booker. Washingto led the ACC in rushing yards per game with 95, while averaging 6.9 yards per carry. In last year's 16-10 Miami victory, they combined for 83 yards on 24 carries.

"Their backs are real talented," Beason said. "We are going to do our best to try and contain them."

The game is scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m. in Tallahasse in front of a national TV audience.

"Opening game, Monday Night Football, Florida State, it doesn't get any better than that," Beason said.

Beason, who recorded 29 tackles last year as a freshman, has a goal for his performance on Monday.

"My goal is that when I am on the field I want to give 110% and hopefully make an impact on the outcome of the game."

Beason and his teammates understand the magnitude of the game, which could give an edge to the eventual ACC Champion.

"The winner of this game will probably win the ACC and we will probably see each other in the ACC Championship game," Beason said.

The team has been playing the chop in the lockerroom to help prepare them for the game. Many of the guys were recruited by Florida State and some even grew up big FSU fans. The crowd noise and noticeable FSU chant just gets the guys even more pumped up and loose as opposed to being tight.

Miami has won the last six games between the two schools and four of them have been by six points or less.

"We know we are hated," Beason said. "The fans continue to talk trash even though we've beat them a few times in a row now. Every year we aren't thinking we have beat them before so we don't have to respect them. Every game, you could lose so you have to prepare the same way."

The Miami defense returns 14 of it's top 15 tacklers from a year ago, which could feature a "great" defense according to head coach Larry Coker.

"We can be as good as we want to on defense," Beason said. "We just have to communicate. It is time for us to go out there and prove it. As a group we have played together for a while and if we communicate, we'll be fine."

"We know we are good enough to go all the way," Beason said. "We just have to gel together and make it happen."

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

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