MY THOUGHTSThank goodness for Willie Cooper. That's all I will say about the Duke game.
Miami's four straight wins came against teams with a combined record of 6-23, with Houston having 5 of those wins. The average margin of victory in the four games was 15 points.
But now it is Georgia Tech time. While a victory would put UM in the driver's seat of the Coastal Division, don't get too ahead of yourselves with Virginia Tech coming in next week.
Sure a victory over Georgia Tech would be nice, but with the way Virginia Tech pounded Clemson last night, it won't be easy even if Ryan Moore returns as expected.
Last year, Reggie Ball guided the Yellow Jackets to a 14-13 victory over Miami in the Orange Bowl. Ball threw for 159 yards on 11-of-30 passing and ran for 40 yards on 11 carries (a 12-yard sack gave him a total of 28 yards in the game). He wasn't spectacular, but he got key first downs when needed.
If Miami plans on winning at Georgia Tech, they must be able to run the ball. Rushing for 30 yards on 26 carries like they did against Duke would be a recipe for a 3-touchdown loss to Georgia Tech.
Javarris James must show he can run against good teams. Tyrone Moss must show he is not a step slow. And the offensive line, this is game eight. It is time to open holes on a consistent basis.
In the loss last year, Miami rushed for 30 yards on 30 carries.
Forget about the all-world receiver Calvin Johnson and the zone blitzes. For Miami to win, they MUST be able to run the ball.
STOCK UP• S Kenny Phillips - With a 3-interception performance Phillips had a signature game 'Canes fans have been waiting for. He's been solid in his two years at UM, but this is a performance everyone will remember.
• WR Lance Leggett - Had 131 receiving yards on 6 catches against Duke. Thinks he will be the best receiver on the field tomorrow.
• K Jon Peattie - Coach finally let him attempt a long field goal and he made it count with a 50-yarder.
STOCK DOWN• RB Javarris James - Only 54 yards on 20 carries in his last two games.
• DT Teraz McCray - Kareem Brown figures to be the starter again this week with McCray as the third tackle.
• QB Kirby Freeman - Warmed up three times last week against Duke, but the coaches didn't get him in.
FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES• WR Ryan Moore's situation just keeps getting more and more interesting. And it doesn't make sense that he didn't practice Thursday just because they didn't want to get him reps since he wasn't going to play. Moore hasn't been able to practice since late August, any reps he can get would be beneficial.
• K Jon Peattie said he's been hitting 60-yarders in practice lately including a 58-yarder on Thursday. Peattie is expected to get the green light from 55 yards and in.
• LB Jon Beason made his promise come true when he said he didn't care what the doctors told him after the FIU game, that he was going to play this week. Well, he practiced on Thursday and Coker said he will be available to play. With Cook-Sharpton-Gooden as the starting linebackers, you can be sure they'll want to get Beason in as soon as possible.
• TE Dedrick Epps had his redshirt burned last week against Duke, which is bound to happen when you have 14 players out due to suspension and 3 out with injuries.
• LB Tavares Gooden has been watching Shawne Merriman celebrate with the Chargers as he turns the lights off with his light switch. Gooden said he's ready to turn the lights off against Georgia Tech. Don't be surprised if he draws another celebration penalty if he copies Merriman.
AROUND THE ACC• Virginia Tech took it to #10 Clemson last night, 24-7. Tech RB Branden Ore ran for 203 yards and 2 TDs. With the win Tech improves to 3-2 in the ACC and Clemson falls to 4-2.
Games on Saturday:
• N.C. State (3-4, 2-2) @ Virginia (3-5, 2-2), 12 p.m.
• Buffalo (1-6) @ Boston College (6-1), 1 p.m.
• Vanderbilt (3-5) @ Duke (0-7), 1 p.m.
• Wake Forest (6-1, 2-1) @ North Carolina (1-6, 0-4), 3:30 p.m.
• Florida State (4-3, 2-3) @ Maryland (5-2, 2-1), 7 p.m.
BASKETBALL UPDATEAnthony Harris, Jack McClinton, Denis Clemente, and Brian Asbury were four of the players coach Frank Haith said had a good performance at Wednesday's scrimmage. He also mentioned newcomers Dwayne Collins and Fabio Nass.
SOCCER TEAM UPDATEThe women's soccer team has their final game of the season tonight with a home game at 7 p.m. Miami (8-8-1) will face Duke (8-6-2) Four seniors Alex Alford, Julie Brooks, Kristen Chapman, and Kristen Kenney will be honored. Rachael Rigamat leads the team with 5 goals.
Christopher Stock can be reached at email@example.com