"I just got off a teleconference with writers in Philadephia and one of them asked me how it felt to be 3-0 already," said Coker, as the top-ranked Hurricanes (2-0) prepare to meet the Temple Owls (1-1), Saturday at Franklin Field. "That's as ridicolous a statement I've ever heard. I have a lot of respect for Bobby Wallace and his staff and they know how to play the game."
Wallace and his assistant coaches may know what they're doing, but getting the Owls to do them against the Hurricanes may be a little much to ask for.
Miami, which owns the longest current winning streak in the nation at 24, is fresh off an impressive 41-16 victory over the then-No. 6 Florida Gators at Florida Field in Gainesville in whiched they totaled over 500 yards of offense and held UF quarterback Rex Grossman-- a Heisman Trophy candidate- to 191 yards
passing. The Owls, 4-6 in their last 10 regular season games, will be facing the Hurricanes a week after being demolished by Oregon State 35-3.
"I did speak to Dennis (Erickson)- Oregon State head coach- and just got his impression on them even though I've seen them a couple of times," said Coker. "But it helps to get a view from a coach that's already been there."
One of the players that caught Erickson's eye was Temple senior All-American candidate Dan Klecko, who recorded five tackles against the Beavers after sitting out the season-opener with a right ankle sprain. Senior Tanardo Sharps fell just short of his 11th career 100-yard rushing game, gaining 95 yards on 22 carries.
"Dennis said he's a real pest," said Coker about Klecko, the son of former Jets All-Pro Joe Klecko.
The Owls could use the elder Klecko in order to have any shot of pulling off the mammoth upset- even if the Hurricanes will be without junior star receiver Andre Johnson.
Johnson, who leads UM with seven receptions for 100 yards in two games, will not play against the Owls after having arthrosopic surgery on his left shoulder to 'remove a couple of particles and some loose bodies' from his shoulder, according to Coker. Coker who added that Johnson played against the Gators through some discomfort said that he's been bothered by the injury for a 'while'. Coker expects Johnson to play Sept. 21 when the Hurricanes host Boston College.
Freshmen receivers Aikeem Jolla (1 reception, 39 yards) and Ryan Moore are expected to see their workload increase in Johnson's absence. Moore, who has not caught a pass this season, has been practicing for the last two weeks despite an ankle injury.
Miami offensive lineman Vernon Carey will have a tough time getting geared up for the Owls no matter who suits up for the Hurricanes.
"Yeah it will be tough to get for them," said Carey, about facing Temple. "But we still have a long way to go and have some mistakes we need to correct."
Junior Maurice Sikes, who had two interceptions against Florida, including a 97-yard touchdown return in the third quarter, has been namd Defensive Player of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America....Junior defensive tackle Santonio Thomas (torn pectoral muscle) is scheduled for surgery Wednesday and will be out the rest of the season.
Who gives a hoot?
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