Is there any doubt now?

Jill Arrington probably couldn't come up with this one, but it begs to ask anyway: Is there any doubt now about the Miami Hurricanes? This wrecking ball might not be stopped until Jan. 3, 2003 in Tempe, Arizona at about quarter to midnight. Seriously. No joke. In case anybody forget by now this is the same team (although some might argue) that hasn't lost a college football game in over two years (Sept. 9, 2000 to be exact).

This is the same football team that murdered the Gators by more than two touchdowns in the 2001 Sugar Bowl.

But here was everybody again asking all these questions about the Hurricanes.

Weren't the Hurricanes the team that arrived at Florida Field last Saturday with a ‘questionable' and ‘unproven' secondary still in diapers and ready to be sliced up by Rex –Heisman Trophy candidate- Grossman?

Weren't the Hurricanes the ‘overrated' bunch who showed up ready to face the Gators with an offensive line full of baby fat and never-before-exposed to 85,000 orange and blue maniacs? What was that about this edition of the Hurricanes not being able to win the ‘big' one on the road? Wasn't this the same team that has stripped of three starting offensive linemen, their entire defensive backfield, a starting running back and a starting tight end by the National Football League last April and would not be able to get up from such a blow? Wasn't this the same group who saw running back Frank Gore (and their whole season many said) go down with in all likelihood a season-ending knee injury?

Wasn't this the same group that accomplished nothing by sticking Florida A&M's face in the mud to the tune of 63-17 in the season-opener?

Yeah right.

Go ask punch-drunk Grossman and a stunned Ron Zook just how far the Canes are from getting back? They would probably answer back "Enough already". UM 41, UF 16, thank very much.

This supposed clash of the state-rivals- the first regular season football match-up between Florida and Miami in 15 years- proved to the Gators that they are a long ways from the top of the college football landscape.

Oh, and one more thing: The Hurricanes are this dam good- maybe even better than last year's team that whipped through the regular season and toyed with Nebraska in the Rose Bowl to win the national championship.

Miami proved that in a lot of different ways last Saturday, not to mention turning ‘The Swamp' into Canesville and slapping in every manner possible. What was that about the Canes running game leaving to Denver with Clinton Portis? Miami knocked that theory silly with 306 rushing yards and creating holes big enough in the Gators defense to drive John Madden's cruiser through.

For all the hype and poster-boy salivating over Grossman, Miami's defensive backs behaved just fine. Grossman was a mere 19-0f-45 for a career-low 191 passing yards. And Sean Taylor, Antrel Rolle, Mo Sikes and Kelly Jennings never blew there top even after being called for an unjustified pass inference early in the game that erased a Rolle interception return to the red zone.

Instead of being rattled, which would be normal under the circumstances, the group continued to be aggressive – under Coach Stoops' orders- the entire evening and eventually made Grossman pay dearly. Wonder how the doubters liked that Sikes dagger-in-the-heart 97-yard interception return late in the third quarter with the Gators driving with hopes of still making a game out of it? And for good measure what about that cherry-on-top Sikes pick in the fourth quarter that nailed it.

In case anybody also missed it: What about the monster defensive line for the Canes who made sure that Grossman would spend all of Sunday in a whirlpool counting all his bumps and bruises. So, the Hurricanes had just one sack of Grossman by the time the lights went out at Florida Field. But the Canes D-Line pushed the UF O-line back all night and disrupted Grossman seemly the whole game. The future NFLer was on the run or on his back practically the entire 60 minutes.

Another point to validate the Canes are still the best in the land and deserve to sit atop the polls was the fact that quarterback Ken Dorsey was average on the road against a top-ten team and the Hurricanes still did their best Jeff Gordon impersonation. They sped away with ease. Dorsey (16-of-32) completed just half his passes and found a blue jersey three times, which is unlike the senior from Orinda, Calif. Dorsey had all of 202 yards passing. Miami didn't need them. But for the final outcome, there was no other place to be than Gainesville, Florida last Saturday afternoon. I've taken in World Series games, NFL playoff games, NBA playoff games and championship boxing matches. But nothing tops being part and seeing with your own eyes the hoopla leading up to a big-time college football game. There is just something special about the entire week before the contest and not to mention the atmosphere created by the schools –especially Miami and Florida- is a thing of beauty.

Talk about a rivalry. Forget about getting a ticket (those were gone months in advance); both Cane and Gator fans were going back and fourth lending their two cents worth hours before the game outside the stadium; And best of all the notion that they're weekend would not be complete with a UM win over UF or vice-versa. Beautiful.

They go at it one more time in '03 and won't meet again until possibly '08.

What? Whatever Jeremy Foley and Paul Dee need to do to keep this thing going should be done right away.

About the Canes? Is there any question now?

Canes Time Top Stories