Keys to the Game; Wake Forest

The Hurricanes take on Wake Forest today at noon and some of the writers of take a look at some of the keys to today's game.


1) Protect the football
Miami has to keep the football when they have it in order to be successful against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are a veteran team and a disciplined team. Don't let last week's performance at Maryland fool you, this Wake Forest team can play football. The defense creates turnovers and rarely makes mistakes. They create opportunities for themselves and Miami needs to limit these opportunities. The Canes need to protect the football and sustain their drives in order to prevent Wake from getting good field position. The Deacs will capitalize off of Miami mistakes so the Hurricanes need to play mistake free football in order to win.

2) Make the most of opportunities
The Hurricanes needs to capitalize off any opportunity they have against Wake Forest. When playing against such a disciplined team, it is essential to make them pay for their mistakes. Miami has to get points off of Wake turnovers. The offense cannot stall after Wake gives the Hurricanes good field position. Graig Cooper and Javarris James need to run the ball effectively to open up passing opportunities for Robert Marve, Jacory Harris and Miami's talented young receivers. If the Canes can take advantage of Wake Forest's mistakes, they should be in a good position to win the game.


1) Win the turnover battle
Wake Forest hasn't exactly been lighting up the scoreboard so far this season. Their offense isn't filled with future NFL players. In fact, they rank near the very bottom of college football in total offense. However, they do a tremendous job of protecting the football. They don't make a lot of mistakes, which puts the defense in good position a lot of times. They beat Florida State with a bunch of field goals earlier in the season when the offense couldn't move the ball much but did a good job of not making mistakes. That's when Wake is at its best and that's an area of the game Miami has to focus on and win. If the Canes win the turnover battle, they should have enough playmakers to pull ahead. If not, they'll let the underdog hang in there.

2) Establish the running game

In two of the last three games (FSU and Duke), the Canes haven't given their running game much of a chance. Graig Cooper had limited touches in both games and that will need to change if the Canes are to win this one. They simply can't be one-dimensional against Wake Forest and expect to win. The full return (not the partial one like we saw last week) of Javarris James should help the Canes generate some early success on the ground.

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