"Our 2003 schedule will be a tough one featuring a great home schedule," said Hurricanes head coach Larry Coker. "The schedule presents several challenges overall, including several games against some of the nation's traditional powers and our tough BIG EAST rivals. We're looking forward to the 2003 season."
Miami is scheduled to open the season on the road at Shreveport, Louisiana, on Saturday, Aug. 30, against Louisiana Tech before beginning the home schedule with the 52nd renewal of its series with the University of Florida in the Orange Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 6. The Hurricanes host the Pirates of East Carolina in another non-conference home game on Saturday, Sept. 13. Miami opens its BIG EAST schedule on Sept. 20 at Boston College. After a week off, the Mountaineers of West Virginia will be the opponent in Miami's BIG EAST home opener on Thursday, Oct. 2.
Miami's annual showdown with Florida State takes place Saturday, Oct. 11, in Tallahassee as the Hurricanes and Seminoles square off for the 47th time. Miami hosts Temple on Oct. 18 and takes Oct. 25 off before hitting the road for another major BIG EAST clash on Nov. 1 at Virginia Tech. That battle with the Hokies kicks off a tough stretch run for the Hurricanes that features games on five consecutive Saturdays.
After the game at Virginia Tech, Miami returns home to the Orange Bowl to take on Tennessee on Saturday, Nov. 8. The game will be only the third meeting ever between the two perennial powers and is Tennessee's first trip to South Florida since the 1998 Orange Bowl and the first time UT has played in the Orange Bowl stadium since the 1968 Orange Bowl Classic (a 26-24 loss to Oklahoma).
Miami finishes the 2003 regular season slate with three BIG EAST matchups. The stretch begins with a matchup with Syracuse on Nov. 15 at the Orange Bowl. Miami then closes the 2003 home slate on Nov. 22 against Rutgers at the Orange Bowl. The final game of the regular season figures to be a crucial one as the Hurricanes will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field on Saturday, Nov. 29.
The seven bowl teams on Miami's schedule are: Florida (Outback Bowl), Boston College (Motor City Bowl winner), West Virginia (Continental Tire Bowl), Florida State (Sugar Bowl), Virginia Tech (Gator Bowl), Tennessee (Peach Bowl), and Pittsburgh (Insight Bowl winner).
Miami completed a 12-1 season in 2002 and advanced to its second consecutive Bowl Championship Series Championship Game. The Hurricanes won their seventh BIG EAST Conference title in 2002, running their winning streak against conference opponents to a league-record 24 games.
2003 Miami Hurricanes Football Schedule
Day/Date Opponent (2002 Record) Sat./Aug. 30 at Louisiana Tech (4-8) Sat./Sept. 6 FLORIDA (8-5) Sat./Sept. 13 EAST CAROLINA (4-8) Sat./Sept. 20 at Boston College (9-4) Sat./Sept. 27 Open Date Thur./Oct. 2 WEST VIRGINIA (9-4) ESPN Sat./Oct. 11 at Florida State (9-5) Sat./Oct. 18 TEMPLE (4-8) Sat./Oct. 25 Open Date Sat./Nov. 1 at Virginia Tech (10-4) ESPN Sat./Nov. 8 TENNESSEE (8-5) Sat./Nov. 15 SYRACUSE (4-8) Sat./Nov. 22 RUTGERS (1-11) Sat./Nov. 29 at Pittsburgh (9-4)