Syracuse at Miami Preview

Syracuse (5-3, 2-2 Big East) at Miami (7-2, 3-1) – The Orangemen head into Miami to face a Hurricane team that has dropped two straight games to Virginia Tech and most recently Tennessee. Still, Syracuse is facing an uphill climb, being outscored by Miami 134-7 in the two team's past three meetings.

Offensive Scouting Report: Junior Derrick Crudup takes over for Brock Berlin at the quarterback position, giving Miami more mobility on offense. Virginia Tech and Tennessee both gave the offense fits by blitzing Berlin and taking advantage of Berlin's inability to run with the football. That should change this week.

But Crudup will have at least one less target to throw to on offense during their first drive, as Kellen Winslow still not start because of on the field antics, said Miami coach Larry Coker. Winslow (51 receptions, 527 yards, 1 TD) has been Miami's best receiver. As for the running game, fifth-year senior Jarrett Payton (580 rushing yards, 5 TDs) is the primary tailback with sophomore Frank Gore gone for the season with a torn ACL. Though Payton has been solid, he lacks the breakaway speed Gore had.

Defensive Scouting Report: The Hurricanes boast impressive numbers on defense, allowing just 263.9 yards per game and 16.4 points per game. On the defensive line, junior tackle Vice Wilfork and freshman end Baraka Atkins have each recorded five sacks apiece. Meanwhile, junior free safety Sean Taylor and linebacker Jonathan Vilma are as good as any safety and linebacker in college.

Notes and Quotes: Damien Rhodes (ankle) will not play against Miami. He has missed four straight games. … Jameel Dumas (knee) who hasn't played since Syracuse's opening game at North Carolina, is questionable. … "You wish you played better against them. We play them in a stretch where they've been awfully, awfully, good." – Coach Paul Pasqualoni on Miami. The Hurricanes will be defecting to the ACC at the conclusion of the 2003 football season.

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