Bad omen for Vols

The good news: Tennessee's football team has an opportunity to boost its record and its BCS rating when it visits Miami (6th in Associated Press,7th in Coaches Poll) this Saturday.

The bad news: The Vols have faced four previous opponents ranked in the national top 10 during the past two seasons, and have gone 0-for-4 against them.Worse, the Vols lost those four contests by an average of 18 points. The only time the Vols were competitive was last year at Georgia, when the Big Orange suffered an 18-13 setback.

Tennessee's best bet to spring the upset is to rattle Hurricane quarterback Brock Berlin, as Virginia Tech did in an upset victory over the weekend. Berlin, a transfer from Florida who is a first-year starter for Miami this fall, was sacked three times and threw two interceptions vs. the Hokies. One of the interceptions was returned for a Tech touchdown; the ther set up a Tech touchdown.

Miami head man Larry Coker benched Berlin in the third quarter in favor of backup Derrick Crudup. However, Coker says Berlin will be back in the starting lineup against Tennessee because he is ''the best player we feel like gives us an opportunity to win.''

Berlin has completed 61 percent of his passes this season but has thrown 12 interceptions and a mere nine touchdown passes. 


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