Common Opponents: None to date
Hurricanes to watch:
QB-Ken Dorsey, WR-Andre Johnson, DL-William Joseph, LB-D.J. Williams, LB-Jonathan Vilma, RB-Willis McGahee, RB-Jason Geathers, K- Todd Sievers, S- Maurice Sikes, C- Brett Romberg.
WVU - Ernest Hunter (Leg) Out, Darnell Glover (Knee) Out, A. J. Nastasi, (Ankle) Questionable, Brian King (Thumb) Questionable, Arthur Harrison (Ankle) Probable, Grant Wiley (Hamstring) Probable,
Miami - James Scott (Wrist) Out, David Williams (Wrist) Out, Frank Gore (Knee) Out, Santorio Thomas (Chest) Out.
WVU 2-0, 5-2
UM 3-0, 6-0
Sat. 10/26 Noon
Series: UM 14-3-0
Rank: WVU-52 - UM -2
Line: UM -21
Stats & Trends
The key to WVU's success on Saturday will be the ability of the offensive line to keep the formidable 'Cane defensive front in check. In Miami's 4-3 defense, DE Jerome McDougle (6-4, 271 lbs., Sr.) and DE Jamaal Green (6-3, 261 lbs., Sr.) have combined for 11 sacks and have the speed to cover sideline to sideline. The best way to get by this duo is to run right at them.
Unfortunately by running right up the middle, the Mountaineer ball carriers will have to elude the Miami linebackers. D.J. Williams (6-2, 243 lbs., Jr) is the most athletic of the group. Williams, recruited as a running back, is a play maker. He has 7 tackles for a loss, 1 sack and has caused 1 fumble. Joining Williams are linebackers Jonathan Vilma (6-2, 220 lbs., Jr) and Howard Clark (6-1, 227 lbs., Sr). While Vilma and Clark do not have the speed and ability that Williams possesses, they are smart players who always seem to be in the right place at the right time.
For the Mountaineers to have a shot at winning, Rasheed Marshall must be able to complete two or three deep passes. The Hurricanes secondary, while talented, are young and inexperienced. The veteran of the group is SS Maurice Sikes (5-11 193 lbs., Jr.). Sikes has recorded 37 tackles this season but has yet to produce as dominating performance. Rounding out the secondary are CB Kelly Jennings (6-0, 170 lbs., Fr.), CB Antrel Rolle (6-1, 203 lbs., So.) and FS Sean Taylor (6-3, 220 lbs., So).
By the numbers:
The Mountaineers rank 12th in total offense (441.6 yds/game), 2nd in rushing offense (297.6 yds/game) and 107th in passing offense (144.0 yds/game).
The Hurricanes rank 5th in total defense (264.2 yds/game), 58th in rushing defense (146.3 yds/game) and 5th in passing efficiency defense (84.6 rating).
Advantage : Hurricanes
WVU defense vs. Miami offense
On offense the Hurricanes have a plethora of weapons at its disposal. Heisman Trophy hopeful QB Ken Dorsey (6-5, 200 lbs., Sr) leads the 'Canes potent pro-set attack. Dorsey is a tough, patient quarterback who makes very few mistakes. That approach has yielded a quarterback rating of 142.9, ranking him 20th in the nation.
Much has been made of Miami's running backs this season, but let's face it, the editor of this website could probably average over 90 yards rushing behind the 'Canes offensive line. (Editor's Note: I heard that!) The line, lead by center Brett Romberg (6-3, 289 lbs., Sr.), is the most punishing line that WVU will face this season. Including the comparatively small Romberg, the line averages 6-5 and 306.6 pounds. If WVU's defensive line fails to put pressure on Dorsey, they must remember to reach up in the air to block Dorsey's passing lanes.
To say the Miami's running back situation is solid would be an understatement. The 'Canes 3rd stringer will probably be at least a 3rd round draft pick. Willis MaGahee (6-1, 224 lbs., So.) leads the running attack with 735 yards rushing(122.5 yds/game), ranking him 11th nationally. Backing up MaGahee is converted wide receiver Jason Geathers (6-3, 210 lbs., Jr.). Geathers is a threat running the ball and on kickoff returns.
Catching the ball for the Hurricanes will be a group of tall and athletic receivers. Surprisingly enough, a tight end leads the team in receptions. Miami's outstanding tight end, Kellen Winslow II (6-5, 233 lbs., So), has 22 receptions for 267 yards and 4 touchdowns. Winslow, of course, is the son of NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow who had a great career with the San Diego Chargers. Leading the team in receiving yards is Andre Johnson (6-3, 227 lbs., Jr.). Johnson has all of the tools to excel at the next level. He has height, speed and the jumping ability to go up and catch the ball. Joining Winslow and Johnson are Kevin Beard (6-2, 182 lbs., Jr) and Ethenic Sands (6-0 170 lbs., Sr.). Beard and Sands add experience and speed to the position which will make for a long day for Angel Estrada and the rest of the WVU secondary.
By the numbers:
The Mountaineers rank 11th in total defense (284.3 yds/game), 22nd in rushing defense (102.4 yds/game) and 22nd in passing efficiency defense (104.2 rating).
The Hurricanes rank 6th in total offense (478.2 yds/game), 22nd in rushing offense (206.8 yds/game) and 24th in passing offense (271.3 yds/game)