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Number Ten Hurricanes Trying Not To Look Past Rutgers

Number Ten Hurricanes Trying Not To Look Past Rutgers

Sept. 29, 2000

By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – In a game in which No. 10 Miami is hoping notto getcaught looking ahead, Rutgers quarterback Chad Schwenk is trying not to lookback to his last start against the Hurricanes.

It’s too painful.

Schwenk, sacked nine times in a 55-0 loss to Miami at the end of lastseason, will replace the injured Mike McMahon on Saturday night when Rutgersplays the Hurricanes.

The only chance the Scarlet Knights (2-2, 0-2 Big East) would seem tohavewould be if Miami (2-1, 1-0) comes into the game thinking about next week’sshowdown with No. 2 Florida State.

“What would that game mean if we don’t take care of this one?” Miamioffensive tackle Joaquin Gonzalez asked.

“We’ve put ourselves in a position where we’ve got to win every game,starting with this one. We can’t overlook anyone. A lot of things need to bedone before Oct. 7.”

History says this game probably won’t even be close. Miami has won theprevious seven games and scored at least 50 points in four of the last five.

Schwenk remembers the last one all too well.

“You try to remember a couple of things from every game, just to takeawayand develop, so you get better,” Schwenk said. “It was a pretty physicalgame. I did get hit a lot. Hopefully, we can do a better job, and I’ll get alittle more time.”

Rutgers was limited to 64 yards in total offense in that game, but thisisalso a different team. Last year, the Scarlet Knights finished the year with15starters sidelined by injuries.

McMahon isn’t starting because of a strained shoulder – he will be inuniform – but otherwise the Scarlet Knights are healthier and better thanlastseason. The defense forced seven turnovers in a 29-17 loss to Pittsburghlastweek.

Miami also has questions on offense. Tailback Clinton Portis will besidelined with broken toes on his right foot, and receiver Santana Moss andtailback James Jackson are off to slow starts.

Quarterback Ken Dorsey, who made his first start in the Rutgers gamelastseason, has been a success. He is 118-of-187 for 1,472 yards passing with 15touchdowns and one interception.

“We’ve got to look at it like we’re playing for the Big Eastchampionship,” Dorsey said. “If we take this week off, then we’re not goingto be good in two weeks.”

If Rutgers wants to make it close, its line has to protect Schwenk. TheScarlet Knights don’t have a running game, compiling a total of 44 yards inlosing the last two games to Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. Their 69.3-yardrushing average ranks 104th nationally.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to rush the passer,” Miami defensivetackleDamione Lewis said. “They throw the ball a lot this year. It’s nice as adefensive lineman to not have to worry about the run as much and pin yourearsback and get after the passer.”

Schwenk remembers not only the hits but something else, too.

“When I did have a second or two to make a read and throw the ball,” hesaid, “we got a couple of completions.”

So, he figures, Rutgers has a chance Saturday.