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Hurricanes Look To Wrap Up Big East, With National Title In Focus

Hurricanes Look To Wrap Up Big East, With National Title In Focus

Nov. 14, 2000

Miami (AP) – With their dreams of reaching the national title game intact, theMiamiHurricanes look to clinch the Big East title when they visit the SyracuseOrangemen at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

Miami (8-1, 5-0 Big East) is looking for its eighth straight win aftera35-7 victory over Pittsburgh last week. Though they refused to run up thescoreagainst the Panthers, the 2nd ranked Hurricanes also managed to move aheadofFlorida State into second place in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

“Good,” Miami coach Butch Davis said Monday. “The world is as it shouldbe.”

Davis, who was criticized for his decision to bench his starters latein thegame, was rewarded after Florida State’s 35-6 win over Wake Forest did nothelpin the strength-of-schedule category.

“Crucify me, but it would have been much worse if we had lost KenDorsey orDamione Lewis to an injury with the game out of reach,” Davis said. “You’dlike to think that 35-7 was enough. Everybody says that winning by 20 pointsisenough, that they don’t give you any more for 20 than they do for a 1,000.”

The key to Miami’s winning streak has been Dorsey, who is quietlyemergingas one of the top passers in the nation. The sophomore quarterback hasthrownfor 2,222 yards this season, and he has 19 touchdowns and only fourinterceptions.

Though the goal is the Big East title, the Hurricanes are also out forrevenge on Saturday, after they were manhandled by the Orangemen 66-13 intheirlast trip to the Carrier Dome two years ago.

The Orangemen (5-4, 3-2 Big East), meanwhile, are looking for theirthirdstraight win following a 3-4 start. Syracuse came up with a 31-12 victoryoverTemple last week, keeping its bowl hopes alive with two games remaining.

Syracuse’s resurgence can be credited to the play of its two runningbacks,junior James Mungro and senior Dee Brown. Both backs rushed for twotouchdownsagainst Temple, and they each enter the game with six touchdowns and over650rushing yards this season.

Saturday’s game can restore a tradition in the all-time series betweentheteams, which the Hurricanes lead 11-7. From 1994-98 the winner of this gamehasgone on to win a share of the Big East championship.

“This is what you call the deep end of the pool,” Syracuse coach PaulPasqualoni said Monday.

“They’ll come in with both barrels loaded, for sure.It’s become a good rivalry over the years. Hopefully, we can get prepared toplay a steady, consistent game.”