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Football Back In Action Against North Carolina

Football Back In Action Against North Carolina

Oct. 27, 2005

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(#6 AP/#6 Coaches/#6 Harris) MIAMI HURRICANES (5-1, 2-1 ACC)vs. NORTH CAROLINA (3-3, 2-1 ACC)

When: 12:00 noon ET Saturday, October 29, 2005

Where: Orange Bowl (natural grass; 72,319) in Miami

Television: The game will be televised on ESPN2 with Eric Collins (play by play),Andre Ware (analysis) and Heather Mitts (field reporter).

Local Radio: The Hurricanes Radio Network (WQAM 560 AM) will carry the game live with Joe Zagacki(play by play), Don Bailey Jr. (analysis) and Brian London (sideline reporter).

National Radio: XM Satellite Radio will carry the game live.

Radio En Espanol: The game will broadcast in Spanish on WWFE 670 AM with Joe Pujala (play byplay) and Joe Martinez (analysis).

Student Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM will broadcast the game live.

Tape Delay Telecast: On CSS at 12:00 noon and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2, with FrankForte (play by play) and Lamar Thomas (analyst).

Websites: Miami (www.hurricanesports.com) and North Carolina (www.tarheelblue.com)

THIS WEEK’S GAME:

After a surprise bye week because of Hurricane Wilma, the Miami Hurricanes and their top-rankeddefense will finally move into the second half of their schedule by hosting North Carolina at 12:00 noonSaturday at the Orange Bowl. It is the first of five consecutive ACC games to close out the regular seasonfor the 5-1 Hurricanes. Miami has won five straight games and now ranks sixth in the USA TodayCoaches poll, sixth in the Harris poll and sixth in the AP poll. The Hurricanes are the highest-rankedteam with a loss in any of the three polls. They are also seventh in this week’s BCS standings.

Miami is coming off an unscheduled bye week, thanks to Hurricane Wilma, which knocked out powerto 98 percent of south Florida. The threat of the impending hurricane forced last week’s scheduledgame against Georgia Tech to be postponed until November 19 in the Orange Bowl. The Hurricaneshaven’t played since they beat Temple 34-3 in Philadelphia on October 15. In that game, Miami scoredall 34 of its points in the first 18 minutes, then played substitutes the rest of the way. Kyle Wright threwonly 10 passes, but he completed nine of them for 196 yards and four touchdowns. UM’s four scoringdrives totaled only 13 plays and a total time of just three minutes and 47 seconds. Devin Hester scoredthe team’s fifth touchdown on a 48-yard punt return.

In the last four games, the UM defense has allowed only one solitary score in each game, which hadbeen done only two times by UM in the last decade (1996 and 2001). Those scores were a 58-yard fieldgoal by Colorado (to push their consecutive-game scoring streak to 200 games), a fourth-quarter touchdownby South Florida against UM’s reserves, an 81-yard run by Duke, and a 40-yard field goal byTemple four plays after a turnover. In the last four games, Miami has outscored its opponents 136-20.Following a season-opening loss to Florida State, the Hurricanes have defeated Clemson, Colorado,South Florida, Duke and Temple en route to a 5-1 record. The Hurricanes are 2-1 in the ACC and insecond place in the Coastal Division, a game-and-a-half behind Virginia Tech, whom the Hurricanesface in their next game. UM is going after its sixth consecutive victory, something they have done everyseason since 2000.

North Carolina is 3-3 this season, with wins against Utah, North Carolina State and a 7-5 victory overVirginia last week. The Tar Heels suffered season-opening losses to Georgia Tech and Wisconsin anda loss to Louisville two weeks ago.

This will be the ninth meeting ever between Miami and North Carolina, with the Tar Heels holding a5-3 lead in the series. Last year’s meeting, the first between the two teams since 1963, is one Miamiwould like to forget. Connor Barth’s 42-yard field goal on the last play of the game capped a 31-28 upsetand gave the previously undefeated and fourth-ranked Hurricanes their first loss of the season to anunranked opponent.

The Miami starting offense has certainly turned into a quick-scoring unit. In the last two games, UMhad 11 touchdowns, with eight of those drives taking less than 1:33 and none of them more than fourminutes. For the season, the UM offense ranks 64th nationally in rushing, 41st in passing and 52ndoverall. Still, it’s the defense that is leading the way for Miami this season. The UM defense ranks firstoverall in the country, first in pass defense, first in defensive passing efficiency and 16th in run defense.UM ranks second in scoring defense, allowing just 60 points in six games, with 10 of those points comingin overtime.