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Miami Hosts Marshall in Season Opener

Miami Hosts Marshall in Season Opener

Aug. 28, 2007

Weekly Release
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When: Saturday, September 1, 2007, at 12:04 p.m. ET
Where: Orange Bowl (natural grass; 72,319) in Miami
TV: The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU, with Clay Matvick (play by play) and Larry Coker (analysis).
Tape Delay Telecast: On CSS at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 4.
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: The game will be broadcast live on XM Radio.
Radio En Espanol: The game will broadcast in Spanish on WWWK 105.5 FM and WPIK 102.5 FM with Joe Pujala (play by play) and Joe Martinez (analysis).
Websites:Miami (www.hurricanesports.com) and Marshall (www.herdzone.com)

The Miami Hurricanes will open the Randy Shannon Era on Saturday, September 1 when they host the Marshall Thundering Herd at noon at the Orange Bowl in a nationally televised game on ESPNU.

The game will be the Hurricanes’ first under Shannon, the new head coach who has been a part of three national championship teams at UM as a player, graduate assistant coach and defensive coordinator. Shannon was hired as the school’s 20th head coach on December 8, 2006.

It will be the first game between the two schools. The Hurricanes will play the return game of the home-and-home series in 2011 in Huntington, W. Va.

It will also be the Hurricanes’ first game in their last season in the historic Orange Bowl. On August 22, the University of Miami announced that it would play its home games at Dolphin Stadium beginning in 2008.

The Hurricanes have lost their last two season openers, both to Florida State, after having won the previous nine season openers prior to 2005. And, before 2006, Miami had won eight consecutive home openers dating back to 1998.

The Hurricanes will be led by one of the nation’s strongest defenses. The 2006 defense ranked seventh in the country and this year’s defense figures to rank in the top 10 for the sixth time in the last seven years. The unit is led by All-America candidates DE Calais Campbell and S Kenny Phillips. Six other starters return from a defense that allowed more than 20 points in just two games last year.

Offensively, the Hurricanes have nine starters returning, led by RB Javarris James, four returning offensive linemen and three top wide receivers. The quarterback will be Kirby Freeman, who was named the starter on August 28. Freeman started the final four games of 2006, posting a 2-2 record, with wins over 10-3 Boston College and in the MPC Computers Bowl over Nevada.

Marshall finished 5-7 in 2006, its second season under head coach Mark Snyder, the former defensive coordinator at Ohio State. The Thundering Herd had won four of five games in the second half of last season before losing the final game and a chance to finish at .500. Senior Bernard Morris returns at quarterback, and the offense features star center Doug Legursky and tight end Cody Slate. DE Albert McClellan, who was named Conference USA’s Defensive Player of the year in 2006, has been lost for the season with a torn ACL. The Herd returns 17 starters from a year ago. Marshall had one of the most successful football programs in the nation, qualifying for Division I-AA playoffs six straight years in the 1990s and winning I-AA national championships in 1992 and 1996. After moving up to Division I-A in 1997, the Thundering Herd played in seven bowls in eight seasons.

This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

This is the first game for Randy Shannon. Marshall’s Mark Snyder is 9-14 in two seasons.

Give Randy Shannon his first victory as Miami’s head coach and give the team its first 1-0 start in three seasons.