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Hurricanes Set to Host FIU Saturday

Hurricanes Set to Host FIU Saturday

Sept. 11, 2007

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Saturday, September 15, 2007, at 3:30 p.m. ET
Orange Bowl (natural grass, 72,319) in Miami
The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU, with Doug Bell (play by play) and Mike Gottfried (analysis).
Tape Delay Telecast:
On CSS at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18.
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 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).
Miami (www.hurricanesports.com) and FIU (www.fiusports.com).

The University of Miami will attempt to get back on track in the friendly confines of the Orange Bowl when they host the cross-town Florida International Golden Panthers at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.

The Hurricanes are coming off a 51-13 loss at Oklahoma last Saturday and are now 1-1 this season under head coach Randy Shannon. Miami is virtually unbeatable in the Orange Bowl, having won 11 of the last 14 games, including two in a row. And they have won 14 of the last 16 games in the Orange Bowl against teams from the state of Florida.

The last time Miami was defeated as soundly as they were last weekend was a 66-13 loss to Syracuse in 1998. One week later, they rebounded from that game with a 49-45 win over No. 3-ranked UCLA.

FIU is 0-2 under Mario Cristobal, a former Miami Hurricanes star player and coach, after losing to Penn State and Maryland. Miami and FIU are only 11 miles apart and have numerous connections between coaches and players on each team (see below).

This is only the second game ever between the two schools. Last Oct. 14, Miami defeated the Golden Panthers 35-0 at the Orange Bowl. This is the last game of a two-game series.

Last Saturday, Miami struggled mightily, although they did close the gap to 21-13 in the third quarter before allowing 30 consecutive points. “We had the opportunity to change the momentum of the game in the third quarter, but we didn’t capitalize on it,” said Shannon. “We can’t make excuses. We have to keep working at it and we have to execute. We can pull some positives out of this game. It’ll be a good learning tool.”

THE OPPONENTFlorida International started its football program in 2002, going 5-6 that season. They followed with records of 2-10, 3-7 and 5-6 before going winless in 12 games last year.

This will be the second meeting between the two schools, and Miami has a 1-0 lead in the series, having won 35-0 in 2006.

Randy Shannon is 1-1 at Miami. FIU’s Mario Cristobal is 0-2. Both are in their first season as a head coach. They were teammates in 1989 when Shannon was a senior and Cristobal was redshirted as a freshman. Shannon was a graduate assistant coach in 1991-92 during Cristobal’s junior and senior seasons.

Give Miami a 2-1 record as they prepare for ranked Texas A&M five days later in a nationally televised Thursday night game in the Orange Bowl.

FIU starting left tackle Xavier Shannon is the son of UM head coach Randy Shannon … FIU wide receiver Lloyd Moss is the younger brother of former Hurricanes stars Santana and Sinorice Moss … FIU freshman linebacker Jarvis Wilson is the younger brother of current Hurricane starting safety Kenny Phillips … FIU head coach Mario Cristobal was the offensive line coach for the Hurricanes in 2006. During the 2004 and 2005 seasons, he was the tight ends coach. Cristobal was a first team All-Big East selection for Miami as an offensive tackle from 1988-92 … UM head coach Randy Shannon and FIU head coach Mario Cristobal were teammates in 1988, Cristobal”s freshman year (redshirted) and Shannon’s senior season. Shannon was a graduate assistant during Cristobal”s last two seasons as a player (1991-92) … FIU running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Mike Cassano was a volunteer and graduate assistant coach at UM from 2005-06 … FIU defensive line coach Bernard Clark was a standout linebacker on UM’s 1987 and 1989 national championship teams. He was the MVP of the 1988 Orange Bowl Classic in the win over No. 1 Oklahoma. Clark also was a teammate of Randy Shannon … FIU offensive line coach Greg Laffere was a two-year letterman at Miami, where he started 16 games and helped UM win a national championship in 2001, when Randy Shannon was defensive coordinator … FIU defensive backs coach Jeff Popovich served as a graduate assistant coach at Miami for two years (2005-06). Popovich was a walk-on at Miami and lettered four years. He played in three Bowls (Sugar, Micron PC and Carquest) and coached in another two (Micron PC, Peach) while at UM … Miami assistant DL coach Clintt Hurtt coached FIU’s defensive line two seasons ago … FIU director of football operations Matt Winston worked as an assistant to the football operations director for two years. FIU assistant director of football operations Dennis Smith is a UM alumnus, who worked with the football operations director, the equipment room and as a defensive assistant as an undergraduate at UM … FIU athletics director Pete Garcia was the senior associate athletics director at UM before taking over as AD at FIU last October.

Miami has won 14-of-16 games against teams from the state of Florida since 2000, including an 8-1 record at home. The two losses were season openers against Florida State in 2005 and 2006. Overall since 1985, the Hurricanes have won 27 of their last 37 games (.730) against Sunshine State opponents.

Miami’s last 16 games against in-state opponents:
Miami 35, Florida International 0, Oct. 14, 2006, Orange Bowl
Miami 51, Florida A&M 10, Sept. 9, 2006, Orange Bowl
Florida State 13, Miami 10, Sept. 4, 2006, Orange Bowl
Miami 27, South Florida 7, Oct. 1, 2005, Orange Bowl
Florida State 10, Miami 7, Sept. 5, 2005, Doak Campbell Stadium
Miami 27, Florida 10, Dec. 31, 2004, Georgia Dome (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl)
Miami 16, Florida State 10 (OT), Sept. 10, 2004, Orange Bowl
Miami 16, Florida State 14, Jan. 1, 2004, Pro Player Stadium (Orange Bowl Classic)
Miami 22, Florida State 14, Oct. 11, 2003, Doak Campbell Stadium
Miami 38, Florida 33, Sept. 6, 2003, Orange Bowl
Miami 28, Florida State 27, Oct. 12, 2002, Orange Bowl
Miami 41, Florida 16, Sept. 7, 2002, Florida Field
Miami 63, Florida A&M 17, Aug. 31, 2002, Orange Bowl
Miami 49, Florida State 27, Oct. 13, 2001, Doak Campbell Stadium
Miami 37, Florida 20, Jan. 2, 2001, Louisiana Superdome
Miami 27, Florida State 24, Oct. 7, 2000, Orange Bowl