September 3, 1998

CORAL GABLES, FL–The University of Miami Hurricanes conducted a 90minute practice in shells this afternoon at the Greentree Practice Fieldin preparation for the 1998 season-opener against East Tennessee State.Anticipation is high as the Hurricanes await Saturday’s match-up againstthe Buccaneers. It marks the first time in four years that Miamiopens a season at home.

“Our players are really pumped up about this game,” said coach ButchDavis. “They looked very sharp today and showed more intensity thanin previous workouts this week. There are still some things we needto clean up in the second unit but we’re ready to play this game.”

Following practice, Davis announced that kickers Andy Crosland andtrue freshman Todd Sievers will likely alternate kick off responsibility.

“Depending on how each quarter goes,” said Davis, “Andy and Todd willmost likely alternate by quarters or kicks. Andy will start the gameas the kicker and will continue being the extra point and field goal kickerand punter, but we do intend to give Todd some kicks this game.”

Davis has not decided on whether Nate Brooks or Markese Fitzgeraldwill start at left cornerback but announced that Michael Smith, nursinga sprained right ankle, will be replaced by Rod Mack at sam linebacker.

“We feel good about starting Rod Mack at the sam position,” said Davis.”Rod has started at middle linebacker in previous seasons and is preparedfor this game. We’ll see how Michael feels during warm up and ifhe’s not 95 percent or better, he will not play.”

In addition to kicking off a new season, the University of Miami introducesa number of fan conveniences and enhancements to the Orange Bowl.New this season is Touchdown Alley, an interactive family fun zone in theeast end zone; Storm Front student tailgate in Lot N2 featuring free foodand beverages, contests, music and giveaways for UM students with validCane Card; On site game day parking for $12 in Lots W4, N1 and N2; $5 Parkand Ride shuttle to the Orange Bowl from Lot 18 (N. River Dr. & NW12th St.); Fireworks during night games; Team entrance onto the field througha giant, smoke-filled inflatable UM helmet.

The Hurricanes are also participating in the “Take a Kid to the Game”promotion in which one free youth ticket (children 17 and under) will begiven with every full priced, $8 adult ticket. Tickets will be onsale game day at the Orange Bowl’s NE ticket plaza starting at 5:30.

Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. kickoff will be televised tape-delay on SportsChannelFlorida at 11:30 p.m.

Season and single-game tickets are available at the UM ticket office,all TicketMaster locations, or can be ordered by phone at 1-800-GO-Canes.