MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Hurricanes fans have already been given one victory this week when the NCAA went easy on the school. That leaves only one piece of unfinished business, taking care of Wake Forest and turning their attention to arch-rival Florida State.
The Wake Forest game will be a first for Hurricanes head coach Al Golden. After 30 games as the head coach of the Canes, the game on Saturday will be the first for him without the NCAA hanging over the program’s head.
Canes’ fans will also be able to exhale as the team takes the field against Wake Forest with the stench of the NCAA now moving away from the program. It all comes as the Canes continue to defy expectations for this season.
“I think with players, I know our coaches and coaches throughout the country worry about keeping players focused on just playing football,” Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. “I think with what they’ve had to deal with, with the NCAA, I think it would certainly be a relief to coaches and players alike that that’s behind them now and they can really spend more time focusing on football.”
The Canes are one of the surprise teams in the nation with a 7-0 record, a top 10 ranking, and an outside shot at the national championship, depending on how the Canes perform against Florida State next weekend.
But the first order of business is to try to dispose of a Wake Forest team that comes into the game against Miami boasting a two-game winning streak. Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price has also been helping his team just about every way he can.
Last week in a 34-10 victory over Maryland, Price pulled off what the Demon Deacons are calling the football hat trick. Price scored a passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown to help push the Decons past the Terrapins. In the last two weeks, Price has completed 50 of 75 passes.
While Wake Forest’s quarterback situation looks solid, the Canes have some questions surrounding starter Stephen Morris. In UM’s last game, Morris had the first zero touchdown, four-interception game by a UM QB since 2001.
Morris had an off game, but he’s also been dealing with a sometimes gimpy ankle. Morris and the Canes say the ankle is healed and if it is, that will be perfect news for UM’s offense.
The Canes have also benefited from a powerful running game that rushed for 17 touchdowns this season. The Canes have gamebreaker Duke Johnson as a starter and when he goes out, which he has a few times while battling injuries, Dallas Crawford comes in and the Canes don’t miss a beat.
Still, Miami is 2-3 in the week immediately preceding the Florida State game since 2007. If Miami tries to look ahead at the primetime matchup next Saturday with the Seminoles, Wake Forest is more than ready to try to spring the upset in a trap game.
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