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Season Preview - Miami Hurricanes

Returning Starters

Offense (9)
WR - Lance Leggett (Sr.)
WR - Sam Shields (So.)
LT - Jason Fox (So.)
LG - Andrew Bain (Sr.)
RG - Derrick Morse (Sr.)
RT - Reggie Youngblood (Jr.)
TE - Chris Zellner (Jr.)
QB - Kyle Wright (Sr.)
RB - Javarris James (So.)

Defense (7)
DT - Teraz McCray (Sr.)
DE - Calais Campbell (Jr.)
LB - Glenn Cook (Sr.)
CB - Glenn Sharpe (Sr.)
CB - Randy Philips (Jr.)
SS - Lovon Ponder (Jr.)
FS - Kenny Phillips (Jr.)

Returning Leaders
Passing: Kyle Wright, 250-152-1,655-7, 8 TDs
Rushing: Javarris James, 175 carries, 802 yards, 4 TDs
Receiving: Lance Leggett, 38 receptions, 584 yards, 4 TDs
Tackles: Calais Campbell, 84 total, 49 solo
Sacks: Calais Campbell, 10.5
Interceptions: Kenny Phillips, 4

2006 National Rankings

Offense Per Game Rank
Scoring 19.6 87
Rushing 116 84
Passing 197.5 62
Total 313.5 87
Defense Per Game Rank
Scoring 15.5 13
Rushing 67.9 4
Passing 187.7 40
Total 255.5 7

For the second game in a row Norman, Oklahoma will be the first road trip for a new head coach. The Sooners will be challenged by a stingy Hurricanes defense that allowed only 67.9 yards on the ground per game last season. It appears that attacking Miami through the air may be Oklahoma's best chance to put points on the board but the Hurricanes return all four starting defensive backs from last year and we know as well as anyone that a year can make all the difference in the world. Combine the experience in Miami's defensive backfield and the inexperience at quarterback for the Sooners and Oklahoma could have their work cut out for them to score points.

Defensively the Sooners could give Miami just as many struggles, if not more. Hurricanes' running back Javarris James lacks break away speed and Miami's receiving corps was less than stellar last season. Part of the reason Miami ranked only 62 nationally in their passing game was the ineffectiveness of Kyle Wright who was replaced down the stretch by Kirby Freeman. The other issue with Miami's passing game was an offensive line that couldn't keep containment.

The key for beating the Hurricanes is the same as for them beating the Sooners. Stop the rushing game! There is no doubt in my mind that the team who controls the line of scrimmage and moves the ball on the ground will come out on top.

To move the ball effectively on the ground the opposing defense has to at least respect your passing game. Until I actually see a starting quarterback for the Sooners its going to be impossible for me to find a way to expect Miami to not stack the box against Oklahoma.

Sorry but I'm actually going to have to see an Oklahoma passing game to not pick a Miami upset in Norman.

North Texas Preview