By MICHAEL SNYDER
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 16, 2002
CORAL GABLES -- Three weeks. Three games. Three routs.
Even if the last one was a little ragged.
No. 1 Miami (3-0, 1-0 Big East) won its 25th in a row Saturday, 44-21 at Temple. UM, which hosts Boston College this weekend, won in dominating fashion, though appearances can be deceiving.
"Our win wasn't clean," center Brett Romberg said. "We had guys late coming out of the locker room. Maybe it was because it was our first noon game. We kind of came out flat. We felt like we were still sleeping almost. It never really felt like we were in the game."
It also never felt like Temple, which hasn't had a winning season since 1990, was in the game, despite closing to within 21-14 in the second quarter.
Sophomore Willis McGahee, who rushed for 134 yards and tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns, and quarterback Ken Dorsey, who threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns, were the stars.
"The score is supposed to be more than that," said McGahee, who replaced Clinton Portis, now in the NFL. "We were mediocre. We came out and just took it easy."
The game was played a week after an emotional victory at Florida and a week before playing the team that came closest to beating it last season, so it didn't surprise coach Larry Coker his team sleepwalked to victory.
"It was about what we expected," he said. "They're a tough football team with lots of juniors and seniors. They're playing on their turf. We didn't play our best game. Last week, we had an instate rivalry and the hype that was going on for months."
UNSPECIAL TEAMS: What raised Coker's ire was the poor play of the special teams. There were two bad snaps. One by Chris Harvey caused Todd Sievers to miss a 45-yard field goal, and one by Joey Fantigrassi on a Freddie Capshaw punt resulted in a fumble.
Sievers, considered a front-runner for the Lou Groza Award for the nation's best kicker, also missed a 34-yard field goal and an extra point and had another field goal glance off the left upright before bouncing through. Jason Geathers fumbled a kickoff return. That and Capshaw's fumble led to Temple touchdowns.
Maurice Sikes blocked a punt, and freshman Glenn Sharpe recovered a fumbled kickoff that led to Miami's second touchdown.
"We allowed some bad things to happen to us," Coker said.
CATCHING ON: With receiver Andre Johnson out after shoulder surgery, Miami's passing game didn't miss a beat. Although he dropped two passes, Kevin Beard led Miami with six catches for 67 yards and one touchdown. Redshirt freshman Rosco Parrish (four for 76) and Kellen Winslow (three for 43, one touchdown) also played well.