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Hurricanes: FSU should test streak

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 7, 2002


CORAL GABLES -- As expected, No. 27 was a laugher. The next one might be more difficult -- key word being "might."

CORAL GABLES -- As expected, No. 27 was a laugher. The next one might be more difficult -- key word being "might."

The top-ranked Hurricanes scored on five of six first-half possessions, built a 42-0 lead before sending most of the starters to the bench and defeated Connecticut 48-14 Saturday night.

After starting slow two weeks ago against Boston College, Miami made sure it could start looking ahead to No. 9 Florida State well before the half. The Huskies scored their touchdowns late as the 'Canes celebrated extending the nation's longest winning streak.

Or as senior center Brett Romberg summed up, "We did whatever we wanted."

Whether FSU, which has lost to Louisville in overtime on the road and struggled to beat Clemson at home, can prevent Miami from rolling will be the topic from Panama City to Key West this week.

There was no debate the Huskies were overmatched.

Willis McGahee, who does nothing to quiet growing Heisman talk, rushed for 107 yards on 11 carries and scored the first three touchdowns. He has 640 yards rushing this season, despite often heading for the bench in the second half. He has four straight 100-plus yard games.

"To me he's a Heisman Trophy candidate," UConn coach Randy Edsall said.

The "other" UM Heisman candidate, quarterback Ken Dorsey, completed 19-of-26 for 216 yards and three touchdowns -- two to Kevin Beard and one to Ethenic Sands -- before making a quick exit. Miami also got a defensive touchdown from Andrew Williams, who returned a fumble 56 yards.

Miami, after losing five in a row to Florida State from 1995-99, has beaten the Seminoles the past two meetings.

"No matter how they're playing, they're a different breed when they come down here," Romberg said. "This is my last year playing against them and I definitely don't want to leave a loser."

Added Dorsey: "If Florida State didn't win any of their games, and we didn't win any of our games, our stadium would still be sold out. That's Florida State-Miami right there."

NOT PERFECT: Coach Larry Coker wasn't thrilled his second-unit defense allowed a TD pass late in the third quarter or that special teams allowed a Freddie Capshaw punt to be blocked and returned for a TD, something that has happened two other times this season.

"Our (backups) didn't score a touchdown and gave up two touchdowns," Romberg said. "So we've got some work. We're not a perfect team by any stretch."

Dorsey also threw an interception, and Sands fumbled on a punt return.

INJURED FAN UPDATE: A man who fell about 30 feet from the upper deck of the Orange Bowl probably was not pushed, but police are not sure what happened.

The man, whom police said is in his 20s, was in critical condition with head injuries Sunday, according to hospital officials and Miami Police Department spokeswoman Herminia Salas-Jacobson.

She said the man crossed a fenced-off area near vending stands and bathrooms before falling. His identity was not being released until his family was notified.

NOTEWORTHY: Dorsey was sacked late in the second quarter, the fifth sack in as many games. Miami gave up only four sacks last season. ... Saturday's 52,131 has Miami on pace to break the average home attendance record. The Hurricanes are averaging 64,767. And Miami still has big home games against Florida State and Virginia Tech -- both expected sellouts -- and a Thursday night matchup with Pittsburgh.

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