Brock Berlin has again been the subject of much debate on the Miami-area sports talk shows after throwing for only 99 yards in last week's win at Houston. Tyrone Moss ran for 149 yards, a career-high, so look for UM (3-0) to again use the run to set up Berlin and his inconsistent receiving corps, which will be missing Ryan Moore (ankle).
UM's offensive line will be back to full strength with Rashad Butler's return at right tackle. That puts Chris Myers back at left guard, alongside LT Eric Winston, C Joel Rodriguez and RG Tyler McMeans. Linebacker Leon Williams will also be back from injury.
Miami has struggled in the past against mobile quarterbacks like Reggie Ball, so containing him should be a major key to how Miami fares.
The Yellow Jackets (2-1) will be boosted by the return of DE Eric Henderson, who is their best player on the line.
MICHAEL SNYDER, TIMES CORRESPONDENT
ARKANSAS AT NO. 16 FLORIDA, NOON
Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones is the only returning starter on the Razorbacks' offense, but 18 of their 22 players are juniors and seniors meaning there is some experience among the group. At 3-1, its only loss is a 22-20 heartbreaker to then-No. 7 Texas. Razorbacks quarterback Matt Jones is one of the most versatile in the league, having rushed for 245 yards and passed for 838. But freshman running back Peyton Hillis has been the surprise of the season. He leads the SEC in touchdowns scored (6) and his nine ponts per game is tied for the league lead. Receiver Steven Harris is a primary target for Jones and DeCori Birmingham is a threat as both a punt and kick returner. Still, Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong said stopping Jones is key to keeping the Arkansas offense in check. Florida's defense has started slowly in the first three games but has gotten better as the game goes on and improved each week. It'll be tested again today. As for Florida, its red zone offense stalled last week against Kentucky. If the Gators don't jump out to an early lead, it could be a problem because the second half seems to be Arkansas' forte: it has not allowed a point scored in the fourth quarter in the past seven games and is allowing just 154.8 yards of offense in the second half this season, including 27.3 yards in the fourth quarter. "I've been saying for three years this is as well a coached team as there is in the Southeastern Conference," Florida coach Ron Zook said.
- ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times staff writer
NORTH CAROLINA AT NO. 9 FSU, NOON
A 32-point loss Sept. 11 at Virginia and then a 34-0 loss last week at home to Louisville has turned up the heat on Tar Heels coach John Bunting. His seat was already warm before the season began and folks around Chapel Hill are calling for his job. The offense, last week notwithstanding, hasn't been terrible behind senior QB Darian Durant and senior WR Jawarski Pollack, a former Bradenton Southeast star. UNC is averaging 414.2 yards. But now UNC faces the nation's No. 4 defense (227.0 yards/game). "We've got an incredible challenge coming up down to Tallahassee against a team that seems like it gets almost better every year, particularly on defense," Bunting said. "I think they've got one of the great, great defenses again in the country; tons of speed, very active linebackers, a tremendous secondary. There's a few No. 1 (draft) picks on that defense." UNC's defense has struggled mightily (459.7 yards and 35.2 points) but are facing a first-time starter in redshirt sophomore QB Wyatt Sexton, a player Bunting wanted to sign. Sexton visited UNC on an official visit. "He's a young man I thought had tremendous character, has a lot of physical attributes to play that position and I think he has a tremendous gene pool," Bunting said. "He has a tremendous background with his daddy (FSU assistant Billy) being a great football coach for a long time. We liked his football savvy. We liked the way he approached the game and his caring about the game of football. we also thought he would be a very good student here at Carolina, so we were thoroughly impressed by him."
- BRIAN LANDMAN, Times staff writer
SOUTHERN MISS AT USF, 7
Southern Miss will match Liberty and Western Kentucky with a record fourth game against the Bulls, and you could argue this is USF's best rivalry. The home team has won all three games, with Southern Miss getting a 41-7 win in Hattiesburg in 2000 and a 27-6 win there last year. USF got a 16-13 win in Tampa in 2002, one that was fueled by comments attributed to Golden Eagles coach Jeff Bower in 1999, when he said Conference USA should focus on "quality not quantity" as it considered expansion. Southern Miss voted to bring USF into the C-USA fold, but it still serves as motivation for the Bulls. One key will be the Bulls' running attack of junior Andre Hall and senior Clenton Crossley. Southern Miss has allowed a 100-yard rusher in each of its first two games. The Eagles are ranked 100th nationally in rush defense, giving up 226 yards a game, but they're tough to score on, allowing 15.5 points on average. That was a problem for USF last year, when the Bulls got inside the Southern Miss 12-yard line three times in its first five possessions but got only three points to show for it.
- GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer
UCF AT BUFFALO, 6
In need of some positive news after a month of struggles, UCF starts its Mid-American Conference schedule against a team it has beaten two years in a row. The Golden Knights face Buffalo with a new quarterback, sophomore Steven Moffett, whom coach George O'Leary named starter last week over two others. Buffalo announced Friday that junior quarterback P.J. Piskorik will not start for violating unspecified team rules. Already 0-2 in MAC play, the Bulls have lost seven in a row, dating to last season.
VIRGINIA UNION AT FLORIDA A&M, 7
FAMU plays its first home game a week after securing a much-needed 21-15 victory over Tennessee State in the Atlanta Football Classic. FAMU is Virginia Union's highest-profile opponent this season.
BCC AT MORGAN STATE, 6
BCC, ranked No. 4 in the Sheridan black college poll, is coming off a 43-3 home victory over Norfolk State in its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener. The Wildcats seem to be hitting their stride but have been hurt by penalties (126 yards a game). Morgan State has lost three in a row, falling last week 49-37 to Hampton. The Bears have given up an average of 47 points this season.
LA.-LAFAYETTE AT FIU, 6
This is not just the (hurricane-delayed) home opener for FIU. The game also marks the first time a Division I-A team has visited FIU Stadium. The teams met for the first time last year, a 43-10 Louisiana-Lafayette victory.