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Hurricanes may lose starters on both lines

Associated press
Published October 25, 2004

CORAL GABLES - Miami defensive tackle Santonio Thomas and right guard Tyler McMeans might miss the rest of the season with knee injuries, coach Larry Coker said Sunday.

Both were hurt in Miami's 45-31 victory at North Carolina State on Saturday night.

The extent of the injuries wasn't clear; more tests were scheduled on both players. But Coker hardly sounded optimistic.

"It doesn't look good for the remainder of the season," Coker said Sunday.

If Coker's fears are confirmed, McMeans would be the second starting offensive lineman Miami has lost for the season. Left tackle Eric Winston, considered a potential top-five pick in next year's NFL draft had he elected to forgo his senior season, ripped up his knee Oct. 2 against Georgia Tech.

Redshirt freshman Derrick Morse replaced McMeans on Saturday.

Thomas is one of Miami's top defensive linemen. The senior also missed virtually all the 2002 season with a shoulder injury.

Coker said center Joel Rodriguez, who missed part of Saturday's game with a knee injury, should be ready for this weekend's game at North Carolina.

Miami otherwise was unscathed after Saturday's win, its second straight comeback victory.

Quarterback Brock Berlin, who fumbled away the second snap of the game and threw an interception to set up the Wolfpack's go-ahead touchdown, bounced back to tie a school record with five touchdown passes.

He had four TDs while the Hurricanes were scoring 31 consecutive points.

Miami has 86 points the past two games, and Berlin has eight TDs in that span. "I just feel comfortable in this offense," the senior said. "Now, like everybody says, I just try to come out and play, and have fun with these guys."

Poll stable at top

No.1 Southern Cal and No.2 Oklahoma have been the top teams in the Associated Press Top 25 since the preseason, a nine-poll run that is the longest to start a season in nine years. There was no movement among the Top 11.

The Trojans and Sooners both improved to 7-0 with blowout wins. In 1995, Florida State was No.1 and Nebraska was No.2 for the first 10 polls.

Boise State moved up one spot to No. 18 after extending the nation's longest winning streak to 18 with a 33-16 victory over Fresno State. It was Boise State's 22nd straight Western Athletic Conference victory and 23rd straight home win, also the longest streak in the country. Fresno State, averaging 204 yards on the ground, was held to 17 on 17 carries.

Florida and Notre Dame dropped from the Top 25 after losses, the Irish after just one week in the rankings.

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