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Quarterback makes all the right calls

By JOE FRISARO

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 25, 2000


CORAL GABLES -- Maligned Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey is improving his decisionmaking -- on and off the field.

Two of the best calls the sophomore made recently were to former UM quarterbacks Bernie Kosar and Steve Walsh.

Emotionally down after a dismal performance at Washington on Sept. 9, Dorsey sought advice from the Hurricanes' quarterback fraternity.

Whatever Walsh and Kosar relayed worked, because on Saturday Dorsey threw for 291 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 47-10 rout of West Virginia.

Dorsey was prepared for blitzes by the Moutaineers defense and abuse from rowdy West Virginia fans.

"I thought the best thing for me was to talk to guys who have been through it," Dorsey said.

"That's the great thing about the University of Miami. You can call those guys when you have a problem."

Unlike Washington, where the crowd disrupted Dorsey's calls at the line of scrimmage, West Virginia's fans never were really a factor. Three UM defensive touchdowns played a huge part in silencing the stadium.

"The crowd was loud, but it was never a factor for Ken," Miami offensive tackle Joaquin Gonzalez said. "He knew what to expect. He never had that deer-in-the-headlights look he had (at Washington)."

Coach Butch Davis gave Dorsey high marks.

"As tough as losing in Seattle was, Kenny Dorsey grew a lot as a quarterback," Davis said. "He was excellent."

RECORD DAY: Senior Reggie Wayne turned in one of his finest games on a day he set UM's receiving record.

Wayne caught seven passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the Hurricanes' career receptions leader with 146. Former Buc and current Dolphin Lamar Thomas owned the record with 144. Michael Irvin had 143.

Wayne tied Thomas in dramatic fashion, with a 47-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter.

"This feels great," Wayne said. "All the guys that I surpassed makes it outstanding. I'm just glad to get it out of the way."

Wayne will give the game ball to his mother. "Everybody says I'm a mama's boy so this is going to her," he said.

DEFENSE DELIVERS: After two disappointing efforts, the defense finally performed to expectations.

Miami forced four turnovers and returned three for touchdowns.

"We are always seeking big turnovers," said defensive back Leonard Myers, who returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. "But when they result in scores, it is an even bigger momentum swing."

Myers' touchdown tied the score at 7 and swung the game in favor of the Hurricanes.

"We felt a sense of urgency, and Leonard's interception really got us going," linebacker Dan Morgan said.

MOSS MUFFS ANOTHER PUNT: Preseason All-American Santana Moss fumbled a punt for the second straight week.

West Virginia recovered on Miami's 1, and went in for its only touchdown on the next play. At the time, the Mountaineers led 7-0.

The turnover was controversial.

TV replays were unclear as to whether Moss touched the ball, which was bouncing near the sideline. But the officials said the ball deflected off Moss, who made an attempt to jump out of the way.

"That's West Virginia, you know," Moss said. "We don't get calls here."

Moss understandably is rusty. A sprained ankle kept him out of practice for a week and a half.

INJURY REPORT: Backup fullback D.J. Williams injured his hip in the first half. It was not believed to be serious. Linebacker Julio Gimenez may be out for the season after injuring his ACL on special teams.

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