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Line gives QB Dorsey easy day

By JOE FRISARO

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 9, 2000


CORAL GABLES -- Time was on Ken Dorsey's side Saturday. Time to throw, that is. The sophomore was 27-for-42 for 328 yards because he had all day to pass. Well protected, Dorsey delivered in crunch time as the Miami Hurricanes upset Florida State 27-24 at the Orange Bowl.

Much was made before the game about the FSU defense intimidating Dorsey. But Miami's offensive line did not surrender a sack. Seminoles defensive end Jamal Reynolds, who had 10 sacks entering the game, barely applied pressure.

"They gave me a couple of knocks but nothing that concerned me," said Dorsey, who was treated for dehydration in a hospital Saturday night. "No sacks against that group, that says it all."

Coach Butch Davis credited tackles Joaquin Gonzalez and Bryant McKinnie for protecting Dorsey, saying both played "huge, monster games."

"The offensive line did an outstanding job blocking," Davis said Sunday. "The success we had running clearly makes a difference in the passing game because it allowed success using play-action passes, opening up your backs and tight end."

Strong line play enabled Miami to gain 448 yards of offense, including 120 on the ground. UM had the ball for 32 minutes, 42 seconds, to 18 for FSU.

GIVING AND TAKING AWAY: The Hurricanes defense is giving up lots of yardage, but it is getting its fair share of takeaways. UM gave up 565 yards to the Seminoles and forced three turnovers.

In the second quarter, Miami picked off two Chris Weinke passes deep in its territory. Safety Edward Reed ended a Seminoles drive that reached the Miami 26-yard line with an interception at the 2. And on the final play of the first half, with FSU at the UM 2, linebacker Dan Morgan picked off Weinke in the end zone.

"We created turnovers, went in to some adverse situations and made some stops on fourth downs," Davis said.

Miami ranks first in the Big East and fifth in the nation in give-away, take-away ratio with plus-9. For the season, Miami has seven fumble recoveries and 12 interceptions. It is tied for first in the country in interceptions with South Carolina and Virginia Tech.

MEETING EXPECTATIONS: In Davis' six seasons as coach, Miami's program has strived to meet the standards set by the program in the 1980s and early 1990s. Probation made the task more difficult.

Sunday, Davis talked about the relief of finally being in national championship consideration.

"It's hard to describe in words how you feel when good things happen to you," Davis said. "I'm just really happy for the players. Really proud of them. We've really been challenged the last couple years to live up to and challenge the expectations developed in the past, and sometimes that's a hard assignment. Sometimes, I think, it's a little bit unrealistic."

WILLIAMS' FIRST TD: Freshman D.J. Williams, talked out of transferring a couple of weeks ago by his mother, scored his first collegiate touchdown Saturday on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter.

The 6-2, 235-pound fullback is showing muscle running inside. He gained 16 yards on five carries.

Williams' role is expected to increase with senior fullback Will McPartland out indefinitely. McPartland has had three concussions in two seasons, and there is speculation he will miss the rest of the season.

With tailback Clinton Portis (broken toes) also out indefinitely, Miami is thin in the backfield.

Williams is backing up Najeh Davenport, who has started two straight games at fullback. Davenport's natural position is tailback. But at 6-2, 235-pounds, he has fullback size.

UM is throwing more regularly to its fullbacks. Davenport caught four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown, and Williams had three receptions for 13 yards.

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