Miami finally can study Gators

CORAL GABLES — There are countless things Miami's players might be doing this morning. Sleeping in seems like a safe bet. Maybe some schoolwork. A nice brunch, perhaps.

Shortly after noon, though, many will settle around televisions, and it won't be to watch Hawaii. Nope, it will be to study Hawaii's opponent. At long last, the Hurricanes can finally start prepping for Florida.

Within minutes of finishing off a 52-7 win over I-AA Charleston Southern in Thursday's opener, plenty of Miami's players already were looking ahead to Week 2 and what would seem to be a giant challenge of traveling to Gainesville and facing reigning Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and the fifth-ranked Gators on Sept 4.

It's a game both sides have awaited for months, especially because the rivals haven't met since the 2004 Peach Bowl.

"That's a big game," Miami linebacker Glenn Cook said. "But I think we have a lot of guys who've been in state championships, been in big games. All it is is on another level."

Another level entirely.

Miami's stats Thursday were eye-popping. The Hurricanes, who played 18 freshmen, held Charleston Southern to 49 yards on 30 rushing attempts, yielded just seven first downs (two by penalty) and outgained the Buccaneers 416-126.

Yet in the locker room afterward, Miami coach Randy Shannon noted his team wasn't overly impressed by the gaudy stats — which pleased him greatly.

"The thing that was unique was after the game was over with, they said, 'That's over. Let's get back to work,' " Shannon said Friday. "You can't just show up and know it's just going to happen for you."

Cincinnati: A judge in Ohio postponed a hearing in quarterback Ben Mauk's lawsuit against the NCAA until Thursday. Mauk wants to be given a sixth season of eligibility, contending an injury prevented him from playing during his freshman year at Wake Forest. He has lost all of his previous appeals to the NCAA.

South Carolina: Coach Steve Spurrier will wait to name a starting quarterback for next week's game against Vanderbilt. In Thursday's 34-0 win over Clemson, junior starter Tommy Beecher threw four interceptions. Sophomore Chris Smelley, who went 4-2 as a starter last season, entered in the fourth and went 5-of-5 with two TDs.

Tennessee: The SEC cleared linebacker Gerald Williams to play. He signed with the Vols in 2005 but was denied eligibility by the NCAA after problems with high school credits. He played at a prep school in 2006 and a junior college in 2007.

Friday's games

Rice 56, SMU 27: Chase Clement threw six touchdowns, three to Jarett Dillard, for the host Owls in a Conference USA matchup that featured the debut of June Jones as Mustangs coach. Jones was hired by SMU after leading Hawaii to last season's Sugar Bowl. Clement, a senior, finished 24-of-37 for 258 yards. Dillard, a senior with 170 catches over the past two seasons, had seven for 89 yards, including scores of 21, 9 and 8 yards.

Temple 35, Army 7: The visiting Owls beat a Division I-A team in a season opener for the first time since 2001. Temple, 4-8 last season after going 4-42 the previous four, beat I-AA Richmond in its 2002 opener and Navy in 2001. The Black Knights have lost seven in a row.

Basketball

Pitt: Point guard Levance Fields had bone graft surgery on his left foot last week, the school disclosed. Fields, who might miss the first few games of the upcoming season, averaged 11.9 points and 5.3 assists last season but missed seven weeks after breaking the same foot Dec. 29.

Tulsa: Charlene Thomas-Swinson, entering her fourth season as women's coach, hired husband Aaron as an assistant. Aaron Swinson played one season for the Suns (1994-95) and had been an assistant for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League the past two seasons.

Miami finally can study Gators 08/30/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 30, 2008 12:11am]

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