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Miami tunes up for Ohio St.

MIAMI — Jacory Harris looked more than ready for Miami's long-awaited trip to Ohio State.

Harris completed 12 of 15 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns before sitting out the second half, and the 13th-ranked Hurricanes got their first shutout since 2006 by beating Florida A&M 45-0 to open the season Thursday night.

Leonard Hankerson caught the first two of Harris' touchdown passes and finished with 115 receiving yards as the Hurricanes ran out to a 35-0 lead in the first 25 minutes and wound up outgaining FAMU 405-110.

Looming for Miami: a Sept. 11 visit to the second-ranked Buckeyes, the first meeting between the schools since the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, where Ohio State denied the Hurricanes a second straight national title.

"I went out there and took care of my business," Harris said. "As a team, we came out there and did everything we had to do in the first half, and coach sat us out for the rest of the game. I guess it was well-deserved."

With Miami greats Michael Irvin, Edgerrin James and Ottis Anderson looking on, the Hurricanes spent much of the early going in a no-huddle offense.

Damien Berry made it 21-0 with a 32-yard catch-and-run early in the second quarter. Ray-Ray Armstrong had a 22-yard interception return for a score, and Mike James' 1-yard plunge pushed Miami's lead to 35-0 with 5:22 left until halftime.

Lamar Miller added a 5-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.

Philip Sylvester rushed for a team-best 45 yards for the Rattlers, who since 1980 are 0-8 against Miami, outscored by a combined 400-49.

FAMU had some chances. The Rattlers drove to the Miami 19-yard line on their second possession, only to come up empty after Marcus Robinson and Olivier Vernon combined to sack Martin Ukpai for a 14-yard loss. Trevor Scott's 50-yard field-goal attempt bounced off the right upright.

FAMU went 50 yards on 11 plays in that drive, and 20 yards on its other 19 plays of the half.

It was Miami's first shutout since beating Florida International 35-0 on Oct. 14, 2006, the season before Randy Shannon became the Hurricanes' coach.

The 46 games between shutouts was Miami's longest since a 79-game stretch from 1968 to 1976.

Late in the third quarter, running back Graig Cooper got into the game. Cooper badly hurt his right knee in a bowl loss to Wisconsin last season, prompting fears that he would miss this season. He finished with 11 yards on two carries, plus 13 yards on two receptions.

Shannon said he wouldn't start thinking about the Buckeyes until today.

"One thing you never do, never take a victory and not enjoy it," Shannon said. "I told the players and the coaches, 'Enjoy tonight.' "

The Hurricanes never punted.

"At least Ohio State doesn't know what we do in the punt game," Shannon said.

No. 13 UM 45

FAMU 0

LeBron to root for Buckeyes over Miami

CORAL GABLES — LeBron James didn't change all his teams this summer.

The new member of the Heat posted on his Twitter feed Thursday that he's considering going to Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 11 to see the matchup between Ohio State, his longtime team of choice, and Miami. And no, the former Cavaliers star and Akron, Ohio, native isn't rooting for UM. He wrote, "O-State will prevail for sure. Will be exciting!"

Miami and Ohio State opened with wins Thursday. The Hurricanes beat Florida A&M, and the Buckeyes topped Marshall.

James worked out with the UM basketball team twice last week. He has an invitation to join UM for any of its football games this season, and at least two Hurricanes — Jacory Harris and Damien Berry — sent James a note on Twitter asking him to attend Thursday's home opener.

"He's down in Dade County now," Berry said Thursday night. "We're going to try to change his mind and make him a Hurricanes fan."

Associated Press

Miami tunes up for Ohio St. 09/03/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 3, 2010 1:07am]

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