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ARKANSAS STATE AT MIAMI

WHEN/WHERE: 4 p.m.; Orange Bowl.

RECORDS: Arkansas State 1-7, Miami 3-4.

LINE: Miami by 40{.

COACHES: Arkansas State _ Joe Hollis (1-7, first season). Miami _ Butch Davis (20-10, third season).

A PERFECT .500: A win gives Miami a 4-4 record and makes four straight losses earlier in the season more bearable. The real test, of course, comes in two of the final three games, against Virginia Tech and Syracuse. Those games will decide whether the Hurricanes qualify for a bowl and, perhaps, earn a piece of the Big East championship.

JAMES TO START: Sophomore Edgerrin James is expected to start at running back. James was limited in last week's win against Temple with a shoulder injury. The week before, James rushed for a school-record 271 yards against Boston College. James finished with 155 yards of total offense against Temple, highlighted by a 79-yard TD on a swing pass.

NOTES: Since joining the Big East, the 'Canes are 21-2 in November. Walk-on Jeff Popovich appears to be UM's new return man on kickoffs. Freshman Santana Moss had the job against Temple, but he muffed the opening kickoff and fumbled another return. Starving for depth on the offensive line, the Hurricanes will keep former defensive lineman Robert Hall at tackle for the rest of the season. Miami LB Rod Mack hopes to return Nov. 8 against Virginia Tech. Mack had knee surgery Oct. 20.

_ CHARLES MULLING

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