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Hurricanes show off their "scary' defense

Somewhat lost in the fanfare surrounding sophomore Devin Hester's two punt returns for touchdowns Saturday was the performance of Miami's defense, which had no trouble shutting out Louisiana Tech 48-0.

No. 4 Miami (2-0) has not allowed an offensive touchdown. The shutout was the Hurricanes' first since Nov. 17, 2001, 59-0 over Syracuse on their way to the national championship.

"It is just a great defense. They are scary," Louisiana Tech coach Jack Bicknell said. "They do a great job of putting extra guys down there for the run, so they took that away."

Miami has given up just 109 net rushing yards, 57 against Florida State and 52 against Louisiana Tech.

Miami also had six sacks, and five players forced fumbles.

"They do such a good job doing what they are coached to do," Miami quarterback Brock Berlin said. "They're a special group, and it's good to know you have a defense like that backing you up."

There's not much time to celebrate. Miami plays at Houston (1-2) at 7:30 Thursday night on ESPN.

The Hurricanes have not had this few days between games since 1997. That season, they lost on a Saturday 23-12 to No. 13 Arizona State and the next Thursday to No. 22 Pittsburgh 21-17. It was a tough season all around. Miami went 5-6 and was on probation.

Things could get ugly fast for the Cougars, who needed two touchdowns in the final 6:38 to beat Army 35-21 Saturday. The Cougars already have allowed 16 sacks.

CANES VS. TROJANS?: Sure it's way early, but ESPN.com has put together mock BCS standings that have Southern Cal and Miami Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. The first BCS standings won't be out until Oct. 18.

Only four of the six BCS computers are publishing results, and the rankings are skewed because there have been so few games. But with a perfect score being 1.000, USC has 0.954 and Miami 0.918. Third is Texas (0.834) with everyone else below 0.800.

B-CC BLUES: Since Hurricane Frances wiped out Bethune-Cookman's season opener against Savannah State and kept it off the evacuated campus for nearly two weeks, things have gotten only worse. Last week, freshman Kovensky Pierre was killed in a car accident on his way back from Tallahassee, where he had dropped off a friend.

Willie Jackson, a teammate at Delray Beach Atlantic who signed with B-CC but was academically ineligible, was seriously injured.

The Wildcats seemed to get it together Saturday against Grambling but lost 24-23 in the final seconds on a 36-yard field goal. There will be some comfort at home this week, however. B-CC plays Norfolk State (0-2) in its home opener Saturday to open Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play.

DECISION TIME: After encouraging three quarterbacks to compete for the starting job, UCF coach George O'Leary said a clear choice for No. 1 has emerged. Only he isn't saying who.

"In my mind, I've already set what we're doing, and I'll announce it on Wednesday when the team is back practicing," he said.

UCF (0-3) has a bye and is taking Monday and today off.

None stood out in a 37-13 loss to a Penn State team that committed six turnovers. Together, freshman Kyle Israel, junior Brandon Sumner and sophomore Steven Moffett were 13-of-33 for 121 yards and an interception.

TOUGH START: After losses to I-A Illinois, Tulane and Temple, Florida A&M is 0-3 for the first time in 20 years. Things get a bit easier, at least for awhile.

The Rattlers, who have what is considered by some to be the toughest I-AA schedule in history, have three weeks of I-AA teams before traveling to Virginia Tech on Oct. 16. FAMU faces Tennessee State (3-0 and no pushover) in Atlanta on Saturday.

Information from the Miami Herald was used in this report.

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