6-6 (3-5), 4th Atlantic Coast - Coastal
8-4 (5-3), 3rd Western Athletic
For the Miami Hurricanes fans and players this season can't end soon enough. On the field they have struggled, winning only 6 games. Their coach who lead them to a national title and another appearance in the game was fired, and this will be his final game coaching at Miami. Their Defensive Coordinator Randy Shannon will take over for Larry Coker after this game. Then there was the Brawl during the Florida International game that put a dark cloud over both teams. Off the field they had to deal with losing a teammate Bryan Pata in a tragic murder. Nevada, coached by Chris Ault who is fifth on the active Division 1-A wins list, comes into the game wanting to prove that they can play with the big boys. The have one loss in the conference to Boise State and would like nothing other than to send Miami home with a losing season for the first time in 9 seasons.
The Hurricanes thought coming into the season that Kyle Wright was going to have a breakout year but it is Kirby Freeman's for the moment. In 7 games Freeman has passed for 600 yards with 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. True freshman Javarris James leads the team in rushing with 767 yards and 4 touchdowns but offensively the Canes only average 19 points per game. Their defense however is still tough. The Canes are only allowing 66.0 yards per game on the ground and did not give up over 100 yards on the ground in 10 of their 12 games.
The Wolfpack average 31 points per game on the offensive front and are use to playing on the Blue Turf in Boise. In the Pistol Offense they average over 175 yards on the ground and through the air respectively. Jeff Rowe is the man under center with 1700 yards passing and 16 touchdowns. Robert Hubbard leads the team on the ground with over 900 yards rushing while Luke Lippincott has 9 touchdowns on the ground. Cane's QB must keep an eye out for Joe Garcia in the defensive backfield. Garcia has 6 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.
I think Miami has a lot to play for in this game. They want to prove that this season was a fluke, like their counterpart Florida State did in their win in the Emerald Bowl. The Wolfpack are a good team but will have a hard time finding any running room against this tough Cane's run defense. That will make them go one-dimensional and that is where the Miami athletes take over. Miami has played a lot of freshman this season, but by this stage of the season they aren't green anymore. I think James will have a big game running and catching the ball out of the backfield. The Canes win on the Blue Turf. Miami 27-14
Brian from CFR