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Miami Hurricanes Face FIU: What To Watch For

Alex Donno
September 20, 2018 - 11:21 am
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For the first time in eleven years, the Miami Hurricanes will face cross-town rivals FIU in a football matchup with no shortage of storylines. 

FIU head coach Butch Davis coached Miami from 1995-2000. He was one of the most successful recruiters in Canes history, assembling the team that would go on to win the 2001 national title under Larry Coker. 

The quarterback of that team was Ken Dorsey, who now serves as FIU's assistant athletic director. His boss, AD Pete Garcia, was Miami's director of football operations during the Butch Davis era. 

Is it safe to assume they will all be chomping at the bit for a victory over Miami? Coach Davis already knows that feeling. During his four years as head coach of the North Carolina Tarheels, Butch went 3-1 against the Canes. 

Several FIU students and alums grew up rooting for Miami, which has led to several pleas on social media from FIU diehards urging their brethren to cast aside their orange and green allegiances in favor of their Panther pride. 

You'll even see FIU fans try and convince... themselves (?) that their school is more 'Miami' than Miami. 

This game takes on the feeling of a big brother - little brother rivalry, and it should result in a fun, competitive game day atmosphere. 

Miami will look to build on their performance from Week 3. The Canes dominated Toledo 49-24 at the Glass Bowl, shattering the Rockets' hopes of a signature upset victory. 

Rosier's Rollin'

Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier played his best game since November of 2017. He threw for 205 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. He ran for 3 TD's, racking up 80 rushing yards in the process. He's the first Miami quarterback to throw for 2 TD's and rush for 3 in the same game since 2003. Is he rising to the occasion now that his leash as the starter is getting tighter, or was last Saturday a fluke?

Rosier has taken notice of the criticism he gets from Canes fans. After scoring on a 37 yard rushing touchdown, Rosier put his finger over his mouth to shush the fans. The game was in Toledo, but he noted that the gesture wasn't only for Toledo's supporters. 

My thought on this is simple. Malik, if you can consistently play the way you did last Saturday, the boos and the jeers you get from Hurricanes fans will stop. I vividly remember Brock Berlin getting booed in 2003, but recovering to have a nice career at The U. The boos stopped when his level of play rose. 

Injury bug

Hurricanes safety Jaquan Johnson and wide receiver Ahmmon Richards are both day to day with lower body injuries. Richards has only played one half of football so far this season. He caught 1 pass for 9 yards in the LSU game. In the meantime, sophomore Jeff Thomas has emerged as Miami's top wide receiver. He's hauled in 11 receptions for 304 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Jaquan Johnson is irreplaceable. He injured his hamstring in the first half of the Toledo game. He desperately tried to loosen up enough to return, but couldn't. If he's fully healthy, he'll play this week. But, if there's any question mark, Miami might sit him this week to ensure he's 100% for the start of ACC play. 

Deejay is balling

So far, Miami's best running back has been sophomore speedster Deejay Dallas. He exploded for 110 yards and a touchdown against Toledo, racking up 6 and a half yards per carry. 

With Travis Homer off to a slow start and true freshman Lorenzo Lingard still learning the nuances of college ball, Dallas' dominance has been welcomed and needed. 

Game Time

The 21st ranked Canes will look to improve to 3-1 this Saturday, September 22nd, when they face the FIU Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30pm. You can listen to the game on 560 WQAM, with our coverage starting at 11:30.