No matter what happens Saturday against No. 8 Oklahoma, Miami coach Randy Shannon believes the Hurricanes' brutal opening stretch will have helped his young team, which starts eight sophomores.
After opening with a road win at Florida State and a victory against Georgia Tech, the Hurricanes came back to earth with a 31-7 drubbing at Virginia Tech last Saturday.
Shannon believes the 17th-ranked Hurricanes have already put the loss behind them.
Miami (2-1, 2-1 ACC) hosts the Sooners at 8 p.m. Saturday (ABC).
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"I think it helps a lot," Shannon said of the tough schedule. "When the schedule came out, I said we going to find out where we are as a football team after the first four games. Look at the sophomores and juniors, they have come a long way."
This Bud's for Bud
If anyone in the conference could slow the Miami offense it was thought to be Bud Foster, the Virginia Tech defensive coordinator. The sentiment proved correct as the Hokies limited Miami to 209 yards and Miami quarterback Jacory Harris to 9 of 25 passing last Saturday. "The U might be back," Hokies cornerback Rashad Carmichael said, "but we never left."
The question entering the season for North Carolina was who would replace Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate at receiver? Both receivers are playing in the NFL. True freshman Erik Highsmith is apparently that guy, recording more than 100 yards receiving for a second straight week against Georgia Tech (six catches, 107 yards, touchdown). Not bad for a 6-2, 170-pound, formerly position-less prospect who was rated as the No. 118 athlete in the 2009 class by ESPN.
The incomparable C.J. Spiller
Clemson's do-it-all star is 64 yards from breaking Leon Johnson's (North Carolina 1993-96) conference mark for all-purpose yardage (5,828). Not bad for a guy who was in a time-share for three seasons.
Florida State's secondary
Even though South Florida lost senior quarterback Matt Grothe to injury prior to its 17-7 win against Florida State, freshman quarterback B.J. Daniels was able to top 200 yards passing and threw two touchdowns against the Seminoles. Florida State is last in the conference in pass defense, surrendering 295 yards per game. Tallahassee's wishing you were here, Samari Rolle.
Turtle fear mongering
Fear the turtle? Not so much. The Terps have a minus-10 turnover ratio through four games, the worst in the conference. Maryland did not defeat a I-A opponent in September.
Clemson's passing game
Sure weather has played a part, but so have double-digit drops and errant throws by Kyle Parker. Clemson is last in the ACC in passing efficiency (102.9) and joins Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech as the only conference teams with a sub-50 percent completion percentages.
BY THE NUMBERS
The ACC's winning percentage against the SEC since 1995 (43-62).
Clemson's winning percentage against the SEC since 1995 (12-11), which is buoyed by an 11-3 mark against South Carolina.
Percentage of Clemson offense accounted for by Spiller and Jacoby Ford.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"It' not often they come here and we're not sure why they are coming," said Boston College coach Frank Spaziani of ESPN's decision to hold College GameDay's at Chestnut Hill, Mass. Saturday.