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Volume 72, Issue 28, Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sports

Hurricanes ready to strike after idle week

by CHRIS ELLIOTT
The Daily Cougar

Week 1 went down to the wire, ending in a three-point loss to long time rival Florida State. Week 2 brought a 51-10 blowout over a Div. I-AA school. 

Then there was Week 3.

In Week 3 the team then deemed by The Associated Press as the 17th-most powerful in the nation received a rude awakening. 

The Miami Hurricanes have had two weeks to find out where they stand after their 31-7 loss to Louisville in Kentucky. Miami head coach Larry Coker said a week of soul-searching for his team might have been just what the doctor ordered heading into Saturday's game against Houston in Miami.

"This time I think the extra week helped us. We'll find out Saturday," Coker said. "It certainly allowed us to get some players back healthy. Also it allowed us to regroup, get back to basics and get better fundamentally as a football team. "My approach with the bye week was, ‘Let's see how good we can be.' We can't be too concerned about anybody else right now but us."

After getting back to the basics, the Hurricanes managed to get around to watching film on the Cougars. Coker said containing UH coach Art Briles' offense will be a problem in itself, and unless the Hurricanes find a way to disrupt senior quarterback Kevin Kolb, the Cougars could move the ball with ease. 

"I think coach Briles does a great job of countering what you do pretty well," Coker said. "We've got to realize that they're going to make some plays. We've got to regroup and not give up the big plays. 

"I think the big thing about their offense, too, is Kevin Kolb. I don't know if the extra week off really helps us identify with him, because he's a great player in that offense. He's been a four-year starter for them, and certainly he's going to be a tremendous challenge for our defense."

Offense has not been Miami's strong point this season. In fact, UH's Kolb will enter the game with more total yards (1,285) and touchdowns (12) than the entire Hurricanes offense (1,039 yards, nine touchdowns).

Coker, however, said his team should have what it takes to put some points on the board in the Orange Bowl on Saturday, especially after having the amount of time they've had to prepare for what he believes is a pivotal game for both schools.

"We've got a tough challenge for us this week," Coker said. 

"We've got to be disciplined, we've got to play with a lot of energy and we've got to make sure offensively we're doing a good job of making first downs and scoring some points."

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