For the second season in a row, the Miami Hurricanes look to recover from a demoralizing loss against the Kansas State Wildcats with a visit from the Bethune-Cookman College Wildcats. In 2011, Miami followed up a last-second loss to K-State with a 45-14 triumph over BCC at Sun Life Stadium.
The FCS Wildcats will face their toughest test against the Canes, the only FBS team on its schedule. "We can play with these teams," BCC head coach Brian Jenkins said this week.
"If I didn't think we could be competitive, I wouldn't take the games. We're preparing to go in and win this game. These are not show up and get paid games. We're going in to compete."
When the Canes have the ball: While the offense hummed along against Boston College in the opener, against a much better K-State defense the Canes could only muster 55 rushing yards with 3 turnovers. Last year the Canes started out slow against BCC (falling behind 7-0, and up 24-14 after three quarters) before putting the game away with 21 fourth-quarter points.
Duke Johnson fell back to earth last week, with 24 yards on 6 carries. Against a slower bunch of Wildcats this weekend, look for him to break off a long run or two like he did against Boston College. Keep an eye out for BCC DE LeBrandon Richardson, who leads the FCS nation in sacks per game.
When the Wildcats have the ball: If Miami's debacle in Manhattan taught BCC anything, it's that the Canes are weak on the defensive front. K-State gashed Miami for 288 yards on the ground, with 6 of their 7 touchdowns coming on running plays.
With S Vaughan Telemaque and LB Ramon Buchanan out, freshman Deon Bush and junior Jimmy Gaines will be expected to step up.
Who has the edge? As disoriented as Miami looked last week, it is still hugely unlikely that the Wildcats can pull off the upset. They will have plenty of motivation, with 16 players on the roster from Dade and Broward. But motivation rarely trumps a talent disparity this wide.
The Pick: History repeats itself, Miami 45-BCC 14
Kickoff is on noon Saturday, with coverage on WatchESPN/ESPN3.com.