It's almost game day, so here are some news and notes as 7th-ranked Miami prepares to host Wake Forest on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.
*Miami coach Al Golden penned a letter to UM's student body this week, thanking it for its support through the Hurricanes' first six games. He also urged them to continue making themselves heard at Sun Life as Miami prepares for the second half of its season. You can read his message by clicking here.
*Saturday's game vs. Wake Forest is UM Employee Day and the Hurricanes are expecing a big crowd Saturday. As of 2:55 on Friday afternoon, fewer than 3,910 tickets remained for the game. You can check out Miami's "Operation Sellout" countdown by clicking here. The tarps at Sun Life Stadium will be off for tomorrow's game.
*Hurricanes punter Pat O'Donnell was named one of the 85 candidates for the Ray Guy Award given annually to the nation's top collegiate punter. O'Donnell is averaging 46.0 yards per punt and would be fifth in the nation with that average, but he's averaging 3.3 punts per game while the national average is 3.6.
Here are your game day notes:
Wake Forest (4-3, 2-2) at Miami (6-0, 2-0), noon
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens
Weather: 82 degrees, wind: 13 mph to the northeast, 10 percent chance of rain, 54 percent humidity
Twitter: @ChristyChirinos, #Canes, #WAKEvsMIA
Quick slant: For the first time in over two years, Miami will take the field for a game without the cloud of an NCAA investigation hanging over it. The Hurricanes received notice from Committee on Infractions earlier this week that they will not face any further postseason bans stemming from the Nevin Shapiro scandal, paving Miami’s way to play in its first bowl game since the 2010 Hyundai Sun Bowl.
About Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons roster features 16 players that hail from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. After a 56-7 loss to Clemson, Wake has won two straight, outscoring N.C. State and Maryland 62-23. Wide receiver Michael Campanaro caught the 217th pass of his career in Wake’s 34-10 win over Maryland to become the school’s all-time leader in receptions.
About Miami: The 7th-ranked Hurricanes enter Saturday’s game on an eight-game win streak, tied for fifth longest current streaks among FBS programs behind Ohio State, Alabama, Baylor and Oregon. The Hurricanes edged North Carolina 27-23 last week and with a win could match their best start since 2003 when they opened with seven straight victories.
What to watch:
*Miami quarterback Stephen Morris has moved up Miami’s career all-time passing list this season and is now 4th with 6,138 yards, but he’s looking to bounce back after a tough outing at North Carolina where he threw a career-high four interceptions.
*Wake Forest nose guard Nikita Whitlock has been a force for the Demon Deacons with 45 tackles and a team-high 13.5 tackles for loss. He also has seven sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass break-up.
*After Duke Johnson left last week’s game with an apparent head injury, Dallas Crawford carried the load for Miami and scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Hurricanes, including the game-winner on a 3-yard run. Crawford is Miami’s leading scorer with 10 touchdowns. He’s averaging a TD every 6.3 offensive touches. Johnson is expected to play Saturday.
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