Miami at Wake Preview
Winston-Salem, NC - Miami was riding high with hopes of a possible BCS berth, but now finds itself looking up at most of the teams in the ACC's Coastal Division.
The 18th-ranked Hurricanes look to bounce back from their second conference loss when they visit Wake Forest on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made Miami –7.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 89% of bets for this game have been placed on Miami –7.5 (View College Football bet percentages).
Miami (5-2, 2-2) has played a tough schedule that began with four straight ranked opponents and rose to No. 8 in the country due to its 5-1 start. The Hurricanes, though, fell 10 spots in the rankings and into fifth place in the Coastal with a 40-37 overtime loss to unranked Clemson last Saturday.
They held the lead on seven occasions but failed to put away the Tigers. Miami finished with four turnovers and lost for the second time in its last 115 games when scoring at least 37 points.
"It was just bad," coach Randy Shannon said. "Just bad for special teams, offense, defense, just bad football. We probably played our worst game. ... That was the sloppiest game I've seen us play this year."
The Hurricanes already lost an ACC game to then-No. 11 Virginia Tech on Sept. 26. Only North Carolina is below them in the division.
"This one hurt. I think this loss hurt the team more than anything. This was a big-time hurt loss, because of the way we lost and all the things that happened in the game," Shannon said. "So now, they've got to come on back. We've got to get them out of it. We'll see. I think we'll be fine."
Jacory Harris completed 17 of 27 passes for two touchdowns and 256 yards, but was intercepted three times.
"Nowhere else to go but up," Harris said. "Now two ACC losses, that's kind of big."
Miami has won five straight against Wake Forest (4-4, 2-2), going 3-0 since joining the ACC in 2004. The Demon Deacons' last win in the series came in 1944.
While Miami is the team currently in the Top 25, Wake Forest may actually have a better chance of reaching the ACC title game in Tampa on Dec. 5. The Demon Deacons are in third place in the Atlantic Division, trailing Clemson and Boston College by one-half game.
Wake Forest took a break from conference play and lost 13-10 at Navy last Saturday in a game played in a driving rainstorm. Riley Skinner had a second straight poor game, going 13 of 25 for 173 yards and one touchdown.
"It makes it tough for an offense when a lot of your game plan was based around the throw," Skinner said. "But you can't use that as an excuse for why the offense didn't play well. We just didn't respond to adversity as well as they did."
The Demon Deacons have lost consecutive games after Skinner was 11 for 24 for a season-low 82 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in a 38-3 defeat at Clemson on Oct. 17.
Skinner, though, is tied for the ACC lead with North Carolina State's Russell Wilson with 16 touchdown passes. He needs 51 yards to join former Wolfpack star Philip Rivers as the only ACC quarterbacks to throw for 2,000 in all four seasons.
The Demon Deacons have won four straight at home since a season-opening 24-21 loss to Baylor on Sept. 5. They have won nine of their last 10 conference home games.
Wake Forest, which features an ACC-high 22 seniors on its roster, needs two more wins to become bowl eligible for the fourth straight year.
Miami will be without linebacker Sean Spence, who aggravated a left knee injury at least twice last week. Spence is fourth on the Hurricanes in tackles with 35 through seven games. He has 5 1/2 tackles for losses, along with two sacks.
Posted: 10/27/09 4:22PM ET