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 CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -That ``one game at a time'' cliche didn't exactly hold true in the Miami weight room this offseason. A glance at the Hurricanes' early schedule explains why.
Week 1: Charleston Southern at Miami.
Week 2: Miami at Florida.
One of those meetings isn't on national TV and is against an opponent whom the Hurricanes have no rivalry with.
The other, well, it's against Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and the Gators, when one of college football's premier grudge matches gets renewed.
``When we're playing Charleston Southern, we'll be playing Charleston Southern. When we're ready for Florida, we'll be ready for Florida,'' defensive end Eric Moncur said. ``Just can't wait to play them. Going to be a good game, lot of competition going on on the field, lot of guys psyched up. We'll be ready.''
In the days leading up to the Aug. 28 opener against Charleston Southern - a team that went 5-6 last season against the likes of North Greenville, Savannah State and Wofford - the Hurricanes insist their full attention will be on the Buccaneers, a team the casual college fan probably knows absolutely nothing about.
But this summer, during those grueling early morning weightlifting sessions, there wasn't much barking about Charleston Southern going on among the Hurricanes. Their motivation to get through those workouts? The trip to The Swamp on Sept. 6.
``It was a motto for me this summer,'' defensive back Lovon Ponder said. ``I'd be in there with guys and saying things to them like, 'The bus to Gainesville is leaving. I'm on it. Hope to see you on it.' It just motivated guys to want to work. And when we'd work out, no guys weren't slouching. Guys were working when we said that.''
Miami has won six straight games in the series, with its last loss in 1985. The teams haven't met in a regular-season game since 2003 (when Miami rallied from 23 points down to win 38-33 at the Orange Bowl), but did play in the Peach Bowl following the 2004 season (a 27-10 'Canes victory).
The thinking-ahead to the Sunshine State Showdown wasn't limited to those in Coral Gables, either.
Even Florida coach Urban Meyer acknowledges that he's had a passing thought or two about the Saturday night spectacle that'll surely accompany the 'Canes-Gators matchup.
``I've done my research on it. I understand that we haven't beaten them in quite a while,'' Meyer said last month at the Florida annual football media days. ``I go to sleep at night and dream about what that stadium is going to look like on the second game at 8 o'clock at night.''
At the same time, though, Meyer said that during camp, he'll demand the Gators think only about Week 1 - Hawaii - and not Miami or Georgia or Florida State or any of the other huge games that dot Florida's schedule in 2008.
``If the head coach at the University of Florida allows our players to think about something more than Hawaii, then we've got a problem,'' Meyer said.
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