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 CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -For the Miami Hurricanes, this has the ingredients of a big game. A ranked opponent and national television coverage under the lights of the Orange Bowl.
Forgive Miami quarterback Kyle Wright if he doesn't seem to care about all that.
M (3-0) on Thursday night, a game that could give Miami a big boost heading into Atlantic Coast Conference play and maybe even provide a springboard back to the national spotlight.
There was a time where that sort of buildup would have mattered to Wright. Not anymore.
``We're ready to play a football game,'' Wright said. ``When you're out on the field you don't get caught up in the cameras and the national spotlight.''
He makes it sound so simple.
But in actuality, facing ranked teams has been anything but easy for Wright.
Against teams outside the AP Top 25 in his career, Wright is nearly flawless, going 13-1 with 23 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and throwing for nearly 3,000 yards. But in eight starts against ranked foes, Wright has a 2-6 record with four touchdowns and seven interceptions.
His quarterback rating against unranked teams is 30 points higher than his rate against Top 25 clubs.
``When you break it down in wins and losses, I guess you do compile a resume,'' Wright said. ``But I'm just worried about going out and getting a win - nothing for myself or for my resume or anything like that. I think it'll be a great team win if we pull it out Thursday night.''
Miami coach Randy Shannon isn't exactly a fan of any stat other than wins and losses, so it's no surprise he hasn't broken down Wright's numbers. All he would like to see the senior do is control the game, not force throws or turn the ball over.
``Kyle needs to understand that he doesn't have to win the game,'' Shannon said. ``He just has to get the ball in the players' hands. ... Don't try to make the difference in the play and he'll be fine.
Miami has dropped eight of its last 11 games against ranked teams, including a 51-13 loss at Oklahoma two weeks ago. The Hurricanes' passing offense struggled mightily in the early part of the season, prompting Miami to promote Wright back to the starting role he lost to Kirby Freeman in training camp.
Wright responded, throwing for 224 yards Saturday against Florida International in his first start of the year and could be poised for a big night against the Aggies - who've yielded an average of 383 yards.
M coach Dennis Franchione sounded a bit concerned.
``They're solid. They've got the ability to throw the ball down the field and make big plays,'' Franchione said. ``Their offensive line is playing pretty good. They seem to have settled with Kyle Wright at quarterback right now and seem to be pleased with the way he's playing and what he's been able to do for them.''
M players know plenty about the Hurricanes' tradition and say that hasn't been diminished by Miami's 9-8 record in its last 17 games.
M defensive back Marquis Carpenter, a Florida native who grew up rooting for the Hurricanes. ``No matter what they go through, they're always going to have a group of guys who are pretty good and can play some good ball.''
Wright surely hopes to prove Carpenter right.
``It's been a while since, it seems, like we've had a big victory,'' Wright said. ``And Thursday night we'll get our chance.''
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