Thursday night kings Miami, VaTech matchup Print
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Wednesday, 12 November 2008 13:11
NCAAF Headline News

 MIAMI (AP) -If Miami receiver Kayne Farquharson had his way, the Hurricanes' game against Virginia Tech wouldn't be a prime-time Thursday night affair.
It's not like he won't enjoy the national spotlight.
He just doesn't want to wait around all day for kickoff.
``It's going to kind of be like the 'Rumble in the Jungle,''' Farquharson said. ``Did you ever see the documentary about that? Muhammad Ali couldn't even contain himself. He wanted George Foreman from the minute they got to Africa. That's how it's going to be. We can't wait.''
s of all time is, well, quite a reach. It's more like an elimination bout in the Atlantic Coast Conference, since the winner will stay atop the Coastal Division and remain in the Orange Bowl chase, while the loser will almost certainly be out of the championship picture.
``This is college football's version of Monday Night Football,'' said Miami running back Javarris James, whose cousin Edgerrin James, now of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, will be one of five former Hurricane greats added to the program's ring of honor in a halftime ceremony. ``It's a chance to show everyone else around the nation what you've got. And if you can't get ready for a game like this, you shouldn't be playing.''
If history is any indication, the teams will be ready.
Among ACC teams with at least five appearances in Thursday night games, no one has a record better than the Hurricanes (12-1) and the Hokies (15-3). Virginia Tech added to its run of prime-time success just last week, getting a school-record 253 rushing yards from Darren Evans in a 23-13 win over Maryland.
``I like Thursday nights,'' Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. ``This time of the year, having some rest days certainly helps, and you're the only game on for the most part. The rest of the country is watching you ... so Thursday night in college is always a special night.''
game - it might not be too special for the Hurricanes.
Miami has lost four of the last five meetings with Virginia Tech, and finished with minus-2 yards rushing in last year's 44-14 blowout loss at Blacksburg. And the way Evans ran past, through, over and around Maryland last week certainly caught the eye of the Hurricanes.
``For a young kid, he runs real hard and runs with a lot of heart,'' Miami linebacker Glenn Cook said. ``He doesn't really get brought down by one person, unless you bring it, so we're going to have to gang-tackle and toughen up our pads this week.''
Take those bad memories of last year's beating, add Wednesday's news that standout left tackle Jason Fox will not play because of a sprained right ankle, then combine all that with the fact that the Hokies thoroughly destroyed Maryland's ground game last week and it's not hard to figure out Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon's top concern.
``It's basically the same Virginia Tech team I've been facing and knowing for years,'' Shannon said. ``Coach Beamer and his staff are tremendous. When you watch them on film, they've been able to stay with the same things they've been doing for so many years and they buy into it. Offensively, they want to pound the football, make it a slow game, win the field position and win on special teams.''
Shannon could talk about the nuances of Virginia Tech all day.
andings a minute of his time, and his team seems to be following that lead.
Of course, inside the locker room, the Hurricanes know what's still in their sights. Winning their final three games might be enough to get them into the ACC title matchup for the first time, which would represent a huge accomplishment for a program that was 5-7 a year ago and has freshmen playing all over the field during this supposed rebuilding season.
But they also know Shannon's rules, and that Virginia Tech has to be the singular focus.
``There's one game on the schedule, and it's Virginia Tech,'' Farquharson said. ``People walk in the hallway and say, 'Hey, how's your day going?' And you say, 'Beat Virginia Tech.' They say, 'What's going on?' You say, 'Beat Virginia Tech.' That's how it has to be this week.''
 

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