CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -Only 14 major college teams in the country are currently on longer winning streaks than the Miami Hurricanes, whose run of three consecutive victories has resuscitated what seemed to be a season on the brink of disaster.
Forgive Miami coach Randy Shannon if he's not overly impressed.
Sure, he's happy with the wins. But in Shannon's eyes, merely being 5-3 and 2-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference isn't cause for celebration. So this week, while getting his team ready for a trip to Virginia - which thumped Miami 48-0 last season in the Hurricanes' Orange Bowl finale - Shannon's goal is making sure his young club realizes the rebuilding isn't finished quite yet.
``We've got to go back to the drawing boards and get these guys back focused on football and not everybody patting them on the back, saying how great they are,'' Shannon said. ``They're not great yet. They're just guys right now. We won the game, but I think we've got a lot we can improve on and get better at.''
ake Forest on Saturday gave the Hurricanes back-to-back wins in the ACC for the first time in two years. Quarterback Robert Marve ran for a touchdown, Matt Bosher kicked three field goals and Miami played turnover-free football while rallying from a halftime deficit for the second straight week.
``They've got spirit now,'' Shannon said.
And again, the freshmen played like upperclassmen.
Travis Benjamin had four catches for a game-high 72 yards, fellow true freshman Thearon Collier sealed the win with a 25-yard pass from Marve with 3 minutes left, and redshirt freshman Adewale Ojomo forced a key fumble on the final play of the third quarter.
``Early in the season, we didn't open the playbook too much,'' Miami running back Javarris James said. ``But as the guys grow up, we can do a lot more, and that's what we're doing now. It's a lot different from Game 1 to Game 8. Game 1, they're right out of high school. They're settling in now and they can make plays.''
They'll need to keep that trend going next Saturday in order to stay in the ACC race.
Not only has Virginia beaten Miami the past two seasons, the Cavaliers are 27-3 at home against unranked ACC teams since 1997. A month ago, the Cavaliers were 1-3 and rumors were swirling over coach Al Groh's job security. Now Virginia has won four straight and has the inside track on representing the Coastal Division in the championship game.
t's a huge challenge for us,'' Shannon said. ``It's a road game, it's a conference game, Virginia's on a roll now and playing very well - they're not turning the football over and defensively they're playing sound football. This is going to be a different front than we've ever seen, a three-man line. We don't face three down linemen, ever, until we face Virginia.''
Knowing that, it's no wonder Shannon doesn't want Miami reading too much into its win streak. At this time a year ago, the Hurricanes were exactly where they are right now - 5-3, 2-2 in the ACC.
And the 2007 team didn't win another game, eventually posting Miami's worst record in 30 years, a dismal stretch perhaps epitomized by that 48-point beating on what quickly became a gloomy night at the Orange Bowl, which has since been dismantled.
Shannon says he won't bring up the 48-0 outcome much this week.
He doesn't want to relive it.
``I don't worry about it,'' Shannon said. ``It's two different teams now.''

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