Dawgs aren’t intimidated by Miami

  • John Sleeper / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, November 22, 2001 9:00pm
  • Sports

By John Sleeper

Herald Writer

SEATTLE – Respectful, yes. Intimidated? Not discernibly.

The Washington Huskies appear to see Saturday’s clash at No. 1 Miami as an opportunity to show what they have, rather than an opportunity to join Syracuse in the 59-0 Club.

“Miami,” UW offensive tackle Khalif Barnes smiled. “It’s a dream to play them. Miami was my team when I played video games.”

The Huskies have not played a top-ranked team since 1972, when they fell to USC, 34-7, a team that went on to win the Associated Press poll national title. Washington has won one of the seven games it has played against top-ranked teams, the lone win being a 17-7 win over Minnesota in the 1961 Rose Bowl.

“We’re excited about it,” UW quarterback Cody Pickett said. “You don’t play a No. 1 team every day.”

Yes, and the Hurricanes seem to be one of the better top-ranked teams in recent memory, if you believe the numbers.

  • The Hurricanes have given up two sacks, only one at the expense of starting quarterback Ken Dorsey. Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney came into the Orangemen’s game against Miami with 16 1/2sacks. Bryant McKinnie, the Hurricanes’ massive offensive tackle, held him without a sack.

  • Miami has won 19 straight games, the last loss dating back to last year – at Washington, 34-29.

  • They have outscored their opponents 88-17 in the first quarter, 94-13 in the second, 135-14 in the third and 67-28 in the fourth.

  • They have outscored their nine opponents by an average of 42.7 to 8.0. It is the best scoring defense in the nation.

    The defense may be the best-kept secret about the team, considering the ink its high-powered offense has been getting. This wasn’t supposed to be the juggernaut is has turned out to be, considering the graduations of linebacker Dan Morgan and defensive tackle Damione Lewis, both first-round NFL draft choices.

    Then, too, was the departure of defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, who went on to take the head-coaching job at Rutgers.

    Strong safety Ed Reed, a consensus All-America pick last season, was considered the only standout defender among the 11, but that obviously, considering Miami’s defensive dominance, wasn’t the case.

    “They’ve got great athletes at every position,” Pickett said. “They have a great pass rush and they fly around. We’re going to have to be ready.”

    However, a well-documented slack schedule can skew any numbers, no matter how impressive.

    The Hurricanes have built their fearsome reputation, in part, by beating up the Temples, the Rutgers, the Troy States and the Pittsburghs of the world.

    After all, Dorsey did throw four interceptions and no touchdowns against Boston College. The Hurricanes had trouble with Troy State before winning, 38-7. And there are those who say Boston College should have beaten Miami instead of coming out on the short end of an 18-7 score.

    It all suggests that Miami, despite being a 26-point favorite, can be beaten.

    “Our mindset has to be that we can go in there and beat them,” UW linebacker Ben Mahdavi said. “We have to go in there and give our best effort. We can’t just be in survival mode.”

    Talk to us

  • More in Sports

    Arlington’s Kaid Hunter reacts to a dunk during the game against Shorecrest on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Despite losing 9 seniors, Arlington boys just keep soaring

    After graduating key pieces from last season’s league-title team, the new-look Eagles are on top of Wesco 3A/2A once again.

    Mark Stewart, head coach, demonstrates proper technique during practice Thursday afternoon at Mariner High School in Everett on August 22, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
    Everett tabs longtime area coach Stewart to lead football team

    The 63-year-old has been head coach at Mariner and Meadowdale and was an All-American linebacker at UW.

    Silvertips gamers with no art.
    Berezowski sets Silvertips goal-scoring record in OT loss

    The 20-year-old scored his 113th and 114th career goals and moved to the top of Everett’s career list in a 6-5 loss to Seattle.

    Prep roundup for Friday, Feb. 3

    Prep roundup for Friday, Feb. 3: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

    Mariner’s Makai Bloomfield finishes off a fast break against Lake Stevens on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, at Mariner High School in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Bloomfield drops 47, Mariner earns share of Wesco 4A title

    The senior guard poured in 29 points in the second half as the Marauders rolled to an 85-64 win over Lake Stevens.

    Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge. (Brian Liesse / Seattle Thunderbirds)
    Patterson: Former Tips scout has built a superteam in Seattle

    T-birds GM Bil La Forge, who spent a decade in Everett, has embarked on a spending spree unlike anything ever seen in the WHL.

    Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Jan. 23-29

    The Athlete of the Week nominees for Jan. 23-29. Voting closes at… Continue reading

    Seattle Seahawks tight end Noah Fant celebrates after catching a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs won 24-10. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
    Seahawks position overview: Stability at TE, but at high cost

    Seattle’s quality group is all under contract for 2023, but with an $18.087 million cap hit, fifth most in the NFL at the position.

    Fredy Montero of Seattle Sounders FC attends a training session in Tangier, Morocco, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, ahead of the team's quarterfinal Club World Cup soccer match against Egypt's Al Ahly FC. (AP Photo)
    Sounders relishing meaning, opportunity at Club World Cup

    Seattle, which will face Egypt’s Al Ahly on Saturday, is first MLS team to participate in the global event.

    Most Read