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Salivating To Prove Themselves

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Seems like the University of Miami defense has been down this road before. Two seasons ago a young and raw linebacker unit took the field amid whispers that they were the Hurricanes' most glaring weakness. But by the time the 2001 season had ended the Hurricanes were celebrating a national championship as little-known linebacker Jonathan Vilma led the team in tackles during the regular season with 79.

Last season those same critics pointed to the secondary, which was breaking in four new starters, as the Hurricanes potential sore spot. What happened? The secondary tied an NCAA record for fewest yards allowed for completion on their way to leading the country in pass defense and pass efficiency defense. Now, as the Hurricanes prepare for the 2003 season, UM is in the midst of replacing six...

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