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'Canes Not Satisfied
Fernando Ruano, Jr.
Posted Oct 6, 2004
An unblemished record and top-five ranking apparently isn't enough to convince University of Miami coach Larry Coker the Hurricanes are in prime position for a national championship run - not in October anyway.
Forget that the No. 3 Hurricanes (4-0, 2-0) are coming off an impressive 27-3 win at Georgia Tech. Forget that Miami's offense is slowly awakening from a coma and showing signs of life after a slow start. Never mind that the Hurricanes are tied atop the ACC standings and among the early contenders to play in the FedEx Orange Bowl, national title game Jan. 4.
Coker doesn't want to hear it.
"This is a marathon not a sprint. It's just way too early to get caught up in all that stuff," Coker said. "The only thing we need to be focused on as a team is finding a way to get better. We're going to take them one at a time because the rest will take care of itself. The bottom line is we still need to improve to get where we want to go (at the end of the season)."
Despite 364 yards of offense, including a career-high three touchdown passes from quarterback Brock Berlin, the continued development of freshman receiver Lance Leggett and another solid defensive performance against the Yellow Jackets, Coker maintains the Hurricanes pass protecting, downfield passing game and route running leaves something to be desired.
Miami quarterbacks were sacked six times, while Berlin missed open receivers on several occasions.
"Obviously, we're getting better and the offense did make some plays against Georgia Tech, but there are things we still need to correct," said Coker. "The games will only get tougher and that's certainly the case next week."
After a bye week, Miami now hosts No. 17 Louisville (4-0) Thursday in the Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes defensive unit, which has allowed one touchdown in 60 possessions this season, will be put to the test by a balanced Cardinals' offense. Eleven different players recorded at least one reception in a 59-7 victory over East Carolina Oct. 2.
"Our defense has been tremendous in so many areas," said Coker. "This will be another of those games in which they are going to be tested."
The Hurricanes, playing Louisville for the first time since a 45-7 victory in 1985, lead the all-time series 8-0-1.
"We can get better and that's our goal," Coker said. "There is no reason to be worried about the polls and what team is where right now. We have to concentrate on our schedule one game at a time."
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