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Champs Sports Bowl Game Of The Week: #13 Miami at #2 Ohio State

The Champs Sports Bowl Game Of The Week is a preview of a pivotal matchup featuring teams from the Big East and/or ACC that could impact the bowl picture.

Week Two: 
#13 Miami (1-0) at #2 Ohio State (1-0)

 

Saturday, Sept. 11 �- 3:40 p.m.
Ohio Stadium – Columbus, Ohio (NBC)
Ohio State leads series 2-1
Last Meeting: Jan. 3, 2003 (Ohio State 31, Miami 24 OT)

Miami Outlook

Over the course of the last five years, Miami has been on a steady climb to return to its status as one of the top programs in the country. The Hurricanes finished the 2009 season 9-4 (5-3 ACC) and is projected to finish on top of the ACC Coastal division. Much of this prediction lies in the hands of junior quarterback Jacory Harris, who threw for 3,352 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2009, but also added 17 interceptions, most among any returning starter this year. 

He did not disappoint in the 2010 opener against Florida A&M , passing for 210 yards with three touchdown passes and no picks.  Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson totaled 115 yards on six receptions while posting two touchdowns in the contest. Four different running backs saw at least six carries during the game, led by Lamar Miller (11 carries, 65 yards, one touchdown).  The �Canes defense limited FAMU to just 110 total yards. 

Ohio State Outlook

Terrelle Pryor led the 2009 Buckeyes in rushing with 779 yards but many questioned his ability to be a complete quarterback. Ohio State finished 103rd (out of 120) in the NCAA in total passing despite finishing the season 11-2 (7-1 Big Ten). However, Pryor showed his maturity as a passer in Week One as he lead Ohio State to a 45-7 victory over Marshall. Pryor threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the contest.
 
Senior running back Brandon Saine led the Buckeyes in their opener with 103 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Also contributing to the offense was senior wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, who totaled 113 yards and one touchdown. The defense forced three Marshall turnovers, including a �pick-six� by linebacker Brian Rolle at the end of the first half.

Impact on Bowl Picture

With favorable placement in the preseason polls, Ohio State must keep winning to secure a place in the BCS National Championship game at the end of the season.  With a Top-15 ranking, Miami could be poised for a run at the title should they upset the Buckeyes, but that�s a tall order in Columbus.  ACC Coastal rivals UNC and Virginia Tech fell against Top 25 opponents in Week One, so this game will be a test of where the rebuilding �Canes stand against the nation�s elite.

Extra Point

A report in Sunday�s Columbus Dispatch offered some incredible stats about Miami and Ohio State�s previous meeting, a memorable Fiesta Bowl overtime thriller for the 2002 National Championship.  Per Dispatch writer Ken Gordon: �There were 43 starters that night (Ohio State’s Chris Gamble started at both receiver and cornerback). Of those 43, 37 were chosen in subsequent NFL drafts – or 86 percent � All told, 100 players participated, and of those, 58 played in at least one NFL game.�

Expert Predictions

Andrea Adelson

Andrea Adelson
ESPN.com CFB Blogger

PICK:  Ohio State
RECORD: 2-0 (1-0 CSB)

Bram Weinstein

Bram Weinstein
ESPN Anchor

PICK:  Ohio State
RECORD: 2-0 (1-0 CSB)

Jay Gruden

Jay Gruden
Florida Tuskers Coach

PICK:  Ohio State
RECORD: 2-0 (1-0 CSB)

Chuck Beverly

Chuck Beverly
FCSports Chairman

PICK:  Ohio State
RECORD: 2-0 (1-0 CSB)

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