5 things to know about the Hurricanes

Posted Dec 8, 2013

The University of Louisville and Miami, Fla., will meet in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28 in Orlando, Fla. Here are a few facts about the Miami Hurricanes team this season.

The University of Louisville football team will play Miami in the Dec. 28 Russell Athletic Bowl at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Here are a few facts about Miami:

1. QB is a Miami product: Yes, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was once committed to Miami. Now, the Hurricanes offense is run by another former Miami prep standout. Stephen Morris is a former Miami Pace star who has thrown for 2,868 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. He has 7.736 career yards and ranks No. 3 on Miami's all-time passing list.

2. Top back on the shelf: Miami's rushing attack took a big blow when star back Duke Johnson suffered a season-ending ankle injury against Florida State. He had run for 920 yards and six touchdowns and was considered one of the top sophomores in the country. His replacement - Dallas Crawford - is no slouch. Crawford has carried for 523 yards and 12 TDs. He's averaging 4.2 yards a carry, which was 2.1 yards fewer than Johnson averaged.

3. A battle in the trenches: U of L's defense ranks as one of the best in the country, led by a strong defensive line. The Cardinals lead the nation in sacks but will get a major test against a massive offensive line that has opened holes for 2,080 yards this season. The projected starters: left tackle Ereck Flowers (6-6, 315); left guard Jon Feliciano (6-5, 318), center Shane McDermott (6-4, 296); right guard Brandon Linder (6-6, 319) and right tackle Seantrel Henderson (6-8, 345).

4. Canes with some top special teams: Always known for athleticism and speed, the Hurricanes have solid special teams. Miami ranks No. 3 in kickoff returns nationally, No. 16 in blocked punts and No. 20 in blocked kicks. Stacy Coley is averaging 26.5 yards a kickoff return.

5. Bowl appearances: The Russell Athletic bowl will be the 35th overall bowl for the Hurricanes, but the first since 2010. It marks the fourth time the Hurricanes will play in the Russell Athletic Bowl (which has changed names several times). The Hurricanes beat Virginia in the 1996 Carquest Bowl and had a 46-23 win over NC State in the 1998 MicronPC Bowl. Miami's last trip to Orlando was for the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl – a 20-14 loss to Wisconsin. Miami has 19 bowl victories but hasn't won a bowl game since the 2006 MPC Computers Bowl when it beat Nevada 21-20.

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