Sept. 8, 2000
SEATTLE - The Washington Huskies are favored to win the Pac-10, are ranked No. 15, and are playing at home Saturday.
They're underdogs, nonetheless, against Miami.
"This game is one the entire nation will be looking at," Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey said. "A lot of people come to the UM to play in these types of games. With this team, everything is intense."
The No. 4 Hurricanes (1-0) will try not to spoil their national title hopes when they face Washington (1-0) at Husky Stadium on Saturday in the schools' second football meeting in history.
Washington ended Miami's NCAA record 58-game home winning streak in 1994 at the Orange Bowl.
"It's probably not since 1995 when we went out to UCLA that we've been tested this much this early in the season," said Hurricanes coach Butch Davis, whose team is favored by 1 1/2 points.
Davis' sixth Hurricanes team is being billed as his best.
On offense, Davis has wide receivers Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne, and running backs James Jackson and Clinton Portis.
On defense, he has the nation's top secondary plus a linebacking corps that includes Dan Morgan, Chris Campbell and the nation's No. 1 recruit, D.J. Williams.
Still, Miami has every reason to worry about the Huskies, who were narrow picks over USC to go to the Rose Bowl in a Pac-10 media poll taken before Washington beat Idaho 44-20 in its season opener.
"If you go and absolutely stink the joint up and everything breaks down and you lose, then certainly it won't leave anybody any positive thoughts," Davis said. "But you could play outstanding and still lose. Any time you play a really talented team, there's that chance."
Of course, even if the Hurricanes win in Seattle, they have No. 2 Florida State and No. 10 Virginia Tech coming up on their schedule, both at home.
A crowd of 70,000-plus will try to make life miserable for Dorsey, who will be making his fifth career start. Dorsey and the Hurricanes handled I-AA McNeese State 61-14 in their opener.
"It's a metal stadium and people pounding their feet can make noise," Davis said. "But we deal with noise everywhere."
While Washington's defense is suspect, its huge, experienced offensive line, led by 6-foot-5, 335-pound senior guard Chad Ward, is not. The Huskies hope to control the ball and keep it out of the hands of Moss and company.
By JIM COUR