The Miami Hurricanes return to the football field after a bye week and a major victory over the Florida Gators to take on a struggling Savannah State team simply happy for a shot on a big stage.
Miami crushed Florida Atlantic in Week 1 before outlasting the Gators behind the impressive running of Duke Johnson and the defense's uncanny ability to force turnovers. The Hurricanes sit just outside the Top 15 as a result.
Things have been much worse for the Tigers. Savannah State was outscored 143-12 in its first two games against Georgia Southern and Troy before finally notching a win in Week 3 over Division II program Fort Valley State.
This is the definition of a lopsided matchup but a great learning experience for both teams regardless of the result. Here's everything fans need to know about the game.
When: Saturday, September 21 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: OFF
- Spread: Miami (-60)
Savannah State Injury Report (via USA Today)
No Injuries Available
Miami Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Deon Bush||S||09/15/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Savannah State||Questionable||sports hernia|
|Jontavious Carter||WR||08/25/2013||has left the team||Out||personal|
|Preston Dewey||QB||08/29/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||back|
|Danny Dillard||RB||08/21/2013||has left the team||Out||personal|
|Dyron Dye||DE||08/21/2013||was dismissed from the team||Out||legal/disciplinary|
|Jalen Grimble||DL||08/16/2013||has decided to transfer||Out||personal|
|Danny Isidora||G||08/17/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||foot|
|Rayshawn Jenkins||S||09/15/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Savannah State||Questionable||ankle|
|Hunter Knighton||T||08/17/2013||is expected to miss the entire season||Out||shoulder|
|Rashawn Scott||WR||08/31/2013||is expected to miss four to six weeks||Out||collarbone|
|Hunter Wells||G||08/29/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||undisclosed|
|Shane McDermott||C||09/20/2013||will miss Saturday's game against Savannah State||Out||lower body|
Can Miami Avoid Complacency?
On paper, this is a game where Miami plays its starters for a half and tests the depth of the team. Head coach Al Golden stressed as much, telling the media via Christy Chirinos of the Sun Sentinel that it's a "process" week:
It’s about our process. This week is us versus complacency. We’re not calling it a bye-week, we’re calling it a process week. We’re trying to get better and we’re trying to compete every day and we’re trying to see if we can find some guys that can stand up and compete for jobs.
One step in the process would be seeing an improvement from quarterback Stephen Morris, who has only thrown for 322 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while completing just 52 percent of his passes.
Much of the Hurricanes' playbook will not be on display against Savannah State, but Morris has an opportunity to develop better timing with his receivers against lowly competition.
Will Savannah State cover the spread?
As Golden suggested, this is an opportunity for Miami to improve and allow important depth to play significant snaps.
For Savannah State, this game is about a learning experience and an attempt to improve the athletic program overall. Per Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post, Savannah State is receiving $375,000 to make the trip to Miami—which is 9 percent of the school’s endowment (Miami's endowment is $678.7 million).
In other words, the Tigers need the money to further a struggling program (18-104 since 2002), while Miami needs more game time before getting into the meat of its ACC schedule in the coming weeks.
Hurricanes win 63-0
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling