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Miami Tries Not To Overlook Rutgers

September 29, 2000

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) _ In a game in which No. 10 Miami is hoping not to get caught looking ahead, Rutgers quarterback Chad Schwenk is trying not to look back to his last start against the Hurricanes.

It’s too painful.

Schwenk, sacked nine times in a 55-0 loss to Miami at the end of last season, will replace the injured Mike McMahon on Saturday night when Rutgers plays the Hurricanes.

The only chance the Scarlet Knights (2-2, 0-2 Big East) would seem to have would be if Miami (2-1, 1-0) comes into the game thinking about next week’s showdown with No. 2 Florida State.

``What would that game mean if we don’t take care of this one?″ Miami offensive tackle Joaquin Gonzalez asked.

``We’ve put ourselves in a position where we’ve got to win every game, starting with this one. We can’t overlook anyone. A lot of things need to be done before Oct. 7.″

History says this game probably won’t even be close. Miami has won the previous seven games and scored at least 50 points in four of the last five.

Schwenk remembers the last one all too well.

``You try to remember a couple of things from every game, just to take away and develop, so you get better,″ Schwenk said. ``It was a pretty physical game. I did get hit a lot. Hopefully, we can do a better job, and I’ll get a little more time.″

Rutgers was limited to 64 yards in total offense in that game, but this is also a different team. Last year, the Scarlet Knights finished the year with 15 starters sidelined by injuries.

McMahon isn’t starting because of a strained shoulder _ he will be in uniform _ but otherwise the Scarlet Knights are healthier and better than last season. The defense forced seven turnovers in a 29-17 loss to Pittsburgh last week.

Miami also has questions on offense. Tailback Clinton Portis will be sidelined with broken toes on his right foot, and receiver Santana Moss and tailback James Jackson are off to slow starts.

Quarterback Ken Dorsey, who made his first start in the Rutgers game last season, has been a success. He is 118-of-187 for 1,472 yards passing with 15 touchdowns and one interception.

``We’ve got to look at it like we’re playing for the Big East championship,″ Dorsey said. ``If we take this week off, then we’re not going to be good in two weeks.″

If Rutgers wants to make it close, its line has to protect Schwenk. The Scarlet Knights don’t have a running game, compiling a total of 44 yards in losing the last two games to Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. Their 69.3-yard rushing average ranks 104th nationally.

``There’s a lot of opportunity to rush the passer,″ Miami defensive tackle Damione Lewis said. ``They throw the ball a lot this year. It’s nice as a defensive lineman to not have to worry about the run as much and pin your ears back and get after the passer.″

Schwenk remembers not only the hits but something else, too.

``When I did have a second or two to make a read and throw the ball,″ he said, ``we got a couple of completions.″

So, he figures, Rutgers has a chances Saturday.

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