Something has to give today, when third-ranked Miami plays San Diego State.
The Hurricanes' defense has allowed a combined 29 points in Miami's last four games. San Diego State typically scores that many by the third quarter.The Aztecs average 43.1 points a game, third best in the nation. They are also third in total offense and passing offense.
Their quarterback, Dan McGwire, has thrown for 3,510 yards and 25 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions.
He has a wide receiving tandem in Patrick Rowe and Dennis Arey who have become only the second set of teammates in NCAA history to each record 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Rowe leads the nation in receiving yards per game and has tied an NCAA record by surpassing 100 yards in eight consecutive contests.
"You're not going to stop an offense like that," said Miami coach Dennis Erickson, whose 8-2 team has won four straight. "San Diego State is going to score its points. We just have to do a good job of keeping it down to a minimum and keeping them off the field by controlling the football somehow."
Miami will counter with an offense led by quarterback Craig Erickson which ranks seventh in scoring with 36.8 points per game.
The Hurricanes are averaging 496.7 yards per game, including 328.9 through the air. They are on pace to erase school records of 461.5 total yards and 318.8 passing yards per game.
Erickson, who has passed for 3,079 yards and 20 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions, will be facing a weak Aztecs defense. San Diego State is allowing 35.6 points per game, ranking 100th out of 106 Division I-A teams.
"We have to tackle much better on defense than we have throughout the year," said Aztecs coach Al Luginbill, whose 6-4 team has also won four straight. "We've got to play with absolutely no mistakes.
"I don't believe we'll stand around and watch them like we did a year ago. We could've bought tickets for the first 10 minutes last year," Luginbill said.
The Hurricanes rolled to a 21-0 lead through the first quarter at home last year on their way to a 42-6 win over San Diego State.
However, the Aztecs put pressure on Craig Erickson throughout the game, sacking him seven times.
"They beat the heck out of our quarterback," Dennis Erickson said. "They actually kind of embarrassed us and caused us to look terrible.
"They blitz a lot. I guess when you blitz, you also give up big plays," Erickson said.
Miami's defense has prevented the big play, allowing an average of 9.7 points and 227 yards over the last six games. In the first four games, the Hurricanes surrendered 23.8 points and 368.5 yards per game.
"The thing we've got to do this week is get pressure on Dan McGwire," Erickson said. "If we let him sit back there, they've got receivers with great quickness who can run all over the place. We can't let him sit back there or he'll pick us apart."
"I think the idea that they'll come out and overlook San Diego State is a bunch of malarkey," Luginbill said. "They're really, really good."