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Colleges

Miami looking to extend recent run

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 01:53 PM
ATLANTA -

Al Golden says Miami's three straight wins against Georgia Tech won't matter when the teams play today.

Golden said this is a different, more physical Georgia Tech team. Oddsmakers agree; the Yellow Jackets are a two-touchdown favorite.

Georgia Tech (2-1, 1-1 ACC) has scored more than 50 points in back-to-back wins over Presbyterian and Virginia following an overtime loss at Virginia Tech. Golden says the Yellow Jackets are "a complete team."

Golden said Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, the architect of the Jackets' spread-option offense, and defensive coordinator Al Groh now have the players to fit their schemes.

"They have the type of team they want," Golden said. "They're very long at the wide receiver position. All their receivers are 6-2 plus.

"(Johnson) has got the speed that he wants at (running back). He's got the kind of maturity and decision-making he wants at quarterback. Both sides of the ball have the personnel the way they want. When you turn on the tape, they look like it."

Miami (2-1, 1-0) shares first place with Virginia Tech in the ACC's Coastal Division.

The Hurricanes opened the season with a win at Boston College. A second road win would place Miami in a strong position in the division with its next four ACC games at home.

Miami has outscored Georgia Tech 92-34 the past three games, including a 24-7 win last season.

"They've kind of had our number the last couple of years," Johnson said.

Golden said this Georgia Tech team will provide a more difficult challenge:

"The biggest difference right now in Georgia Tech is how physical they are, how rugged they are on both sides of the line and how mature they are."

Meanwhile, last week's 38-10 win over Bethune-Cookman didn't erase all the sting from Miami's 52-13 loss at Kansas State on Sept. 8.

"We've got such a long way to go," Golden said. "I just hope the ACC Coastal serves as a trigger. I think it's important our guys know who those members are, and this is one of those games."

Miami freshman running back Duke Johnson leads the ACC with seven touchdowns, including four against Bethune-Cookman. Johnson leads the Hurricanes with 253 yards rushing but plays behind senior Mike James, who has 168 yards.

"Don't underestimate the kind of players they'll have," Johnson said.

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