NORMAN — The University of Miami entered this season unranked and under the radar. And with the first three games slated against Top 20 teams, many predicted the Hurricanes would be 0-3 when they finally got to Oklahoma on Oct. 3. Instead, following impressive weeknight wins over Florida State and Georgia Tech on national television, Miami has soared into the Top 10 and become the buzz team in college football. In fact, in the waning moments of Saturday night’s Texas-Texas Tech telecast, ABC analyst Kirk Herbstreit couldn’t stop praising the Hurricanes.
Nothing could be better for OU’s renewed aspirations of ending the season in Pasadena. After losing to Brigham Young in the opener, OU drifted way back in the national championship race. But defeat the trendy Hurricanes on the road in two weeks, and the now No. 10-ranked Sooners will jump back into the national title discussion quicker than was originally thought possible. "It’s going to be a tough game,” said OU defensive tackle Adrian Taylor. "But definitely an opportunity for us to get back in it.” It’s hard to believe that’s the case just two weeks after the debacle in Dallas, where the Sooners lost Heisman quarterback Sam Bradford to a third-degree shoulder separation, and shortly after that, tight end Jermaine Gresham to season-ending knee surgery. But since Max Hall’s game-winning touchdown pass, OU has outscored its opposition 109-0 and now boasts a redshirt freshman quarterback in Landry Jones playing as well as Bradford did his redshirt freshman year. "Miami is really good,” said Jones, who tossed a school-record six touchdown passes Saturday. "But it’s also a chance for us to redeem ourselves.” And perhaps before a national TV audience with plenty of voters tuned in. Along with USC-California, scheduled to be the ABC primetime game, OU-Miami will be the co-matchup of the day.