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2011 schedule analysis: Miami

MIAMI

Nonconference opponents and 2010 records:

  • Ohio State (12-1)

  • Kansas State (7-6)

  • Bethune-Cookman (10-2)

  • At South Florida (8-5)

Cross-divisional schedule:

  • At Maryland

  • At Florida State

  • Boston College

Gut-check game: Nov. 12 at Florida State. Miami hosted the party last year and forgot to show up. The Canes have something to prove in this one, and need to bring their attitudes to Tallahassee. Regardless of what’s at stake in the conference race at this point, after how poorly Miami played last year, this one should be about pride.

Trap game: Nov. 5 vs. Duke. Virginia and South Florida have already done it. Now it’s Duke’s turn. Miami will have to be careful not to underestimate David Cutcliffe’s team and look ahead to the rivalry game at Florida State the following week.

Snoozer: Bethune-Cookman. The Wildcats dominated the MEAC, but shouldn't be as fortunate against the Canes.

Good luck with that: Eleven straight weeks without a break. Miami opens against Maryland on Labor Day and then has a bye week on Sept. 10. The depth and health of the roster will be tested. It’s no wonder Al Golden has put an emphasis on getting stronger this offseason.

Upset watch: Sept. 17 vs. Ohio State. The Buckeyes will be without quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four other starters who are suspended for the first five games of the season for accepting improper benefits. It’s the perfect time for Miami to redeem itself from last year’s loss.

Analysis: Considering it’s the first season under Golden and a lot of changes will be made, it’s reasonable to expect a few stumbles along the way, but the schedule is conducive to an eight-win season. Miami needs to win at least three of its nonconference games, and then avoid letdowns against Virginia, Duke and South Florida. The Canes must also protect their home turf against Boston College and Georgia Tech.

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