- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 26, 2009

BLACKSBURG, Va. | Miami already has one huge road victory on its resume. With that in mind, why should sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris fear a visit to Virginia Tech for a key ACC game?

Harris seemingly spent the week downplaying the hype that the Hurricanes’ rise has prompted after wins at Florida State and against Georgia Tech. He said he welcomed the chance to live up to the buildup for Saturday’s game with the Hokies in a raucous 66,233-seat stadium where the fans learned long ago to view Miami as an arch enemy.

“People say I’ll hear a lot of turkey noises, something that I probably won’t be used to,” he said. “It’ll be another hostile crowd. It’ll be loud. … I’ll just go out there and be cool.”

The No. 9 Hurricanes (2-0, 2-0 ACC), led by Harris’ brilliant play, have rocketed to their first top-10 ranking since the final poll of the 2005 season. Virginia Tech got through a three-game, nonconference warmup for ACC play with a 2-1 record and plenty of questions.

The No. 11 Hokies will need to have those answers Saturday in a game that will make the winner the favorite in the Coastal Division.

“It’s a pivotal game from that standpoint,” Miami coach Randy Shannon said.

Virginia Tech has been less impressive than resurgent Miami, needing an 81-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor to set up the winning touchdown with 21 seconds to play against No. 25 Nebraska last Saturday.

This matchup still resembles so many between the teams going back to their Big East days, although then they usually met in December with championships in the balance.

“It’s definitely huge,” Virginia Tech linebacker Cody Grimm said. “Now every game matters a lot.”

This is a much different Hokies team, at least so far, that the Hurricanes will see. Typically one of the nation’s stingiest defenses, the Hokies are allowing 364 yards overall and 200 yards rushing a game. The latter ranks 107th nationally of 120 teams.

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