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September 1, 2006
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But once, again neither Florida State nor Miami will be its normal, polished self when they kick off at the Orange Bowl on Labor Day (8 p.m., ESPN).
Being thrown from preseason practice into the biggest game of the year isn't an ideal way to start the season, but the free publicity of playing the game on Labor Day is priceless.
"You can't buy that kind of exposure," Bowden said. "I don't think either one of us likes to open with the other. You've got to bring your 'A' game and your 'A' game is not there yet."
Both coaches found out how true that was last season.
Miami lost 10-7 despite limiting FSU quarterback Drew Weatherford to 7-of-24 passing for 67 yards and an interception.
The fact that Miami quarterback Kyle Wright was sacked nine times in the game helped end Miami's recent dominance in the series. The Hurricanes also botched a potential game-tying field goal with 2:30 remaining.
Since then, Miami has gone through several changes. There are four new assistant coaches on the staff, including offensive coordinator Rich Olson.
"The players have responded and moved forward," Coker said. "Our players are getting comfortable with new coaches and the players we have in the game who are going to play against Florida State."
The Seminoles hope to start a modest win streak in the series after last year's victory in Tallahassee.
How will things shake out Monday? We'll let you know in Rivals.com's Game of the Week Breakdown for Florida State-Miami: