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Gameday blog: Canes vs. Ohio State

SUN LIFE STADIUM -- The Miami Hurricanes will attempt to give Coach Al Golden his first win at UM -- and avoid their first 0-2 start since Lou Saban was coaching the team back in 1978 -- when they take on the 17th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0) tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Plenty of storylines, which we've pretty much covered all week in the paper. But a few more interesting stats before we get into a quick look at the game.

UM has lost four games in a row and is in danger of losing five in a row for the first time since that aforementioned 0-2 start in 1978. The Canes actually lost six straight to end the 1977 season and then those first two, falling to Florida State 31-21 at home, before winning at Kansas 38-6 the following week to end the losing streak.

Of course the big story in this one is who is back for UM and Ohio State after serving suspensions.

Back for UM: quarterback Jacory Harris, linebacker Sean Spence, defensive tackle Marcus Forston, receiver/punt returner Travis Benjamin and defensive end Adewale Ojomo.

Back for Ohio State: starting running back Jordan Hall, top junior cornerback Travis Howard, a Miamian out of Krop High, and backup safety Corey Brown.

> UM lost 36-24 in Columbus last season thanks to four Jacory Harris interceptions. Harris is making his first start since he threw three interceptions in seven pass attempts before being pulled for Stephen Morris in the Sun Bowl loss to Notre Dame. But he's supposed to be a different guy in Jedd Fisch's offense. We'll see.

> With Terrelle Pryor now with the Oakland Raiders, the Buckeyes have two new quarterbacks themselves. Fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman, an efficient pocket passer who has yet to throw a pick in two games, and freshman phenom Braxton Miller, who reminds many of Pryor and will be the wildcard on offense for Ohio State in this game.

> Defensively, there are some doubts about the Buckeyes' young defensive line, especially in light of the injury to veteran defensive end Nathan Williams and the close call last week in a 27-22 win over Toledo. But Ohio State's track record on D is still one of the best in college football.

> OSU is 10th nationally in overall defense (allowing 214 yards a game) and 16th in scoring defense (allowing 11 points). The Buckeyes rank seventh in both sacks and tackles for loss. Their No. 4 ranking in rushing defense (an average of 40.5 rushing yards allowed) will be challenged by UM tailback Lamar Miller, who gained 119 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries and had 222 all-purpose yards in UM’s opener at Maryland.

> MY PICK: UM 27, Ohio State 23. Oddsmakers somehow have the Canes as a two-point favorite in this one. Common sense tells you otherwise. Ohio State is 2-0, ranked 17th in the country and UM is 0-1 and still has the questionable Harris under center. But Vegas always makes a lot of money for a reason. And I'm agreeing with them here. UM will find a way to win even with a few Jacory INTs.

FYI, there will be no CoverItLive broadcast today. Follow me on Twitter at Manny_Navarro. Feel free to comment below as you follow the game on ESPN.

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