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Mike James: Wet and hopefully not wild!

Few will forget University of Miami running back Mike James' fumble at Maryland. James can't get it out of his mind.

As he was sprinting down the sideline, the ball was knocked loose by a Maryland defender and landed in the arms of lineman Joe Vellano, who rumbled for a 30-yard touchdown with 47 seconds left in the first half.

Fellow running back and James' apartment mate Lamar Miller said James obsesses on his mistakes and won't let them go. James, who calls himself a perfectionist, agrees. The only thing he vows not to let go in UM's home opener Saturday against Ohio State: the football.

What has James done to prevent fumbling against the Buckeyes? Wet his whole body at practice using a water bottle  -- and run!

"Oh man, I'm more than motivated. I've been mad for 12 days,'' James said Tuesday after practice. "Every night I got to sleep thinking about it. I wake up thinking about it. I go to class thinking about it. Everything else is irrelevant. I'm just ready to play the ball game.''

 James said he has been wetting his arms, his body and the ball. "Usually in the middle of practice I just wet my whole body. Just in case it rains or I'm too sweaty I'm preparing for that. I get my whole body wet. I get a water bottle and just spray my whole body down. I used to do it my freshman year, but I just got back doing it.

"I should have never stopped."

James finished with 12 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown at Maryland. He also caught two passes for 21 yards.

Miller carried 18 times for 119 yards and a touchdown. He caught two passes for three yards, and returned four kickoffs for 100 yards.

--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

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