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Week 13 Pick 'Em: Rivalries take center stage

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Miami (Fla.) at South Florida (Nov. 28, 3:30 p.m.)

The Miami Hurricanes have definitely gone in the right direction in the last few years. Finishing 2007 with a 5-7 record, the 'Canes were 7-6 last year and have a chance, if they can finish strong with wins at South Florida and in their bowl game, to end with 10 wins for the first time since 2003. No. 19 Miami (8-3, 5-3 ACC) has had an up and down season. Predicted to falter out of the gate due to a ridiculously tough schedule, QB Jacory Harris and company jumped out to start 5-1 including wins over, at the time, No. 18 FSU, No. 14 Georgia Tech and No. 8 Oklahoma. They have since struggled at times with losses to Clemson at home and at North Carolina and Harris went from early Heisman contender to being among the NCAA's leaders in interceptions thrown. They had a little more trouble with Duke last weekend than the final score suggests but all in all, Miami is staring down a 10-win season. Immediately standing in their way is USF (7-3, 3-3 Big East). The Bulls have also spent time among the ranked this season and had their own struggles. They lost senior QB Matt Grothe midseason and freshman B.J. Daniels has been solid in his stead. Two of the team's three losses have come against the best two teams in the Big East (Pitt and Cincinnati) but the other was a glaring 31-0 loss at Rutgers. The Bulls rebounded by beating Louisville last week and can also finish with 10 wins if they can win their final three contests.

Jeff's breakdown: South Florida matches up well with Miami because the Hurricanes are a better passing team and the Bulls are much better defending the aerial attack. In general, the Bulls play tougher defense than do the 'Canes. Neither team is playing their best football right now. The last time these two teams met was back in 2005 when No. 9 Miami won at home, 27-7. Just like last time, the home team will walk away victorious in this one.


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