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Miami's Offense Is Sluggish, but No. 11 Team Slugs Out a Win

September 01, 1996|Associated Press

Returning to the field Saturday gave 11th-ranked Miami a new set of problems.

The Hurricanes, who had a player murdered and seven others suspended, struggled offensively before beating Memphis, 30-7, at Memphis, Tenn.

Playing a day after starting tailback Danyell Ferguson and wide receiver Yatil Green were suspended, Miami had trouble hanging onto the ball with several dropped passes and four turnovers.

Memphis had won only two of its eight previous openers and was coming off a 3-8 season. But Miami led only 3-0 at halftime after losing three fumbles in the first half.

Special teams jump-started the Hurricanes in the second half.

Booker Pickett blocked Drew Pairamore's punt on Memphis' first series of the third quarter, and Eugene Ridgely recovered at the Tigers' one to set up Ryan Clement's one-yard run two plays later for a 10-0 lead.

Miami finished with 378 yards as Clement was 17 for 26 for 205 yards.

Miami benched Ferguson and Green on Friday while the university tries to conclude an investigation into charges the players spent two nights in a limousine ordered by a sports agent's office.

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