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Canes & Buckeyes Set For "Ineligibowl"

MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – It's being called the "Ineligibowl," but while funny, it sells short a game that could be one for the ages when the Miami Hurricanes welcomes in the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.

The nickname came from both schools' recent run-ins with the NCAA. Ohio State saw their head coach and star quarterback leave the program after both were found to have committed several NCAA rules infractions.

Another group of players for Ohio State remains out for the first five games of the year due to the gifts they were given by a Buckeyes booster.

For UM, the school has been rocked to the foundation by the explosive claims laid on the school by former booster, and convicted Ponzi schemer, Nevin Shapiro. The Canes have also had to sit numerous players for their part in the scandal.

All of that brings fans to the matchup this Saturday night between one of the toughest scoring defenses in the country and the Miami Hurricanes offense.

Ohio State is ranked 15th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 11 points per game in 2011. The Buckeyes strength this season has been the run defense. Through two games, the Buckeyes have allowed just 41 yards per game to their opponents.

On the flip side, the Hurricanes desperately want to run the football. But after just one game, the Hurricanes are ranked just 45th in the country in rushing, averaging 172 yards per game.

A potential positive for the Hurricanes is that Ohio State isn't lighting up scoreboards like the team used to in the past. Through two games, Ohio State is averaging 34.5 points per game. Miami has only played one game, in which they scored 24 points against the University of Maryland.

Still, this will be the most physical matchup Miami will have until they battle the Florida State Seminoles in November.

"They're extraordinarily physical, rugged, high-motor guys and excellent at hand-to-hand combat," Golden told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. "We have to play a physical brand of football. That's their strength in addition to the speed they have on the perimeter."

UM will get a shot in the arm this weekend with the return of several key players including quarterback Jacory Harris and safety Sean Spence. Harris was set to be the starting quarterback before being entangled in the Nevin Shaprio scandal.

Harris, and other players, were forced to sit out the season opening loss to the Terrapins and are frothing at the mouth to get on the field.

Golden said he wanted balance in the offensive game plan against the stout Ohio State defense. Miami will also have to correct the turnover/penalty problem that has plagued the team since last year.

In the Canes' last two games, both of which were losses, the team has turned the ball over four times and committed at least 10 penalties. A repeat performance will doom the Canes against the Buckeyes.

Plus, with the NCAA Infractions Committee set to come down hard on both teams; it may be a long time until both teams are at full-strength again on or off the field.

The game is set to kickoff at Sun Life Stadium at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.

(All stats courtesy of cfbstats.com)

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