Hurricanes prepare for pass happy Cincinnati offense

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Having Miami’s Brad Kaaya and Cincinnati’s Gunner Kiel lead their respective offenses on Thursday night would have certainly qualified as an enticing matchup of quarterbacks.

Kaaya and Hayden Moore might be equally enticing.

Moore – a freshman who came off the bench and threw for a school-record 557 yards and four touchdowns last week after Kiel got hurt – will be the starter when the Bearcats (2-2) play host to Kaaya and the Hurricanes (3-0) in a nationally televised matchup.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a performance like that. … He broke our record here and we’ve had some quarterbacks that could really throw the football,” Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said. “And he did it in three quarters.”

Facing Moore instead of Kiel doesn’t change Miami’s opinion of Cincinnati’s offense, which has averaged 622 yards per game so far – the third-best clip among all FBS teams. The Hurricanes are fully aware that a high-octane challenge awaits.

“Our guys know,” Miami coach Al Golden said. “We played them last year. We know they can score quickly and can score in bunches. It’s going to be another rock and roll game. They’re going to go fast and we’ve got to be ready.”

Kaaya has thrown a touchdown pass in all 16 of his games as a Hurricane, and is facing a Cincinnati defense that has allowed 1,018 yards in the last two weeks alone. In last season’s 55-34 Miami win, the Hurricanes racked up 621 yards against the Bearcats.

Miami opens Atlantic Coast Conference play next weekend at Florida State. Kaaya said there’s no way the Hurricanes will be looking ahead.

“Our focus is going to be on beating Cincinnati,” he said.

To get ready for what it expects to be a raucous Thursday night crowd at Cincinnati’s newly remodeled Nippert Stadium, Miami cranked up the noise at practice this week. The Hurricanes have a booming mobile sound system on their practice field and it worked overtime to get ready for what Miami expects to be a very loud matchup.

“A lot of people have been to Nippert before, probably before they spent $80 million on it,” Golden said. “Clearly it’s a tight environment and a tough place to play.”

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