University of Miami

Miami jumps to No. 10, prepares for prime-time showdown against arch-rival Florida State

Miami head coach Mark Richt celebrates after their 35-21 win over Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.
Miami head coach Mark Richt celebrates after their 35-21 win over Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. AP

The rise continues.

The 10th-ranked Miami Hurricanes climbed four spots in both major college football polls Sunday after defeating Georgia Tech 35-21 on Saturday — one of only 16 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision to remain undefeated.

Just in time for Florida State week.

The game, almost always a thriller regardless of records and rankings, will be televised nationally on ABC at 8 p.m. Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.

“It’s going to be intense playing them at home,’’ said freshman linebacker Shaq Quarterman, who scored on a fumble recovery Saturday. … If we don’t beat them or get a Natty [national title] in the time that we’re here, we haven’t done Miami justice.’’

Though the Hurricanes are in the top 10 in both polls for the first time since Nov. 2, 2013, and 4-0 for the sixth time since 2000, FSU (3-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) plummeted 11 spots to No. 23 in the AP and nine spots to No. 21 in the Amway Coaches’ Poll.

“Well, I just found out when you all said it,’’ Richt said Sunday of the rankings on his weekly postgame teleconference. “My reaction is: If you win, you stay there. If you lose, you don’t. It’s not that important really what we’re ranked right now.

“Our big thing is to try to continue to get better every week and to play the type of football that everyone who loves this program will be proud of. That’s going to be our challenge this week.’’

It’s a rivalry week Miami fans wait for all year but haven’t been too fond of lately, having watched their Hurricanes lose the past six games to the Seminoles.

That undoubtedly has changed this season, as Miami is in the top of the national rankings both defensively and offensively. The Hurricanes are also one of only two teams in the FBS — Boise State being the other — not to trail in any game this season, according to The Associated Press.

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The Canes are ranked second nationally in scoring defense (averaging 11 points a game allowed) and fourth in scoring (47-point average).

They’re third in sacks allowed, fourth in sacks and No. 1 in tackles for loss.

Miami (4-0, 1-0) is second in the Coastal behind North Carolina (4-1, 2-0), which beat FSU on Saturday with a 54-yard field goal as time expired and will meet the Canes at Hard Rock Stadium on Oct. 15

“There’s a massive amount of competition that I see coming down the road,’’ Richt said. “Of course, our rival [is] in the Atlantic Division, who we’re about to play. … I just think the league is outstanding, and a heck of a lot better than I really want it to be. But that’s good for the league.’’

The weather, specifically Hurricane Matthew or its effects, could be a factor in Miami’s preparation this week, though it was still too early to determine. Rain is forecast at one time or another almost every day this week.

How do you approach practice with a potentially serious storm on the way?

“I guess you start praying at first,’’ Richt said. “If we stay here, Plan B is to go to the Wellness Center — at least the offense goes over there. The scout-teamers and the defense usually stay in the volleyball gym and just tries to get as much work done there as possible.

After UM beat Georgia Tech on Oct. 1, 2016, Mark Richt warned that one day his talented freshmen are going to face adversity and he's waiting to see how they react

“Unless we end up in somebody else’s spot as far as somebody has some cover.… It makes sense to do that but to try to get there and back during the time we have before classes begin, it’s really not very realistic.’’

▪ Injury-wise, Richt said he thought the players came out of the game in good shape. He was asked about weak-side linebacker Michael Pinckney having his left hand wrapped heavily, something he has practiced with for a few weeks. “I know something was bothering him there,’’ the coach said, “but nothing to keep him from practicing or playing. I don’t know if it’s a bone bruise or what, but some guys feel better if they have a little extra padding on something that bothers them.

“I think that’s all there is to that.’’

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