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December 30, 2006
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Get the inside scoop on your favorite team:
Miami's difficult season will make a final stop on the Smurf turf of Boise.
After a brawl with Florida International, the death of teammate Bryan Pata and the firing of Coach Larry Coker, the Hurricanes are ready to put 2006 behind them. Nevada and the MPC Computers Bowl will mark the last chapter of the Coker years.
Alongside Coker will be his replacement, defensive coordinator Randy Shannon.
"I'm the head coach and Randy Shannon is the defensive coordinator," Coker said. "It has not been awkward. After Dec. 31, he's the new head coach. The key for me to coach this game is that the athletic director wanted me to coach this game, and Randy Shannon wanted me to coach. And the players wanted me to do it. That did matter. I want to go out and win this game."
The Hurricanes will try to give Coker, who leaves after winning nearly 80 percent of his games, a sendoff against a Nevada team that won five games in a row before dropping its regular season finale. The Wolf Pack fell 38-7 to Fiesta Bowl-bound Boise State.
Like Miami, Nevada struggled against top teams. The Wolf Pack outscored opponents 200-35 during its winning streak before the undefeated Broncos dismantled Nevada at home.
Between them, Nevada and Miami have three total wins over bowl teams. Miami's came against Boston College and Houston; Nevada's against San Jose State.