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Stephen Hawkins | The Associated Press | September 2, 2018

Miami vs. LSU preview: Malik Rosier, Hurricanes square off against Joe Burrow-led Tigers

Miami football saving the oceans

ARLINGTON, Texas — Malik Rosier and the Miami Hurricanes had quite a breakout in coach Mark Richt's second season with a 10-0 start.

The finish wasn't all that good.

The No. 8 Hurricanes have their highest preseason ranking in 14 seasons despite ending 2017 with a three-game losing streak. They won't be easing into Richt's third season, as they open Sunday night against No. 25 LSU in a neutral-site stadium where the Tigers have gone 3-0 — all against Top 25 opponents.

"You're going to find some of the greatest athletes in America on that team," said Richt, who coached in the SEC for 15 seasons at Georgia before taking over at his alma mater. "They can go toe to toe with anybody in America physically."

MORE: 15 under-the-radar FBS players to watch in 2018

LSU is undefeated at AT&T Stadium, the home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. The Tigers beat Texas A&M in the 2011 Cotton Bowl, opened the 2011 season with a win over Oregon and beat TCU in the season kickoff game there five years ago.

Rosier set a Hurricanes record last season when he was responsible for 31 touchdowns (26 passing, five rushing), one more than Vinny Testaverde in his Heisman Trophy-winning season of 1986. Rosier's 3,588 total yards (3,120 passing, 468 passing) were a school record in his first year as the starter.

But Rosier had three touchdowns and five interceptions in the three losses — at Pittsburgh, 38-3 to Clemson in the ACC championship game and then to Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl.

RELATED: LSU takes unproven backfield into Sunday night's clash with Miami

LSU is the fourth-highest ranked team from the SEC West behind top-ranked defending national champion Alabama, No. 9 Auburn and No. 18 Mississippi State. The Tigers have a senior quarterback in line to make his first college start with graduate transfer Joe Burrow.

Burrow appeared in 10 games for Ohio State the past two seasons. He competed for LSU's starting spot with Myles Brennan, one of prized 2017 recruits for the Tigers.

"It was a very, very tight race," coach Ed Orgeron said. "If (Burrow) does not perform well, we have no problem putting in the second-team quarterback."

This article was written by Stephen Hawkins from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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