The Miami Hurricanes are a heavy underdog ahead of their matchup with rival Florida State on Saturday.
However, if the Hurricanes play their cards right, they might just walk away with an upset.
The Hurricanes have been struggling defensively as of late, allowing 32 points per game while only being able to average 27. In any normal game, this might present a problem; but in rivalry games, anything can and does happen. The No. 14 Seminoles (6-1, 3-1 ACC) come into the game after rolling over Boston College by a score of 50-17 last weekend.
Miami comes into the game hungry as ever. The Hurricanes (4-3, 3-1 ACC) are currently enduring a two-game skid that they are looking to end against the Seminoles.
Florida State's lone loss on the season came at the hands of N.C. State, but the Wolfpack are not a Top 25 team and have not been spectacular at all this season. E.J. Manuel and the Florida State offense look to continue proving that the N.C. State loss was nothing but a bad game, but the Hurricanes are not going to roll over and die.
The Miami offense is going to rely heavily on freshman standout Duke Johnson if it wants to have any chance of upsetting the Seminoles.
Johnson is averaging 5.8 yards per carry so far this season and has been a bright spot in an offense that has struggled at times against top opponents. With quarterback Stephen Morris out and sophomore Ryan Williams making his first career start, the Hurricanes will need great things out of the freshman running back.
Williams, on the other hand, comes into the game as a relative unknown.
While he has seen some playing time this season, the Seminoles do not have enough tape on Williams to know exactly what to expect. For a sophomore from Florida, Williams is living a dream in making his first start against the Seminoles. Some may expect nerves from the young quarterback, but Williams will show maturity beyond his age and experience.
When he took over for Morris in last weekend's game against North Carolina, Williams played strong, completing 9-of-13 for 80 yards with no interceptions or touchdowns.
Coming into Saturday night's prime-time matchup with the Hurricanes, the Seminoles boast the nation's fourth-best defense, only allowing just under 12 points per game.
The Hurricane offense will not be getting into an offensive shootout with the Seminoles on Saturday, strictly because of the Seminoles defense. The game could, however, turn into a defensive battle.
While the Miami defense has been terrible at times so far this season, the Hurricanes will once again be starting a different 11 on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Al Golden made changes to his defense once again this week during practice, as he looks to build off of the positives last week against the Tar Heels.
Against the Tar Heels, the Hurricanes defense held its own, despite losing. Miami allowed a season-low 18 points, which allowed the 'Canes to stay in the game until the very end.
Despite struggles throughout the early part of the season, the Hurricanes come into this game primed to upset the Seminoles. With everyone expecting the Seminoles to roll over the Miami defense that struggles at times, the Miami defense may just steal the show.
Miami's offense may not have the star-power (yet) that the Seminoles do, but never count out a young team playing against an archrival.
After all, the great thing about sports is anything can happen...and often does.