Miami heads to Virginia in a key matchup between two ACC Coastal division teams. The Hurricanes control their own destiny. With a victory at Virginia and a Duke loss to Georgia Tech next weekend, Miami would be the coastal division champion.
The Hurricanes and Cavaliers are coming off big ACC wins last weekend.
Miami beat Virginia Tech, 30-12, while Virginia destroyed North Carolina State, 33-6. It was the Cavaliers' first ACC win this season.
Here is a complete preview of Miami vs. Virginia.
Who: Miami vs. Virginia
When: Saturday, 12:00 PM ET
Where: Charlottesville, VA
Stadium: Scott Stadium (61,500)
Radio: WQAM 560 AM, WELE 1380 AM
Internet Stream: Canes All Access
Position: Starter, Backup (as of Nov. 5, 2012)
QB: Stephen Morris, Ryan Williams
FB: Maurice Hagens, Sean Harvey
RB: Mike James, Duke Johnson
TE: Clive Walford, Dyron Dye, Asante Cleveland
WR: Phillip Dorsett, Kendal Thompkins or Robert Lockhart Jr.
WR: Allen Hurns, Davon Johnson
WR: Rashawn Scott, Herb Waters
LT: Malcolm Bunche, Hunter Wells
LG: Jon Feliciano, Jeremy Lewis
C: Shane McDermott, Jared Wheeler
RG: Brandon Linder, Daniel Isidora
RT: Seantrel Henderson, Ereck Flowers
DE: Anthony Chickillo, Jalen Grimble or Jelani Hamilton
DT: Earl Moore, Curtis Porter, Dequan Ivery
DT: Olsen Pierre, Luther Robinson or Corey King
DE: Shayon Green, Tyriq McCord or Ricardo Williams
OLB: Eddie Johnson, Thurston Armbrister
MLB: Jimmy Gaines, Raphael Kirby
OLB: Denzel Perryman or Gionni Paul,Tyrone Cornelius
CB: Ladarius Gunter, Tracy Howard or Thomas Finnie
CB: Brandon McGee, Antonio Crawford
S: A.J. Highsmith, Vaughn Telemaque
S: Deon Bush, Kacy Rodgers III
P: Dalton Botts, Jake Wieclaw
FG: Jake Wieclaw, Matt Goudis
KO: Jake Wieclaw, Matt Goudis
H: Dalton Botts, Ryan Williams
LS: Paul Kelly, Jimmy Gaines
SS: Paul Kelly, Brandon Linder
PR: Phillip Dorsett, Duke Johnson
KR: Phillip Dorsett, Duke Johnson
Injury Report (via USA Today):
DL: Curtis Porter - Appendix - Questionable
LB: Denzel Perryman - Ankle - Questionable
DB: Kacy Rodgers - Leg - Questionable
Out for the Season: Ramon Buchanan (lower extremity), Malcolm Lewis (lower extremity), Sean McNally (lower extremity), Eduardo Clements (undisclosed injury)
Position: Starter, Backup (as of Nov. 5, 2012)
QB: Phillip Sims, Michael Rocco, David Watford
FB: Zachary Swanson, Billy Skrobacz, LoVante' Battle
TB: Perry Jones, Kevin Parks, Clifton Richardson, Khalek Shepherd
TE: Paul Freedman, Colter Phillips, Jake McGee
WR: Tim Smith, E.J. Scott
WR: Darius Jennings, Dominique Terrell
LT: Oday Aboushi, Kelby Johnson
LG: Conner Davis, Cody Wallace
C: Luke Bowanko, Matt Mihalik
RG: Sean Cascarano, Ross Burbank
RT: Morgan Moses, Jay Whitmore
DE: Jake Snyder, Mike Moore
DT: Brent Urban, Justin Renfrow, David Dean
DT: Will Hill, Chris Brathwaite
DE: Eli Harold, Ausar Walcott
SLB: Dawuan Romero, Demeitre Brim, Henry Coley
MLB: Steve Greer, Kwontie Moore or Tucker Windle
WLB: La'Roy Reynolds, D.J. HIll
CB: Demetrious Nicholson, C.J. Moore
CB: Drequan Hoskey, Maurice Canady
SS: Brandon Phelps, Anthony Cooper
FS: Anthony Harris, Rijo Walker
P: Alec Vozenilek
FG: Drew Jarrett, Ian Frye
KO: Ian Frye
H: Jacob Hodges
LS: Matt Fortin
PR: Khalek Shepherd, Dominque Terrell, Demetrious Nicholson
KR: Khalek Sheperd, Clifton Richardson, LoVante' Battle
Injury Report (via USA Today):
WR: Brian Pomper - Lower Body - Day-to-Day
DE: Diamonte Bailey - Illness - Day-to-Day
OT: Nick Koutris - Lower Body - Day-to-Day
FB: Sammy MacFarlane - Lower Body - Day-to-Day
RB: Clifton Richardson - Illness - Day-to-Day
DE: Bill Schautz - Lower Body - Day-to-Day
Hurricane running back Duke Johnson tallied 217 all-purpose yards as Miami cruised by Virginia Tech, 30-12 on Thursday night. Duke carried the ball 11 times for 100 yards and a touchdown while returning two kickoff returns for 118 yards—including an 81-yard return in the first quarter.
Quarterback Stephen Morris completed 13-of-28 passes for 170 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. His stats were solid, but he could have produced even better numbers if he would have hit his wide-open receivers throughout the night.
The Hurricanes defense created three turnovers including two interceptions of Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas.
Virginia's defense showed up Saturday, creating five turnovers in a 33-6 surprising rout of North Carolina State. It was just Virginia's third win of the season.
Defensive back C.J. Wilson picked off two passes while Tobais Palmer added another interception for the Cavaliers.
Cavalier running back Kevin Parks ran for 115 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries as Virginia racked up 248 yards on the ground.
Virginia will only try to become a spoiler team this weekend because it has already officially been eliminated from the ACC Coastal division title with four conference losses. Even if the Cavaliers were to win out, they would lose tiebreakers to Georgia Tech and Duke.
On the other hand, this is a must-win for the Hurricanes if they want to continue to control their own destiny for the coastal division. If the Hurricanes win this game and Duke loses to Georgia Tech next weekend, then Miami will be the coastal division champions.
I am going to keep Stephen Morris as the key player this week against Virginia. Even though Morris threw two touchdowns last Thursday against Virginia Tech, he needs to get better.
Morris struggled, missing wide open receivers all night, and even the announcers mentioned multiple times that Morris wasn't checking his reads correctly.
The Miami offensive line was less than stellar, but Morris needs to be more patient. It doesn't matter if you have an extremely strong arm if you can't make the correct reads.
The Hurricanes need a balanced attack to win on the road in the ACC, and it starts with the play of Morris.
Cavalier running back Kevin Parks will play a huge role Saturday against the Hurricanes. Parks is coming off a 115-yard performance last weekend against North Carolina State.
On the season, Parks has 618 yards and four touchdowns, but it's not a matter of how good he has been throughout the season—it's a matter of whom he is playing. The Hurricane rush defense is ranked No. 119 (out of 120 teams) in the country.
If the Cavaliers want any shot of upsetting the Hurricanes it will start with Parks. If he is unable to run the ball against this bad Hurricane front four, it will be a long day for Virginia.
The Hurricanes will win this game if they have a balanced attack on offense and stay on the field longer to allow the defense to rest.
Last week against the Hokies, the Hurricanes offense converted just 1-of-12 third downs and lost the time of possession stat, 34:21 to 24:39.
Miami must find a way to run the ball successfully and finish with much better third-down conversion numbers in order to come away with a victory.
Virginia's defense isn't that bad as it is ranked No. 34 in total defense, giving up just 341 yards per game. If the Hurricanes aren't able to be consistent on the ground and through the air, they could easily lose this game.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Hurricanes must keep Virginia out of the end zone. Last week against the Hokies, the Hurricanes gave up 421 yards of total offense, but limited Virginia Tech to just 12 points.
The Cavaliers will win this game if they play like they did against North Carolina State last weekend. The Cavalier defense completed destroyed the Wolfpack offense with six sacks, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a safety.
Virginia's defense held North Carolina State to just 19 yards rushing on 24 carries. The Wolfpack was limited to just 216 total yards of offense.
The offense also played well racking up 446 yards of total offense including 248 on the ground.
It was by far, the most impressive win—and only one so far in the ACC—this season for the Cavaliers. If they play that well this weekend, they will get their second win in the ACC.
Before last week's game against North Carolina State, I would have said that Virginia doesn't have a chance of beating the Hurricanes this Saturday.
After the 33-6 whooping the Cavaliers put on the Wolfpack, it completely changed my mind and I think that the Hurricanes will be in a tough battle.
Ignore the fact that Virginia has only one win in the ACC. In 2010, the Cavaliers' lone win in the ACC was to the No. 22-ranked Miami Hurricanes.
Virgina typically plays Miami well and this year will be no exception. However, I believe the Hurricanes are destined for that coastal division title.
Final Prediction: Miami 35, Virginia 31