College Football Week 9 Miami-Virginia Preview: The Hurricane Is Approaching

Danny DolphinAnalyst IOctober 28, 2010

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 9: Jacory Harris #12 of the Miami Hurricanes warms up prior to the game against the Florida State Seminoles on October 9, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Kickoff: 12:00 PM ET Saturday, October 30, 2010

Location: Scott Stadium (Charlottesville, VA)


Overall Records (ACC): Miami 5-2 (3-1), Virginia 3-4 (0-3)

Line: Miami by 15

Last Year: Miami thumped Virginia at home 52-17 and Graig Cooper delivered a monster game with 152 rushing yards.


Miami Injuries:

Jeremy LewisDTOut For Season (leg)
Curtis PorterDTOut Indefinitely (knee)


Virginia Injuries:

Joe TorchiaTEQuestionable Week 9 (shoulder)
Eric ThorntonWRQuestionable Week 9 (leg)
Bobby SmithWRQuestionable Week 9 (ankle)
Aaron Van KuikenDEQuestionable Week 9 (wrist)


When Miami has the ball

If the Hurricanes are smart they will deploy a simple game plan. Run...and run some more. The Virginia run defense is one of the worst in the nation (114th), giving up 5.1 yards per rush and 211 yards per game. Miami has committed to the run of late, averaging 224.5 yards on the ground during wins against Duke and North Carolina the last two weeks.

Freshman standout Seantrel Henderson has been getting reps at left tackle in practice this week with Orlando Franklin recovering from last week's knee injury. Something tells me he might never give that spot up.

Not coincidentally, in Miami’s last two wins, which were both in dominant fashion, they ran the ball more than they passed. The Canes backfield of Damien Berry, Lamar Miller and Mike James is going to have fun in Charlottesville this weekend.

Jacory Harris will find big windows to pass through when Miami gets the rushing attack rolling. Let’s see if he can play smart in this one and not take any unnecessary risks down the field. If so, he will be in a for a big day.


When Virginia has the ball

Virginia senior quarterback Marc Verica has played well this season against inferior opponents. In wins against Richmond, VMI and Eastern Michigan, he completed over 60 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and zero interceptions. In losses against North Carolina, Florida State, USC and Georgia Tech, he threw for two touchdowns and six interceptions while completing just 52 percent of his passes.

Miami, second in the nation in sacks per game at 3.57, is going to get after Verica. Expect plenty of turnovers by this often inept Cavalier offense that has failed to protect its quarterback thus far (2.43 average sacks allowed).

Miami end Allen Bailey is coming off his most dominant game as a Cane, recording 3.5 sacks, and will look to terrorize the Virginia offensive line.


Three Keys

  1. Stick with the running game
  2. Get pressure
  3. Limit the turnovers

With the temperature expected to be in the mid 60′s with sunny skies, it’s going to be a beautiful day for football. That is, unless you’re a Virginia fan. The Canes are going to blow through this one as they continue to dominate on the ground.

Prediction: Miami 45, Virginia 20