Virginia Tech (4-4) at Miami-Florida (4-4)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sun Life Stadium (74,916) -- Miami Gardens, Florida.
Television: ESPN. Home Record: VT 4-0, Miami 2-2. Away Record: VT 0-3, Miami
2-2. Neutral Record: VT 0-1, Miami 0-0. Conference Record: VT 2-2, Miami 3-2.
Series Record: Miami-Florida leads, 17-12.
GAME NOTES: A couple of teams coming off a bye will meet on Thursday night in
south Florida, as the Miami Hurricanes host the Virginia Tech Hokies in an ACC
Virginia Tech is coming off a 38-17 setback at 10th-ranked Clemson two weeks
ago, its third loss in the last four games. The Hokies have lost their last
six games outside of Blacksburg, tying the longest losing streak since the
1990 and '91 seasons. However, the team is 19-5 all-time in nationally-
televised Thursday night football games.
After being idle last weekend, Miami will wrap up its three-game homestand.
The Hurricanes have followed up a three-game win streak by losing three in a
row, the most recent of which was a 33-20 setback to Florida State on Oct. 20.
Their last victory came more than a month ago against NC State.
Miami leads the all-time series, 17-12, although Virginia Tech has won each of
the last three meetings and seven of the last nine overall.
Dual-threat quarterback Logan Thomas leads the Hokies offense. Thomas has been
rather inconsistent in the passing game, completing only 53.6 percent of his
attempts with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the season. Primary target
Marcus Davis has averaged 80.4 receiving yards per tilt and has hauled in four
of Thomas' 13 touchdown passes. On the ground, Thomas has notched a team-high
five rushing TDs while averaging 37.3 rushing yards, as he is tied with
Michael Vick for third place in career rushing touchdowns by a Tech QB with
16. Freshman J.C. Coleman is averaging 6.0 yards per carry and a team-best
42.3 yards per game on the ground despite starting only three games. He got 12
carries against Clemson but netted only 19 yards (1.6 ypc), while Thomas
logged 21 totes for 99 yards and a score. He wasn't as efficient in the
passing game, however, as he finished with one touchdown and two
interceptions, one of which was returned 74 yards for a score.
The Tech defense has posted five sacks in each of the last two games. Behind
that steady pressure, the Hokies were able to limit Clemson's Tajh Boyd to 160
yards on 12-of-21 passing, with one touchdown and one interception. Boyd did
score twice on the ground, although the Tigers managed just 3.0 ypc as a team
and finished with only 295 total yards, compared to 406 yards for VT. However,
six Hokies' turnovers made things increasingly difficult on their defense.
Jack Tyler (2.5 TFL) and Kyshoen Jarrett (1.0 TFL) shared team-high honors
with nine tackles each in the loss. Tyler ranks third in the ACC with 9.6
tackles per game.
Miami's offense prefers to move the ball through the air. Junior quarterback
Stephen Morris enters the weekend leading the ACC in completions (179),
passing attempts (311) and passing yards (2,219), while ranking second with
277.4 yards per game. Against ninth-ranked Florida State two weeks ago, he
shook off a sprained left ankle (suffered the previous week) to throw for 223
yards and a TD. However, the offense took a hit when freshman running
back/return specialist Duke Johnson exited in the second half with a foot
injury. His absence was significant in that Johnson ranks third in the ACC in
all-purpose yards (137.9) and eighth in rushing (56.9). With the freshman
playmaker unavailable, Miami finished with just 29 rushing yards on 21
attempts. Fortunately for the Hurricanes, both Johnson and Morris are
considered probable for Thursday's matchup.
FSU essentially tried to give the Hurricanes the game, committing 12 penalties
and putting the ball on the ground five times (two lost). The Miami defense
held the Seminoles to field goals on four drives, although FSU won the time of
possession battle by nearly 10 minutes and outgained Miami, 447-258. Entering
this week's tilt, Miami ranks 116th out of 120 FBS teams in total defense,
allowing 499.1 ypg. Sophomore linebacker Denzel Perryman posted a season-high
12 tackles, including nine solo, and also forced a fumble against FSU. Of
Perryman's 47 tackles on the season, 31 have come in the last three games as
he has clearly gotten more comfortable in the scheme. Freshmen Deon Bush and
Eddie Johnson have also become playmakers, as they are tied for the ACC lead
with 3 forced fumbles.
Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hokies have lost just twice in the month of
November. However, they won't be able to coast past the Hurricanes, who still
remain very much in the Coastal Division race. Expect a tight game between
these conference rivals.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Florida 23, Virginia Tech 20
10/31 10:40:38 ET