This week is about not losing the momentum. North Carolina was a big win. Not just for the record books, but also for getting that big monkey off their backs. No, not Butch Davis, I meant that figuratively. Miami’s three year losing streak was an embarrassment. It needed to end. And a good thing it did, otherwise we would’ve wrote a really vicious article. And surely, that would’ve done a lot. Anyway, back to Virginia. Miami should win this game. There’s no reason they shouldn’t go in, take care of business and lockup win #6. The Hurricanes, after a tepid start, played fast and loose. They put a beat down on UNC (albeit a short-handed team) and had plenty of fun along the way. If they can hold onto that little bit of on-field magic for the next game, then Virginia is afterthought. And, if this sounds a bit arrogant – maybe it is. But, just like this Miami team, I’m also working on channeling my inner-Cane. And, if you don’t get it…then maybe you never will. Because it’s a Canes thing! GO CANES!
What Canes Pundit will be looking for:
- A healthy dose of Lamar and DB20. The Cavalier defense is giving up a healthy 5.14 yard per carry average on the ground. Conversely, they rank 2nd in the ACC and 11th in the nation in pass defense. We don’t want to see tons of down field lob passes. Coach Whipple has to dial up the run, and then run the ball some more.
- Virgina DB Chase Minnifield. The junior defensive back has 4 interceptions through 7 games this year (no one else on their team has more than 1 interception). Jacory Harris needs to be aware of where Minnifield is on the field at all times. If any game calls for a conservative passing attack and a healthy dose of the running game, it’s this one.
- Travis Benjamin return skills. It’s been a long time since TB3 took a punt return to the house in Columbus. Virginia is ranked 89th in the country in punt return defense, giving up nearly 12 yards a return. If Travis has some space, watch out. We’d like to see him give the offense great field position if given the opportunity.
- Jacory Harris Mark Whipple’s playbook. As stated, this game screams for a healthy dose of Berry and Miller. We want to see Whipple dial it down a notch and pound the rock. Perhaps use TE Asante Cleveland in play action or utilize Hankerson or Benjamin on a bubble screen…but for the most part: run. the. ball.
This game is going to be much closer than last year’s 52-17 tilt. Virginia has great cornerbacks and one of the nation’s top pass defenses. That being said, stopping Damien Berry and Lamar Miller while Seantrel Henderson opens lanes is not something we see the Virginia defense doing. Even if Orlando Franklin is out, we see Miami pulling away late in this one:
Prediction: Miami 29, Virginia 17
Quick Hits: Glad to see some press coverage of the fact that Miami is one of only two schools (Stanford being the other) in the BCS standings that has a graduation success rate (GSR) in the national top 10. The GSR measures the percentage of students that graduate within six years. Miami’s percentage (81) is very impressive when you consider the percentages of some other big time football schools (Oklahoma – 44, Oregon – 54, FSU – 64). Now we have actual proof: Hurricanes are smarter than Seminoles…..Was kind of surprised to see that Sporting News’ Mid-Season All American team included safety Ray Ray Armstrong. I would pick him for All ACC, but I’m not sure two interceptions qualifies as All American at this point…..Why is the fact that Charlie Sheen was with a porn star news? I mean, that’s like saying a blind man was spotted with a seeing eye dog…..Why no Heisman love for Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon? Dude leads the country in receiving yards (1,112), touchdowns (14), and DUIs (1).