Virginia Tech Hokies (2-1) vs. Miami Hurricanes (2-0)
Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT
Date: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009
Place: Lane Stadium at Worsham Field, Blacksburg, Va.
TV: ABC/ESPN Reverse Mirror
Miami: The Hurricanes will have 10 days to prepare for the Hokies after dismantling Georgia Tech last week ... a lot has been made about the Hurricanes early slate, which starts with conference games against Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech and then has a non-conference game against Oklahoma ... so far, the Canes have been up to the test with wins at FSU and against Georgia Tech ... Miami has two new coordinators for 2009 ... OC Mark Whipple replaced the fired Patrick Nix ... DC John Lovett replaced Bill Young, who moved to Oklahoma State ... even though QB Jacory Harris has been the story early on, the Canes have 69 rushing attempts and 59 pass attempts through two games ... Harris has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes ... Graig Cooper and Javarris James share the carries for Miami ... Cooper has averaged over five yards per carry ... opponents are averaging under three yards per carry and 7.6 yards per pass attempt against Miami.
Trends: Miami had a five game winning streak before losing its last three games of 2008 ... it has started 2009 with two wins ... Miami's win over Virginia Tech last year was its first against the Hokies since 2005 ... four of the last seven games between Miami and Virginia Tech have been decided by more than seven points ... Virginia Tech has won 10 consecutive home games ... its last home loss was 14-10 against BC in 2007.
History Lesson: Virginia Tech is 9-17 all-time against the Hurricanes ... the Hokies lost their first 12 games against Miami ... Virginia Tech is 5-5 against Miami in Lane Stadium and 9-9 against it under Frank Beamer ... needless to say, it's been a very even series of late ... the last 11 games between these two teams have been on ESPN, ABC or CBS.
What to Expect
- The Hokies could have trouble getting pressure on Jacory Harris. He's been sacked just once in his first two games.
- Expect Harris to be confident in the pocket. He's only run the ball four times this year, including the sack.
- Expect the Canes to be confident. Whipple has them playing at a high level in their first two games.
- Expect big plays from both sides. The Canes can be beaten deep, but it will take keeping Tyrod Taylor upright for the Hokies to take advantage of them. Miami has nine pass plays of 25 yards or more this season.
- Expect an improved Miami defense. It shut down Virginia Tech last year, but still struggled defensively. This year it's playing much better.
Hokies win if: They give Tyrod Taylor time to throw, force Jacory Harris into mistakes and make this an ugly game.
Hurricanes win if: They get their athletes into space, take advantage of Virginia Tech's struggles against the deep ball and don't turn the ball over.
Dot-dot-dots: This is the first time the Hokies and Hurricanes haven't met in November or December since they played on Sept. 19, 1998 at the Orange Bowl ... the Hokies won that game, 27-20 ... Saturday was the first time the Hokies took a lead in the final minute since 1999 when they won on a kick as time expired at West Virginia ... an opposing running back has gone for over 100 yards in each of the Hokies' first three games ... Saturday was the first time the Hokies won with less than 100 yards rushing since they beat Boston College in the 2007 ACCCG.