2011 Virginia Tech Football: Miami Game Guide

BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 1: Cornerback Jayron Hosley #20 of the Virginia Tech University Hokies returns the ball after an interception against the Clemson University Tigers on October 1, 2011 at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1, 0-1) vs. Miami Hurricanes (2-2, 0-1)

Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT
Date: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
Place: Blacksburg, Va.
Stadium: Lane Stadium/Worsham Field
(Cap: 66,233, Open: 1965, Field: Bermuda)
TV: ABC, ESPN or ESPN3 (Reverse Mirror)
Radio: VT IMGXM 85Sirius 85
Spread: Virginia Tech -7
Weather: High of 75, No Chance of Rain

Miami: The Hurricanes have alternated wins and losses this season, opening with a loss on the road against Maryland, winning at home against Ohio State after a bye week, losing at home to Kansas State and winning at home against Bethune-Cookman. After Stephen Morris started against Maryland for the suspended Jacory Harris, Harris has started the last three and has completed 69.0 percent of his passes for 8.0 ypa with six TDs and three INTs. Despite missing the first game of the season, Sean Spence already leads the Canes in tackles.

Trends: The Hokies have won six consecutive games against Coastal Division opponents and 10 of their last 11 home games against Coastal opponents. Miami has lost five of its last seven games and five of its last seven against teams ranked in the Coaches' Poll.

History Lesson: Virginia Tech is 11-17 all-time against Miami, 6-5 against the Canes at Lane Stadium and 11-9 against them under Frank Beamer. The Hokies have won four of the last five, seven of the last nine and 11 of the last 16 against them. In the last meeting, Ryan Williams ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns as Virginia Tech beat Miami 31-17 to clinch the Coastal Division title. Tech was out-gained by nearly 100 yards, but intercepted Stephen Morris on Miami's final three possessions. 

What to Expect

  • Expect Harris to throw an interception. He has thrown a pick in 10 of his last 13 games, avoiding one against Florida A&M, Duke and Bethune-Cookman.
  • Expect both teams to hit the ground running. The Canes are both good at running the ball and atrocious at stopping it, averaging 5.1 ypc while giving up 5.0 (and over 200 ypg).
  • Expect Miami to be close to full strength. Seven of the eight Canes suspended in the wake of the Nevin Shapiro investigation will be back as Ray Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye return. Defensive end Olivier Vernon will sit out two more games.
  • Expect to see the defense tested. This is the first time Tech will face a power running team as the previous five opponents their offense primarily out of the shotgun. Miami will line up under center and try to pound the rock, exactly the kind of offense we had trouble with last year.

Hokies Win If: They keep Logan Thomas off his back and stop the run.

Hurricanes Win If: They don't turn the ball over and force Tech's running backs to the outside.

Dot-dot-dots: The Hokies have not lost consecutive home games since 2002 when they lost to Pittsburgh and West Virginia ... they haven't lost home games in back-to-back weeks since 1995 when they lost to BC and Cincinnati ... they haven't lost two home games in the span of eight days since 1992 when they lost to Southern Miss and Virginia ... Tech has not started 0-2 in conference play since 1957 when it started Southern Conference play with losses to West Virginia and William and Mary. 

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