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2012 Virginia Tech Football: Miami Game Guide

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Mike Ehrmann

Virginia Tech Hokies (4-3, 2-1) vs. Miami Hurricanes (4-4, 3-2)

Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT
Date: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012
Place: Miami Gardens, Fl.
Sun Life Stadium
(Cap: 76,500, Open: 1987, Field: Grass)
Radio: VT IMG, XM 190, Sirius 94
Spread: Virginia Tech -2.5
Weather: High of 80, 0% Chance of Rain

Miami: The Hurricanes are coming off of a 13-point loss at home against the Florida State Seminoles. The 'Canes jumped out to a 10-point lead on the strength of a 9-yard Mike James run just four minutes into the game and a Jake Wieclaw field goal midway through the first quarter. Florida State, however, evened it back up at 10 six minutes into the second quarter after a Dustin Hopkins field goal and a James Wilder Jr. 17-yard touchdown run. Hopkins added another field goal seconds before halftime to give the 'Noles a 13-10 lead going into the break. The third quarter was a test of wills, as neither team saw the end zone. The 'Noles added to their lead with a field goal midway through the quarter and Miami answered to pull within 3 with just seconds remaining in the quarter. Despite sticking around for three quarters, the fourth was all FSU, as the 'Noles scored two rushing touchdowns and adding a field goal for good measure, taking a 20-point lead before Miami tacked on a garbage time touchdown to make the final a 33-20 Seminoles victory.

Trends: The Hokies beat the Hurricanes 35-31 a year ago in exciting fashion and perhaps the most spectacular quarterback performance a Hokie quarterback will ever put together. Logan Thomas was 23-of-25 for 310 yards, 3 passing touchdowns and 11 carries for 38 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game-winning 19-yard run on 4th-and-1 with 56 seconds left, causing Lane Stadium to blow up. What's even more impressive is Thomas' only two incompletions were drops. ACC Player of the Year David Wilson also ran for 128 yards rushing, and Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin had 7 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown, and Danny Coale also had 5 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown as well. The Hurricanes gashed the Hokies injury-riddled defense to the tune of 519 yards and 31 points. The Hokies are 6-2 against the Hurricanes as ACC members and have won the last three in the series.

History Lesson: The following information is all provided via Virginia Tech has played Miami a total of 29 times, 21 times under Frank Beamer. Beamer holds a 12-9 record against the Hurricanes and a 1-0 record against second-year Hurricane head coach Al Golden. The Hurricanes have the advantage in the series by the count of 17-12. The series began in 1953, when the Hurricanes beat the Hokies 26-0 in Miami. Tech has played at Miami 15 times, holding a 5-10 record in those games. Under Beamer, the Hokies are 5-6 at Miami. Tech is 5-4 against Miami when the Hurricanes are not ranked, but are only 1-4 in games in which neither team is ranked.

What to Expect

  • I would tell you what offense the Hurricanes run, but I don't think I can put it better than it was a week ago by Tomahawk Nation's Evenflow58:
  • "Miami runs a pro-style offense out of multiple formations using motion to help quarterbacks understand what the defense is trying to accomplish. UM started off running a good bit of no huddle but as their defense gave up more and more yards they have dialed that back. Expect Miami to run at a snail's pace. The longer they hold the ball the more likely Miami will either win or keep the game close."
  • Defensively the Hurricanes run both out of the 4-3 and 3-4 formations, but most often stay in a standard 4-3. Apparently, they tend to rush the pass better out of the 3-4, which is unusual.
  • I would again like to refer you to Tomahawk Nation's Evenflow58, who previewed the Miami defense prior to their game with Miami a week ago:
  • "Run the ball. Then run it again. Then run it some more. Run it inside. Run it outside..." "Miami is giving up about 5.6 yards/rush against teams not named Georgia Tech and Bethune-Cookman."
  • "Unfortunately for Miami they are not much better against the pass. Miami is giving up 8.9 yards/pass to teams not named Georgia Tech or Bethune-Cookman (again, triple option teams) but did shut down Bryn Renner pretty well. Before the UNC game Miami was giving up 10 yards/pass soooo....progress! Miami has not shown a penchant to press receivers rather forcing teams to work their way down the field. While this is usually a good strategy it quickly backfires when teams do not tackle well and Miami does not."
  • Miami ranks No. 51 nationally in total offense with 416 yards per game.
  • The Hurricanes rank No. 23 in the nation in passing offense with 289 yards per game.
  • The Hurricanes are No. 92 nationally in rushing offense, with 127 yards per game.
  • The Hurricanes rank No. 114 nationally in total defense, giving up over 499 yards per game. They are also tied with Kentucky for No. 93 in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 32.4 points per game. Both of those rankings are the lowest for a team the Hokies will have faced as of the game.
  • The Hurricanes also rank No. 117 nationally in rushing defense, giving up over 249 yards per game, and No. 83 nationally in passing defense, giving up just under 250 yards per game.
  • Miami is led on the ground by stud freshman Duke Johnson, who has 470 yards and 5 TD's on the ground.
  • The Hurricanes are led in the receiving department by sophomore wide receiver Phillip Dorsett who has 34 receptions for 523 yards and 3 TD's.
  • Hokies Win If: They play defensively like they did for two quarters and change against Clemson, do not turn the ball over, fire most of their offensive coaching staff...oh, and get a competently-officiated game (A.K.A. not gonna happen)

    Hurricanes Win If: They do something they haven't done yet to a serious team this year: Slow down their offense. They'll have a good chance to get their first against the Hokies. Also put themselves in position to get calls against the Hokies, because the ACC has established it is okay to gang up on them.

    Dot-dot-dots: With a win Thursday, Frank Beamer would move into sole possession of seventh place all-time in wins among FBS coaches with 256, passing former Nebraska head man Tom Osborne. The average score in the series is a 20-19 Miami advantage. The Hokies have been shutout in the series (in 1953), but the Hurricanes' lowest point total is 7 in 2009.