Miami: In their last game against the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, a match up of previously unbeatens in Tallahassee, the Hurricanes were defeated soundly, 41-14, despite staying competitive for the greater part of the game. The Seminoles marched down the field on their first possession, finishing it off with a touchdown on a 5-yard Devonta Freeman run. To their credit, Miami answered before the end of the first quarter on a 33-yard Allen Hurns pass from Steven Morris to tie it at 7. The 'Noles scored again early in the second on a 1-yard James Wilder Jr. run, to pull ahead by a touchdown to provide a 14-7 advantage for the home team. They upped their advantage by another touchdown minutes later on a 48-yard pass from Jameis Winston to Freeman. But right before half, the Hurricanes struck back with another pass from Morris to Hurns for a 14-yard score to make it 21-14. The second half begun with the 'Noles adding another score on the ground, this one a 5-yard run by Wilder Jr. to double the margin to 14 points. Freeman added another score on the next possession, a 12-yard run, and the rout was on. The 'Noles added two Roberto Aguayo field goals in the fourth to finish it 41-14. In addition to the loss, the Hurricanes lost possibly their best player, Duke Johnson to an ankle injury for the rest of the season. Johnson, the sophomore running back, had 920 yards and 6 touchdowns on the season. For the 'Canes, Johnson netted 97 yards on the ground and Morris threw for 192 yards and 2 scores with 2 interceptions. Miami's defense also intercepted Jameis Winston twice as well.
Trends: Virginia Tech lost the last game in the series, in 2012, 30-12 in Miami. The Hurricanes got on the board first, scoring on a short field possession from 16 yards out on a pass from Stephen Morris to Allen Hurns for the 7-0 advantage. Cody Journell kicked a 22-yard field goal on the next possession to pull the 'Canes advantage to four. But less than a minute later, Miami had another touchdown on a Mike James reception from Morris from 16 yards out. On the Hokies' first possession of the second quarter, Logan Thomas ran 73 yards for a score, lumbering into the end zone untouched, but Journell missed the extra point, leaving the score at 14-9 Miami. After two Jake Wieclaw field goals, Journell added one at half to cut the Miami lead to eight, a 20-12 halftime advantage. The third quarter went without a score, but midway through the fourth, Duke Johnson added a rushing touchdown to make it a two-score game at 27-12. With minutes remaining, Wieclaw added a field goal for the final margin, a 30-12 Miami victory. Thomas threw for 199 yards and 2 interceptions, and rushed for 124 yards and a score. The Hokies out-gained the Hurricanes 421-347, won the time of possession battle significantly (nearly by 10 minutes) and were exponentially better on third down. But, the Hokies turned it over three times to the Hurricanes none, missed a field goal, an extra point and came away empty twice in the red zone.
History Lesson: The following information is all provided via Hokiesports.com. The Hokies trail in the all-time series 18-12, going 12-9 against the Hurricanes in conference and are also 1-2 against Miami at Sun Life Stadium (including all the other names it has had). The Hokies lost their last game over the Hurricanes 30-12 last season. Beamer is 1-1 against second-year Miami Head Coach Al Golden. The Hokies are 2-13 in the series when they are unranked. Virginia Tech lost the first game of the series in 1953, a 26-0 Miami win in Miami. They lost their first 12 games of the series before winning 13-7 in 1995. The average score of the series is a 21-19 Miami advantage. The Hurricanes have never been shut out in the series by the Hokies, but the Hokies have been shut out on one occasion in the series, the 1953 game. Tech is 60-17 all-time in ACC conference games, including a 41-8 record against Coastal Division opponents and a 29-9 mark in ACC road games (19-5 against Coastal Division opponents on the road) (rankings data dates back to 1950, the earliest year of Hokiesports' poll of choice, the Coaches' Poll).
What to Expect
Miami runs multiple formations on offense
Miami runs a 4-3 formation defensively
The Hurricanes rank No. 38 nationally in total offense with 458.1 yards per game. They are also scoring 36.4 points per game, which ranks tied for No. 32 nationally.
Miami ranks No. 43 in passing offense with 259.9 yards per game through the air.
The Hurricanes rank No. 34 nationally with 198.3 yards per game on the ground.
Defensively, the Hurricanes are giving up 364.1 yards per game, good for No. 32 nationally. They also are No. 25 in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 20.6 points per game.
In rushing defense, Miami is tied for No. 48 nationally, allowing 148 yards per game. Through the air, they've allowed 216.1 yards per game, good for a No. 37 ranking in the nation.
Stephen Morris has passed for 1,655 yards with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions so far this season.
Running back Duke Johnson is the Hurricanes leading-rusher at 920 yards and 6 touchdowns, but he was injured against Florida State and will miss the remainder of the season. His backup, has 294 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground through eight games.
Allen Hurns leads the Hurricanes in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns with 33, 590 and 4 respectively.
Hokies Win If: They are able to stop hold on to the football and play a good defensive ball game.
Hurricanes Win If: They are able to run the ball without Johnson and turn the Hokies over.
Dot-dot-dots: The triple-overtime win over Marshall was win No. 700 for the program. The Hokies are one of only 15 teams in the FBS to have that many wins. Frank Beamer is in sixth place all-time in wins among FBS coaches with 264. He needs 35 more to pass Joe Paterno, who now stands at 298 wins after 111 wins were vacated from his record. Individually, Logan Thomas is now the all-time leading-passer in Virginia Tech history in passing attempts (1,146), completions (633) and career passing yardage (8,152 yards). Thomas became the all-time leader in passing yards in Virginia Tech history against North Carolina, passing Tyrod Taylor. In the win over Georgia Tech, Thomas moved into third place all-time at Virginia Tech in wins for a quarterback with 22. He now has 24 and needs two more wins to move into a tie for second place all-time with Bryan Randall with 26 wins. Thomas is also now the all-time leader in total yardage in Tech history after passing Tyrod Taylor in the loss to Boston College, and stands at 9,463 yards. In the loss to Duke, Thomas also moved passed Tyrod Taylor for first place all-time in rushing touchdowns among Virginia Tech quarterbacks, with 24. Thomas also has 48 passing touchdowns, tied for first all-time at Tech with Bryan Randall for the all-time record. He passed Maurice DeShazo and tied Randall in the loss to Boston College. Kyle Fuller tops the ACC with 10 passes broken up. He also leads the conference in passes defended with 12. A.J. Hughes leads all ACC punters with a 44.9-yard per punt average, which places him ninth nationally. The Hokies defense is No. 2 in the nation with 17 interceptions. The Hokies are 12-4 all-time on November 9.