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Virginia Tech football: Is Miami really this good?

The Hurricanes currently rank No. 10, but are they really this good?

NCAA Football: Miami at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech RB Travon McMillian against Miami in 2016
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

How good are the Miami Hurricanes? It seems like every year, the national media wants to crown the Hurricanes and say they’re back. Only to see them falter after a hot start. Things are certainly different now with Mark Richt in town as the head coach. Richt is a proven winner and Miami is his alma mater. Recruiting has also picked back up under his watch since accepting the job.

At 8-0 this season and ranked No. 10, the country is once again falling in love with the fact that Miami may be good again. Maybe.

Again, how good are the Hurricanes?

Here are the teams Miami has beaten in 2017: Bethune Cookman, Toledo, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and North Carolina. We all know Tar Heels are terrible. Yet, UNC took Miami to the limit. FSU is a disaster this season, otherwise, the ‘Noles would’ve continued to dominate that rivalry.

Syracuse beat Clemson, and they also beat Virginia Tech last week. Playing the Carrier Dome is no joke, however, the ‘Canes had them at home and beat them by one score. Miami did dominate Duke, but so did the Hokies.

There’s no question Miami has talent on both sides of the ball. It always does. Defensively, Miami is ranked No. 82 against the run. The Hokies need to establish the running game on Saturday night. It will only open opportunities for freshman Josh Jackson and the passing game. Overall, the ‘Canes rank 51st in total defense.

Offensively, Miami is similar to Virginia Tech, especially at the quarterback position. Malik Rosier is improving as a passer for the Hurricanes, but he has yet to face a defense quite like Bud Foster’s group. The closest was Florida State and Rosier completed just 43 percent of his passes despite throwing for three scores.

The national media will mostly pick the ‘Canes on Saturday. After all, it is the trendy pick. Miami may win, but this game features two evenly-matched teams. Don’t let the hype fool you. Miami is good, but this isn’t the ‘Canes of 2002.

Will the Hokies win? Maybe, maybe not, however, they’ll show up and this one will come down to the wire.