Miami Vs Virgina
This game could be critical for UM. At this stage of the season (Miami's 2nd to last game), there will be no room for slip-ups, especially if the 'Canes are in contention for an ACC Coastal Division crown and a birth in the Conference Championship Game. Virginia has made a habit of playing the spoiler and defeating favored teams the past couple of years, and could be dangerous.
Saturday, 11/23/2013. Sun Life Stadium. TBA.
This is Miami's last home contest of the season, which could mean bad news for the Hoos. Seniors like QB Stephen Morris, OT Seantrel Henderson, and WR Allen Hurns are sure to be emotionally charged for the contest. Virginia, on the other hand, could be playing for Mike London's job. With a good recruiting class on the way, reports are he is safe. However, with records of 4-8, 8-4, and 4-8, with an 0-3 mark against Virginia Tech coming into this year, he might be on the hot seat if this year is a total train wreck.
The all time series is tied at 5 games a pop. UVA has won the last 3 by a sum of 12 points, including a 41-40 thriller last season in Charlottesville, where Michael Rocco threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee with 6 seconds remaining for the win. Virginia also closed out the Orange Bowl, humiliating the 'Canes 48-0 in 2007. Needless to say, UM fans have seldom enjoyed the experience of playing Virginia in recent years.
The exploits of Duke Johnson and Stephen Morris have been well documented thus far. A few under the radar guys to watch for Miami:
WR Allen Hurns is a reliable sure-handed 6'3 target who has quietly accumulated 59 career catches and 8 TDs coming into this year. UM is loaded at the receiver positions, but overlooking the talented and steady Hurns would be a mistake.
DT Curtis Porter had an injury plagued 2012. If the senior from Charlotte, NC can stay on the field in 2013, he should be a solid anchor in the middle of the UM defense.
Tyriq McCord opened some eyes with 3.5 sacks and 3.5 TFL as a true freshman last season. This year he moved from DE to OLB. Looks for McCord to make plays all over the field.
For Virginia's impact players and team expectations, we enlisted the help of the guys from Streaking the Lawn, here's what they said:
If this is going to be the season Miami breaks through and contends for an ACC Championship, this is absolutely the kind of game they have to not only win, but win easily. No disrespect to Virginia, but Miami has more talent at almost every position. With UVA unsure who is going to be starting at QB, this is the perfect game for Miami's defense to look good (see USF last year). Morris, Johnson, and Hurns should all have big games on offense as well. Miami rolls 45-17.
Thanks again to the guys over at Streaking the Lawn for working with us.