Despite last week's tough loss to #2 FSU, Miami controls there own destiny in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division standings.
Virginia Tech (3-2) in the ACC, would still need Duke (2-2 but victorious head to head against VT) to lose one more conference game. So if they defeat Miami they likely would be Miami's biggest fans come 11/16 when the Canes head to Durham. But a loss this weekend against the 'Canes, and those chances all but evaporate.
Coach Al Golden was excited for his Canes to put their stamp on the division.
"We're excited about the opportunity, it's exciting for both programs. We are both in the hunt, and it's a meaningful game in November."
Not long ago, the Hokies were climbing the rankings looked by far like Miami's biggest threat for a birth in the ACCCG. But consecutive losses to Boston College and Duke have deflated those hopes some.
Coach Frank Beamer has a pretty good idea why,
"A couple of weeks ago we had won 6 in a row not turning the ball over. I think it's pretty simple."
He also praised the 'Canes ball hawking defense,
"I think defensively they are right there with Alabama." (among teams Va Tech has played)
In addition to stressing taking care of the ball against UM, he also warned his defense needed to be sharp.
"I think Miami is a very impressive football team. Probably the best offensive line we have played overall. It seems like the next running back is waiting to be a star. Crawford fits the bill."
Coach Golden affirmed that Crawford would be a key factor in Saturday Night's showdown.
"Certainly Dallas right now, he's been #2 now he's #1 has demonstrated he can carry the load......He's got a low center of gravity and a lot of strength, he does utilize a spin move occasionally..... He's a little more powerful in his ability to drop his pads. Like Randy (Duke Johnson) he does catch the ball very well."
Golden stressed that as "the benchmark" for the Coastal Division, Virginia Tech has his team's full attention.
With much on the line, including a potential rematch with the Seminoles in Charlotte, his team will need to be focused.
Expect both teams to come out with a lot of adrenaline and emotion. In addition to being a prime time game between long time rivals, there is still plenty at stake.