Another week, another fork in the road for the program.
A win and the 'Canes keep ACC Coastal hopes alive, not to mention breathe hope into a very discontented fan base.
A loss........and well things will get more apocalyptic in Coral Gables. UM will sit at 4-4 in utter mediocrity and have effectively seen all of their preseason goals vanquished.
It's a pretty important game.
Let's take a look at what Miami needs to do to come away victorious.
#1 Be aggressive on both sides of the ball - If you are going to go out, go out swinging. Starting with the defense, I'd like to see UM commit more men upfront to try and stop the run on early downs. VT QB Michael Brewer has shown a propensity to throw INTs under pressure. Send a few exotic blitzes his way and see if you can force some errors. Offensively, of course I want to see Miami pound the rock with Duke Johnson and Joe Yearby. But that very stout Tech front 7 will not make it easy. I want to see more play action passes on first and 10, and more deep shots to Phillip Dorsett on second and shorts. The Hokies D is led by all-world CB Kendall Fuller. But they often send rover Kyshoen Jarrett near the line of scrimmage to help with the run. Miami needs to make them pay with a few deep balls.
#2 Don't get burnt on special teams - The scariest part of this game to me is the chance that "Beamer Ball" shows up in a big way. UM LS Ronald Regula is out for the season. His replacement, Frank Gabriel, will make his debut in the most hostile of circumstances. But beyond potential long snap mishaps, the 'Canes need to avoid giving up a big play in all aspects of the kicking game. If they don't, they can control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and still end up losing this game. Attention to detail on special teams is going to be of the utmost importance tonight.
#3 Poise, poise, poise - Lane Stadium is going to be loud and raucous. But in what should be a close game, Miami can not afford too many pre-snap penalties and lapses in concentration. True freshman Brad Kaaya has been a picture of poise at the QB position thus far in hostile environments. Tonight's game will be another test for BK and his teammates.
Well there you have it Miami fans, if UM's play calling is aggressive on both sides of the ball, they avoid surrendering a huge special teams play, and their young and veteran players alike play with poise, they should come away with the much needed road win. Enjoy the game!