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Game Preview: Miami Football Hosts Virginia Looking to Build off "Miracle in Durham"

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The Hoos have really had the 'Canes number of late. Can the 'Canes turn the tide.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Many who cover both squads (as well as tons of fans of each team) have half joked that the only reason Mike London still has a job with UVA is because of Al Golden.

Well before you dismiss the statement above as strictly for laughs, consider this fact.

London was 4-1 Vs the former embattled UM coach.

Against the rest of the ACC?   An extrememly porous 7-27!

So yeah, Coach London typically has to feel some level of excitement when it's Hurricanes week.

However this week, Larry Scott and not Al Golden, will be the man in charge for Miami.

Will it be enough for UM to finally pay the Hoos back some revenge?

We'll see.

With both teams coming in at 2-2 in the ACC and the difference in winning and losing staying alive in the topsy turvy ACC Coastal at stake, Scott and the 'Canes know they can not afford to slip up.

Let's breakdown what to expect on the field tomorrow (3PM ESPN3):

When the Hurricanes have the ball:   As of Friday morning we still do not know if QB Brad Kaaya (questionable coming off of a concussion) will be behind center Saturday afternoon. If he can not go, Malik Rosier will get the nod.  Rosier was impressive Vs Duke last week, but Kaaya is still on another level.  Virginia has really struggled giving up big plays, and their defensive secondary featuring star S Quin Blanding, has produced just one INT this season as a team.  The key to me, regardless of who is at quarterback, is to establish the run with Joe Yearby and Mark Walton. UM's struggling offensive line played a little better last week Vs the Blue Devils.  They need to build off that momentum.  If they can run the ball effectively, it opens up play action passes (something that the Hoos D is very vulnerable to). And the UVA secondary, even with Blanding, does not have the personnel to match up with Stacy Coley, Rashawn Scott, Herb Waters, nor emerging TE David Njoku.  On the other hand, if Virginia's front 7 featuring some good players in ILB Micah Moore, emerging DE Trent Corney, and OLB Mike Moore can stop the run, it makes protecting Kaaya and/or Rosier all the more difficult on third and obvious.  I expect Virginia to do a decent job of slowing the Hurricanes on some series, but give up some huge plays on others.

When the Cavaliers have the ball: QB Matt Johns (13 INT on the season) has not done a good job protecting the football.  Facing a ball hawking secondary featuring Artie Burns, Corn Elder, and Deon Bush among others, would seem like a very favorable match-up for the 'Canes.  For this reason I expect Taquan "Smoke" Mizzell and Daniel Hamm to get a lot of carries.  If the Hurricanes can stop the run, this game becomes easy.  They need another ridiculous performance from LB Jermaine Grace (I think he just tackled another Duke ball carrier) to make that happen.  UVA is -10 on the season in turnover differential.   Miami is +10.  There's a pretty good chance the 'Canes get their hands on a few balls this week. If Virginia finds success running the football though, this game could get a lot more interesting than UM would like.

Prediction:  It's tough to predict a final score not knowing if Kaaya is available or not.  But something tells me it won't matter either way.  I think there are tons of big plays to be had on both sides of the field and Scott has these guys ready to run through brick walls to get the win.   Miami big, 34-13.