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Miami Hurricanes Schedule Preview: Virginia

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As part of the dwindling offseason, SOTU will preview each game on the Canes' schedule. During the season there will be much more in-depth previews the week before each game, but these will serve to get you ready for what is to come. Enjoy!

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Hottest Seat in the ACC?!

If you read this blog, then I do not need to recount to you what Miami did last season despite sending a plethora of blue chip talent in the NFL.

The Al Golden Saga is one that is very familiar to all 'Canes fans.

But if Golden's seat is warm, Mike London's is a towering inferno.

Most pundits feel that anything short of a Bowl, will lead to the end of the London era, after 6 muddling seasons.

The Hoos started out last year well enough, challenging a top 10 UCLA team, beating Louisville, and winning 4 of their first 6 games behind a spirited defense.

But down the stretch, minus an inexplicable defeat of Golden and the Hurricanes, they were abysmal and finished the season 5-7.

In fact, the 30-13 win of UM on 11/22 may have saved London for another season.

To earn a 7th year in Charlottesville, he will likely need more than just another win over Miami.

With an unsettled situation at QB, and a lot of defensive talent to replace, London will have his work cut out for him in 2015.

Series History

All time, each team owns 6 wins over the other.

But UVA has really put some pain on the 'Canes in recent memory.

They've won 4 of 5,  and oh yeah they shut down the Orange Bowl by humiliating UM 48-0 back in 2007.

Is their a series more symbolic of the 'Canes recent ineptitude?

This year's contest will take place on 11/7 in Miami (TBD).

Key Players

Greyson Lambert transferred, leaving 6'5 junior Matt Johns the starting QB by default.

Johns completed just 54.9% of his passes last year and tossed just 8 TDs and 5 picks in part time duty behind Lambert.

This would seem like the kind of game where the UM defensive back field featuring Tracy Howard, Deon Bush, and Artie Burns thrives.

But in recent years, UM has made mediocre QBs look good.   Hopefully that trend ends.

The running game should help Johns out some.  Former 5 star recruit Taquan "Smoke" Mizzell could be a major factor, now that Kevin Parks has graduated.

He could test UM's LBs both on the edge and between the tackles.

Juwon Young, Jermaine Grace, and Raphael Kirby among others, will need big games to slow the Hoos run game down.

The Hoos return 7 players on the offensive line who have starting experience, so that could be an area of strength.

Defensively, it will be tough for UVA to replace departed stars like Eli Harold and Henry Coley.

But on the defensive line, stout David Dean returns.  He should help anchor a front that was very stingy against the run last year.

Mike Moore and Andrew Brown are also capable returning players along the D line.

On the back end, Virginia has two potential stars in freshman All-American S Quin Blanding and CB Demetrious Nicholson.

Blanding in particular, is an absolute terror.

Brad Kaaya will need to know where he is at all times and avoid throwing his way too often.

Overall the Virginia roster is one with some talented pieces, but more than likely too many holes to compete consistently, even in the mess that is the ACC Coastal.

Overall Impression

It's tough to know where both of these teams will stand on November 11th.

But it also isn't far fetched to say the loser of this game has a very good shot at having a new coach in 2016.

The Hurricanes has no business losing to Hoos last year.

And given this is a home game and the definitive advantage they will have at QB, losing to London and UVA again would be completely inexcusable.

Looks for the 'Canes to exercise some demons and roll big time in this one.