Our picks team takes a crack at this week’s slate of games:
Canes @ Virginia Tech:
Cam: Coming into tonight's game on a 2-game skid, Miami is a team that needs to right the ship. The defense is the walking wounded right now, with several key players (Chad Thomas, Gerald Willis, and Sheldrick Redwine among others) out for the game. The offense has been stagnant recently, and the offensive line play has been poor. Add that to a trip to Blacksburg to take on an improving Virginia Tech team in a hostile environment and I think you have the makings of a 3rd straight loss for Miami. I hope they rally and prove me wrong, but that's my take on the situation.
Virginia Tech 27, Miami 17
Ricky: If this is the game the Hurricanes offense finds its rhythm again, and it really, really needs to soon, the ‘Canes could overwhelm Virginia Tech. There are depth issues across the board, most notably along the defensive line, but a competitive offense may ease those concerns. Now, I don't think the offense shows its full potential on Thursday night, but I think they'll be a hell of a lot better than against UNC. (They could not drop 5 passes and that alone would be a huge improvement.)
Miami 28, Virginia Tech 17
Michael: Miami on defense i hope keeps it close. The defensive line over the last few days has been ravaged by injuries. It's gotten to the point the staff had to switch Stan Dobard from his natural position of tight end to defensive end. I think with a full complement of players from a few weeks ago Manny Diaz and his unit handle the VT offense but now I just don't know.
The offense has struggled mightily against under performing defenses and now take on vaunted Bud Foster's scheme at Lane Stadium. Yikes. Kaaya might now make it out of this game if the offensive line play doesn't pick up the pace.
I don't see Miami doing better in this contest as the season starts to sag away into mediocrity. Richt didn't have much to work with heading into this season and with the dismissals and injuries occurring, he's working with one hand tied behind his back at this point.
Virginia Tech 14, Miami 10
Craig: As we’ve covered thoroughly and Hurricane nation knows.....our guys are hurting. The injury bug has been flat out cruel to the Canes this year. Despite the laundry list of injuries, Manny Diaz’s defense has kept a sputtering offense in the past couple of games.
But eventually the injuries have to take a heavy toll on the defense, right? And right now this offensive line seems like it couldn’t protect Brad Kaaya from a sunburn with a tent and SPF 50. Bud Foster, aside from last week’s bed-wetting against Syracuse, has reestablished the Hokie defense as one of the better units in the country.
So, this appears to be every bit of a Virginia Tech -6 cover, doesn’t it? Everything I’m seeing makes me think so. But, deep in my gut, the ol’ Coastal Chaos factor won’t go away. This is the kind of game the Canes probably should lose. But, in an inexplicable fashion, they’ll hit enough big plays and force a couple of timely turnovers to escape with a huge win. How? I have no idea. Coastal Chaos factor, y’all.
Miami 23, Virginia Tech 20