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GameThread: Miami travels to Virginia, looks for bowl elgibility

Miami looks to get bowl eligible with a win at Virginia on Saturday.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami got back on the good side of things with a win over Pittsburgh last week.

Can they build off the momentum and finish the season strong?

Will Brad Kaaya and the offense continue to hum?

Stay tuned as UM looks to start a winning streak and keep things going in the right direction.

Game Notes (courtesy UM):


-Miami travels to Virginia on Saturday for an ACC Coastal Division matchup at Scott Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. and will air on the RSN.

-Miami is 7-6 all-time against Virginia. The Hurricanes have won two of the last three matchups against the Cavaliers.

-The series opened in 1996, with Miami defeating Virginia, 31-21 in the Carquest Bowl in Orlando, Fla.


-Miami’s matchup with Pittsburgh marked the Hurricanes’ annual Homecoming game.

-Miami owns a 25-10-1 all-time series record against Pittsburgh. The Canes are 13-5-1 against the Panthers in South Florida.

-Head coach Mark Richt captured his 150th career win.

Miami Starters:

Offense: LT #73 Trevor Darling, LG #52 Kc McDermott, C #68 Nick Linder, RG #63 Danny Isidora, RT #78 Tyree St. Louis, QB #15 Brad Kaaya, RB #1 Mark Walton, WR #3 Stacy Coley, WR #8 Braxton Berrios, WR #82 Ahmmon Richards, TE #23 Christopher Herndon IV

Defense: DL #33 Trent Harris, DL 37 Kendrick Norton, DL #80 RJ McIntosh, DL #9 Chad Thomas, LB #56 Michael Pinckney, LB #55 Shaquille Quarterman, LB #53 Zach McCloud, DB #4 Jaquan Johnson, DB #26 Rayshawn Jenkins, DB #6 Jamal Carter, DB #29 Corn Elder

-Senior defensive back Jamal Carter, senior defensive back Corn Elder, junior tight end Chris Herndon IV and freshman running back Travis Homer represented the Hurricanes as captains during the coin toss against Pittsburgh.

-Miami outgained Pittsburgh 326-191 in total yards during the first half, and 534-417 for the game.

-The Hurricanes’ 534 yards of total offense were a season-best.

-The Hurricanes opened the game with a six-play, 75-yard drive, which spanned 2:14. Miami’s touchdown on its opening drive was its first to open a game since the Hurricanes’ matchup with Georgia Tech (Oct. 1).

-The Hurricanes held a 16:40-13:20 advantage in time of possession in the first half.

-Junior quarterback Brad Kaaya accounted for a career-best five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing).

-Senior Corn Elder led the Hurricanes with nine total tackles (six solo).

-Freshman Malek Young posted a career-best six total tackles (three solo).

-Sophomore Kendrick Norton’s forced his first career fumble.

-Junior Chad Thomas recorded his first fumble recovery of the year.

-Junior kicker Michael Badgley drilled a pair of field goals, connecting from 46 and 48 yards out, in the first half. He also had a 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

-Senior punter Justin Vogel had just one punt of 45 yards in the first half. He finished the game with five punts for 227 yards.


-University of Miami Director of Athletics Blake James announced on Dec. 4, 2015 the hiring of Hurricane alumnus Mark Richt as the 24th head football coach at The U.

-Richt was officially introduced to the public at a news conference at the Shalala Student Center.

-Richt, born in Omaha, Neb., and raised in Boca Raton, Fla., returned to his alma mater after leading the University of Georgia football program for the previous 15 years. During that time he compiled a 145-51 overall record and an 83-37 mark in Southeastern Conference play.

-Richt won two SEC championships, six SEC East titles and nine bowl games, and finished the season in the Associated Press Top 10 rankings seven times.


-Miami will be in search of its second straight win against Virginia and its third in the last four years.

-The Hurricanes will look to become bowl eligible for the ninth consecutive season.

-A win over the Cavaliers this Saturday would hand the Hurricanes their first win over Virginia on the road since 2008.

-Kaaya will look to throw for 200-or-more yards for the 27th time his career. In 26 of his 34 career games, Kaaya has thrown for over 200 yards. He also has at least one touchdown in 30 career outings.

-Kaaya needs just 51 yards passing to move past former Miami quarterback Jacory Harris for 16th on the ACC’s all-time career passing list.

-With 160 yards passing this weekend, Kaaya will become just the second Miami quarterback to throw for over 2,500 yards in three straight seasons. Ken Dorsey is the only other Miami signal caller to do so.

-Senior wide receiver Stacy Coley needs just one more receiving touchdown to move into a four-way tie for seventh on Miami’s all-time single season receiving list for touchdowns.

-Coley needs just 44 receiving yards to become just the eighth Miami wide receiver to record 2,000-or-more career receiving yards.

-If running back Joe Yearby surpasses 100 yards rushing, it would mark the eighth time in his career in which he has passed the century mark and would tie him for eighth all-time at Miami with Frank Gore.

-Senior offensive lineman Danny Isidora will look to make his 36th consecutive start. Isidora’s current consecutive start streak of 35 games is the team’s longest.

-The Hurricanes are just two sacks away from surpassing last year’s 2015 sack total of 26.


-Miami’s four losses this season have come by a combined total of 32 points (8.0 points per game average).

-Two of Miami’s four losses have come by three points or less.

-Miami’s loss at home against Florida State came by one point after the Hurricanes had their extra point blocked late in the fourth quarter.


-QB Brad Kaaya is in the midst of a junior season at Miami in which he has already posted career numbers that rank among the most prolific in program history.

-Kaaya was on the preseason watch lists for eight major honors: The Lombardi Award, the Manning Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, College Football Performance, the Davey O’Brien Award, American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, the Wuerffel Trophy and the Maxwell Award.

-Kaaya’s 8,776 career-passing yards are already the third-most in Miami history. His 3,238 passing yards as a sophomore in 2015 are tied for the sixth-most in a single season, while his 3,198 yards in 2014 are the eighth-most. He is the only QB with two individual seasons ranking in the top 10.

-His 8,776 passing yards rank 17th on the ACC all-time career list.

-With his three touchdown passes at Appalachian State, Kaaya passed legendary Hurricane quarterbacks Craig Erickson, Gino Torretta, Steve Walsh and Vinny Testaverde on the all-time touchdown pass list.

-Kaaya’s 59 career touchdown passes rank third all-time in Miami history.

-Kaaya has thrown for 200 or more yards in 26 of his 34 career games and has 10 career 300-yard performances. His career high of 405 yards came at Florida State on Oct. 10, 2015. His 25 career 200-yard passing games are the most among active ACC quarterbacks.

-Kaaya’s 10 career 300 yard passing games are ranked second behind Clemson’s Deshaun Watson among active ACC players.

-Kaaya was one of just three players nationally to throw for 3,000-or-more yards, 10-or-more touchdowns and five-or-fewer interceptions in 2015.

-As a freshman in 2014, Kaaya was named the ACC Offensive and ACC Overall Rookie of the Year after a stellar first campaign with the Hurricanes.


-Through nine games in 2016, Elder has totaled 56.0 tackles (42.0 solo), 3.5 tackle for loss, 2.0 sacks, one interception and nine pass breakups.

-His nine pass breakups are a team best. He also leads the team with 42.0 solo tackles.

-In the Hurricanes’ home opener against FAMU, Elder picked off a pass and tallied a pair of tackles.

-In Miami’s first road game of the year at Appalachian State, Elder tied a then career high with 7.0 tackles. He also tallied a sack, a tackle for loss, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.

-Against Florida State, Elder registered 6.0 tackles and one pass breakup.

-In the Hurricanes’ matchup against North Carolina, Elder posted career highs in tackles (14.0) and solo tackles (11.0). He also tallied a pass breakup and a sack.

-Against Virginia Tech, Elder made six stops and had two pass breakups.

-This past weekend against Pittsburgh, Elder recorded a team-best 9.0 solo tackles and had a pass breakup.

-Elder emerged as one of Miami’s top playmakers in 2015.

-Elder took the final lateral of "The Return" 91 yards to give Miami a 30-27 win over Duke in 2015.

-Elder tied for fifth in the ACC with 13 passes defended (1.0 per game).

-Elder led all UM cornerbacks in sacks with 2.0 in 2015.


-Craig Kuligowski, who is widely regarded as one of the top defensive line coaches in the country, has already made an immediate impact in his first season at Miami. The Hurricanes currently rank second in the nation in tackles for loss per game (9.0) and rank 28th in sacks per game (2.67).

-Through nine games, Miami has totaled 81 tackles for loss and 25 sacks. In 2015, the Hurricanes recorded 66 tackles for loss and 26 sacks for the entire season.

-Prior to arriving at Miami, Kuligowski spent 15 years at Missouri, where his defensive line units frequently ranked among the nation’s best in tackles for loss and sacks.


-Under first year defensive coordinator and Miami native Manny Diaz, the Hurricanes rank in the top 30 nationally in four different defensive categories: Scoring defense (No. 19/19.9), team sacks (No. 28/2.67), tackles for loss (No. 2/9.0) and total defense (No. 28/361.1).

-Miami has allowed just 20 touchdowns in its last 38 quarters dating back to last season.

-Miami has held seven of its nine opponents under their 2016 scoring average.

-Miami has started and finished games strong, outscoring its opponents by a combined 122-64 in the first and fourth quarters of games.

-In its ACC opener against Georgia Tech, Miami’s defense accounted for 12 points as freshmen Shaquille Quarterman and Joe Jackson each returned a fumble for a touchdown.

-In 2016, through just nine games, nine players already have at least 5.0 tackles for loss. In 2015, just four players finished the season (13 games) with at least 5.0 tackles for loss.

-Against Appalachian State, Miami held the Mountaineers to just 2.6 yards per carry on the ground.

-Miami dominated FAU in the first half, as it held the Owls to just one yard rushing on 17 attempts. The Hurricanes also did not allow the Owls to convert one third-down conversion as they went 0-for-11. FAU finished the game with just 46 yards.

-The Hurricanes opened the year on a high note, as they held Florida A&M to just 43 second-half yards.


-Running back Mark Walton has rushed for over 100 yards in four games this season.

-This past weekend against Pittsburgh, Walton rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown.

-Against North Carolina on Oct. 15, Walton rushed for 82 yards on a career-high 24 carries.

-Walton has already surpassed his 2015 rushing total of 461 yards. He currently leads the team with 774 yards on the ground.

-Walton scored a touchdown on the first play of the game at Appalachian State, as he raced 80 yards for the score. His 80-yard run was the longest of his young career.

-Walton’s 80-yard touchdown run against Appalachian State is tied for the second-longest rush in the ACC this season.

-In 22 career games, Walton has scored 20 touchdowns (19 rushing, one receiving).

-On Sept. 10 against Florida Atlantic, Walton rushed for a career-high 155 yards. He also scored a career-high four touchdowns against the Owls. His 155-yard output against FAU was the fifth highest rushing total in the ACC this season. In two career games against FAU, Walton has totaled seven rushing touchdowns.

-Walton got off to an impressive start to the 2016 season, as he rushed for a then-career-high 116 yards and had one touchdown against Florida A&M.

-Walton delivered an impressive first season with the Hurricanes as a freshman in 2015, ranking second on the team with 1,054 all-purpose yards and first with 10 total touchdowns.

-Walton’s 10 touchdowns - nine rushing and one receiving - were tied with Stacy Coley (2013) for second-most by a Miami freshman since 2000.

-Walton, who had 461 rushing yards and 293 receiving yards, was one of just 11 freshman running backs nationally with eight-or-more rushing touchdowns in 2015.


-Miami freshman linebackers Michael Pinckney, Shaquille Quarterman and Zach McCloud have made an immediate impact in their first seasons at The U.

-The three rookie linebackers have combined for 117.0 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks. They have combined for nearly 19 percent of the team’s tackles this season.

-The Miami freshman trio has started at linebacker in the Hurricanes’ last seven games. UM is the only school in the nation that has started three true freshman linebackers.

-Quarterman and Pinckney are ranked second (56.0) and fifth (40.0) on the team in tackles, while McCloud ranks 11th on the team in tackles (21.0).


-Freshman wide receiver Ahmmon Richards currently leads the Hurricanes with 632 yards receiving. His 632 yards currently rank fourth on the all-time freshman receiving yards list.

-Michael Irvin holds the all-time freshman receiving yards record.

-His 20.39 yards per reception ranks are tops among all FBS freshman nationally. Richards’ 20.39 yards per reception are ranked 11th nationally overall.

-Richards’ 632 yards receiving lead all FBS freshman nationally.

-Richards has been honored as the ACC Rookie of the Week twice this season.


-Through nine games this season, punter Justin Vogel has lived up to his preseason all-conference honor. The Tampa, Fla., native has 47 punts for 2,084 yards. His 44.3 yards per punt average ranks second in the ACC and 22nd nationally.

-Vogel has 16 punts that have landed inside the 20-yard line and has 13 that have gone over 50 yards.

-Vogel earned Preseason All-ACC honors after a stellar junior season in which he was recognized with All-ACC Third-Team honors by the media and All-ACC honorable mention from the league’s coaches.

-Vogel averaged 42.5 yards per punt in 2015, while his 73-yarder against Clemson on Oct. 24 was the longest of any ACC punter in 2015. He totaled 13 punts of 50 yards or more last season.

-Vogel was one of 28 punters to be named to the watch list for the 2016 Ray Guy Award. Vogel is a three-time Ray Guy Award nominee and was a semifinalist for the award in 2014.

-After spending the 2013 season at Florida, Vogel averaged 42.8 yards per punt and 62.1 yards on kickoffs in 2014. He was named Third-Team All-ACC by Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.


-Wide receiver Stacy Coley has established himself as one of the Hurricanes’ top pass catchers of all-time. In 45 career games, Coley has hauled in 148 receptions (second all-time) for 1,956 yards (eighth) and 19 touchdowns (tied for seventh).

-Coley’s eight receiving touchdowns rank 21st in the NCAA and first in the ACC.

-He currently stands as the team’s leading pass catcher with 45 receptions.

-Coley has caught a pass in 18 straight games.

-On Oct. 10, Coley was named ACC Receiver of the Week after he hauled in seven catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns against Florida State.

-Coley had a dominant freshman season in 2013, earning Freshman All-America honors and All-ACC recognition after leading the team with 1,461 all-purpose yards.

-After a quiet 2014, he returned to form in 2015. Despite missing two games with a hamstring injury, Coley finished second on the team in catches (47) and receiving yards (689).

-Coley’s 79.2 yards-per-game average in conference play ranked second in the ACC last season.

-He caught at least three passes in each of his final nine games in 2015, and had 678 yards over that span.

-Following the 2015 campaign, he earned All-ACC Second Team (Coaches) and All-ACC Third Team (ACSMA) recognition.


-Junior Michael Badgley enjoyed a prolific season in 2015, setting the Miami single-season record for made field goals (25) and besting the previous school record held by Jon Peattie (22, 2003). He entered 2016 on the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, which honors the nation’s best kicker.

-Badgley has connected on 38 extra points this season. His consecutive streak for PAT kicks made ended against Florida State at 72. He has now 112 PAT kicks made for his career. He is 12-for-15 in field goal attempts this season.

-This past weekend at home versus Pittsburgh, Badgley was 3-for-3, connecting from 46, 48 and 25 yards out.

-Against Notre Dame, Badgley was 2-for-2 in field goal attempts as he connected on attempts from 43 and 38 yards out.

-On Oct. 15 against North Carolina, Badgley hit a pair of field goals from 47 and 22 yards out.

-Against Florida State, Badgley drilled two field goals, including a season-long 51-yarder. His 51-yard field goal against FSU is tied for the third longest field goal in the ACC this year.

-Against Appalachian State, Badgley connected on six extra points and a 44-yard field goal.

-He is a perfect 17-of-17 in field goal attempts from between 40-49 yards during his UM career.

-Badgley tied a UM record when he hit a 57-yard field goal against Georgia Tech in 2015.

-The Summit, N.J., native set a school record when he hit five field goals against Nebraska in 2015, and would tie that mark later in the season with five field goals made against Pittsburgh.

-Badgley’s 2.08 field goals per game average ranked first in Division I last season, while his 25 made field goals were tied for fourth-most in the nation. He ranked 16th in scoring (9.6 points per game).


-Miami running backs Mark Walton and Joe Yearby have combined to rush for 1,296 yards this season.

-Louisville’s rushing duo of Lamar Jackson and Brandon Radcliff are the only other rushing tandem in the ACC that have more combined yards than Walton and Yearby.

-Walton (774) and Yearby (522) have accounted for 94 percent of the Hurricanes rushing output this year.

-In addition, Walton (60) and Yearby (36) have combined for 96 points.

-Both Walton (Booker T. Washington) and Yearby (Miami Central) attended Miami-area high schools before joining the Hurricanes.

Consistent canes

-Offensive lineman Danny Isidora leads all Hurricanes with 35 straight starts.