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Film Forecast: Miami at Virginia, 10/29

The ‘Canes head up to Charlottesville to face the Hoos on Halloween weekend.

NCAA Football: Virginia at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes will head to Charlottesville, VA to face the UVA Cavaliers on Saturday, October 29th at 12:30pm eastern. With both programs 3-4 on the season, the game will be broadcast once again on regional TV.

Miami opens as a three point favorite per DraftKings. On the road that means Las Vegas really thinks The U is about a touchdown better than UVA.

The Doppler

Per Bill Connelly’s SP+, the Hurricanes are 59th overall, 56th on offense, 53rd on defense, and 18th in the kicking game. The Hoos are 81st overall, 86th on offense, 56th on defense, and 124th in the kicking game.

However, for Miami, that was with Tyler Van Dyke in the lineup at quarterback and that doesn’t look plausible heading into the next game. Van Dyke went down against Duke clutching his throwing shoulder and Jake Garcia came in to turn the ball over five times.

NCAA Football: Duke at Miami Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

UVA’s offense is as stark of a contrast from ‘21 to ‘22 as Miami’s. The Cavaliers are scoring only 17.6 PPG right now (123rd of 131 FBS teams) but are also only allowing 22.6 PPG (44th in FBS). Miami is scoring 29.3 PPG (67th in FBS) and allowing 24 PPG (53rd in FBS).

UVA is 125th in points per play while Miami is 107th. The Hoos are 117th in penalties per game with 8.2 under Tony Elliott while Cristobal’s ‘Canes are 93rd with seven penalties per game. UVA’s kicking game has been horrible. UVA has missed PAT’s and half of their field goal attempts, and kneeled down a kick return instead of calling fair catch. Woof.


Tony Elliott has quickly reverse the progress Robert Anae had made in Charlottesville, while Anae has gone to Syracuse and light a fuse under the Orange offense. Brennan Armstrong went from gunslinger to pedestrian QB, averaging only 6.6 yards per attempt with six TD’s and nine INT’s.

RB Perris Jones is averaging 4.6 yards per carry on the season with two TD’s. Armstrong is UVA’s second leading rusher (think: Riley Leonard) with 3.5 yards per carry and four scores (including sack yardage).

Last year, UVA had three receiving threats to worry about but Elliott’s game plan has minimized Keytaon Thompson, Dontayvion Wicks and Billy Kemp to an after-thought. The trio has only two TD’s all season COMBINED.

Above- Like Miami, that UVA offense has sputtered under new management. The Hoos finally gained some yards on the ground and suffer a fumble. Sounds familiar. Maybe Miami can create a few turnovers this week for a change.

Above- RPO glance is tipped and picked. Tight defense helps the deflection. This should be a Kam Kinchens type of play here for Miami.

Above- If I was playing against Miami I would hit crossers all day. make the ‘Canes linebackers and defensive backs run in man with you and open things up for Brennan Armstrong to take off and run.

Above- A pass run option! Go figure! Everyone (but Josh Gattis) is running this in ‘22. Armstrong will be tough to stop +5 on a swing-power look.

Above- INT from Armstrong again, he’s been very turnover prone in ‘22. Again, the game to get back a few of those turnovers from a week ago.

Above- Wicks breaking ankles and tackles shouldn’t be as easy to visualize as it truly is. A LOT has to ben evaluated in the Miami program moving forward, and the way the coaches teach tracking and tackling is still an issue.


While UVA’s offense has sputtered, the defense is vastly improved from 2021. Pass rushing edge Chico Bennett has six sacks and 6.5 TFL’s on the season. The 250 pound end is going to raise hell for Miami’s offensive line, while the 280 pound tackle, Aaron Faumui also has 6.5 TFL’s with 3.5 sacks of his own.

Linebacker Nick Jackson could shut down Miami’s run game by himself. Jackson has 70 tackles, with five TFL’s and four sacks. Nine different Hoos have at least 12 a sack on the year, with seven forced fumbles by the defense. Anthony Johnson and Fentrell Cypress II have nine PBU’s a piece.

Above- Sims is just Jake Garcia (in the small sample size) with a few extra years of service. Boom or bust type of player that throws a big TD one minute and turns the ball over twice the next.

Above- the UVA defense is much improved under the new staff. Here they put pads on the running back and quarterback creating a turnover. Miami is obviously turnover prone at both RB and QB. Could be an issue since UVA has seen it on tape. Think about that Georgia Tech game and the amount of strips they went for. That’s a practiced skill!

Kicking Game

The UVA kicking game has been atrocious under Tony Elliott. Missed PAT’s, missed field goals, a really low punt return average (under nine yards per return)...

Above- ...and this blocked punt.

The Forecast

Per ESPN, Miami has a 54.1% win expectancy over the Cavaliers on the road. Don’t forget about the Storm Chasers (below) series from the summer!

The Canyonero keys from the summer were:

1- Score some damn points. Wow. I kinda predicted this issue in the summer. Without Van Dyke I’m wondering if Miami can score on more than 1-2 deep ‘chuck and duck’ types from Garcia as it is. UVA’s defense is vastly improved in ‘22 and I could see it being a long night for Miami’s QB.

2- Stop the pass. Brennan Armstrong and his trio of receivers have been a disappointment in ‘22, but that could change against Miami. MTSU, UNC, and Duke have hit some big throws against Miami. A mobile QB like Armstrong will get some big work in vs. Kevin Steele’s group. Riley Leonard scored four times, expect Armstrong to add 3-4 more of his own.

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

3- Stay focused. Mario Cristobal sounds checked out on his team and is already looking to the future. The players look checked out and have looked that way at times all season. The team quit against Duke in the 4th quarter and losing focus this week won’t help. The sign of a great coach is their bounce back games.

Prediction: UVA by 3. I just can’t trust Miami to put up points against the Cavaliers on the road, especially if Van Dyke is out or hobbled by an injury to his throwing arm. Miami was a 10 point favorite against Duke and were blown out at home. Expect a rough road trip for Coach Cristobal’s Hurricanes on Halloween weekend.