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Film Forecast ‘23: Virginia at Miami

The Cavaliers head south to Hard Rock Stadium to face the Hurricanes on Saturday, October 28th.

William & Mary v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes ended their two game losing streak with a big upset win over the Clemson Tigers. Miami is now 5-2 (1-2 in the ACC) heading into a home matchup against UVA. The Cavaliers are 2-5 (1-2 in the ACC). UVA is coming off of a big upset win of their own, a 31-27 victory over the UNC Tar Heels.

The big question heading into Saturday, October 28th at 3:30pm (eastern) on the ACC Network is whether or not The U’s starting quarterback, Tyler Van Dyke, will be healthy enough to suit up for the ‘Canes.

The Doppler

Per Bill Connelly’s SP+, The Hurricanes are the 23rd best team in FBS, while UVA is 80th. The Hurricanes 25th ranked offense will face UVA’s 58th ranked defense. The Hoos 98th ranked offense will have to figure out how to score against Miami’s 21st ranked defense. The Hurricanes also have a clear edge in the kicking game- Miami’s kicking is 4th, UVA’s is 67th.

In points per game, Miami is 17th in FBS with 34.3 PPG while UVA is 86th with 23 PPG. THe Hoos are 113th in points per game allowed on defense with 34.2 per game. Miami is 33rd and allowing 21.2 PPG.

The ‘Canes clearly have the more efficient offense. Miami is 18th in points per play compared to UVA being 94th. Miami is also 13th in yards per play while the Hoos are 104th.

Clemson v Miami Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Both teams are sloppy with a bad turnover margin per game and penalties per game. Miami is 77th in turnover margin with -0.2 per game, while Virginia is 100th in FBS with -0.5. The Hurricanes are still sloppy in penalties, too. Miami is 120th with 7.7 penalties per game, the Cavaliers are 97th with 6.8.

Kicking info Andres Borregales has been clutch making 12-of-13 field goals and 27-of-28 extra points this season. KR Brashard Smith is averaging 33.9 yards per return with a score and Dylan Joyce has picked up where Lou Hedley left off as punter.

UVA’s kicker, Will Bettridge, is 8-of-9 on FG’s and 100% on PAT’s. UVA’s punter Daniel Starks is averaging 43.5 yards per punt, but the Hoos have a mediocre return game.

I would expect a sloppy game with a few dumb turnovers and a lot of dumb penalties. I’m putting the yellow flag over/under at 15. Against UNC- UVA committed two turnovers and were flagged six times for 40-yards. But the Hoos defense held Drake Maye’s offense to 4-of-13 on 3rd down and 0-for-2 on 4th down.

UVA Offense

UVA has gone back and forth with their QB’s, but it seems like Tony Muskett is the guy moving forward. Mustkett finished with 6.9 yards per attempt, one touchdown and one interception against UNC. Muskett also rushed for 66 yards on 5.5 yards per carry (including two sacks).

The Cavaliers use a two running back system with Perris Jones and Mike Hollis. The duo rushed for 4.8 and 4.4 yards per carry, respectively. Hollis added three touchdowns on the ground.

Malik Washington was Muskett’s go-to guy with 12 receptions but only for 9.6 yards per catch. Washington did catch UVA’s only receiving touchdown on the day. UVA’s explosive plays also came from Sackett Wood Jr. Wood Jr. averaged 20.7 yards per grab on three receptions.

UVA’s offensive line allowed two sacks and five TFL’s to UNC’s defense. UVA runs the NCAA Offense as it’s often called- basically “what most teams are doing.” 11 personnel, RPO tags, screens, some Air Raid concepts mixed with West Coast concepts.

Above- Slide RPO off zone and hitting the wide open flat. This worries me about Miami with the slower inside linebackers on the field (LB Mauigoa and Corey Flagg).

Above- Hollins is looking healthy again. Inside Zone with a pretty cut off the defender and into the end zone. Miami has to bring their A+ tackling game from the DB’s this week.

Above- The same play that I think would work for Miami will work against them. Any delayed wheel forcing DB’s to communicate and switch or having Lance Guidry stick the LB/DB (maybe even a DE) on a TE or RB in man up the numbers is dangerous.

Above- The reoccurring theme during the UVA-UNC game was grit. The Hoos are gritty and have put it together lately. A pair of close losses before back-to-back wins. They’re improving slowly but surely.

Above- It’s BAIN TIME. Muskett isn’t impervious to bad mistakes. Rueben Bain Jr. has a magnet for the QB and the football. Expect Bain to come away with a sack and potentially a forced fumble vs. UVA.

Above- This is the kind of play Miami has to take advantage of. Kam Kinchens picked off Cade Klubnik and it was good to see him on the field, healthy, and ball hawking one again.

Above- The theme of Grit is back. Washington with the reception and hard fought yards after catch for his lone touchdown. Again- Miami DB’s need to bring their best tackling game into this one vs. UVA between Hollis at the 3rd level, Muskett scrambling, and Washington over the middle on Mesh here.

UVA Defense

The Cavaliers defense stepped up big against Drake Maye, holding the star QB to 27 points and two touchdowns with an interception. Maye averaged only 7.7 yards per attempt but did score once on the ground.

RB Omarion Hampton “got his” with 112 yards on 5.9 yards per carry. Tez Walker caught 11 balls for 13.3 yards per catch and one TD. Bryson Nesbitt averaged 31 yards per catch with a touchdown of his own.

The UVA defense sacked Maye twice, picked up three TFL’s and four PBU’s on the day.

Above- So what’s open vs. UVA? I want to see more of Jacolby George, Brashard Smith, and Riley Williams up the seam. Get over the LB and between 2-high safeties. QB has to have great ball placement though or it’s a another INT in the end zone for Miami.

Above- My “what’s open” from the SOTU twitter, the wheel route. Miami has to use more wheel routes. Xavier Restrepo is great at running them. Let Colbie Young and George run the posts inside to attack the safety and create OODA Loop window dressing to get the inside WR or TE free.

Above- I realize the depth isn’t there for Miami on the O-Line but you still have to pull some more. If Don Chaney is out, and Henry Parrish isn’t getting burn (anyone with any info?), I guess it’s up to Chris Johnson, maybe Mark Fletcher (is he healthy?!), and Ajay Allen to get the job done. A puller will help them in space.

Above- RPO and play-action passes with the slide tag for the TE are always deadly. Miami needs more of that with Elijah Arroyo healthy again.

Above- Van Dyke’s leg is beat up and Emory Williams doesn’t look like the second coming of Johnny Manziel on the ground- but damn Miami needs a little bit of read option inside the +5 to keep defensive linemen honest.

The Forecast

Don’t forget, I’ll be on the SOTU account for the “Live X” of the game (live Tweet?). I hope I can be as fast and furious as Cam on the keyboard to keep up with the game and the ACCN stream on the ESPN App.

The ESPN win expectancy leans to a 91.5% number towards the Hurricanes. The Canyonero Keys to Victory for Miami from the summer were:

1- Guidry be Guidry. Send pressure and play less REALLY off coverage. UVA doesn’t have the weapons that Clemson has, and Miami needs pressure to offset being poor in coverage. Wood Jr. and Jones have explosive potential, but it’s not from a bunch of guys like UNC or FSU seems to have.

2- Score some damn points. Depends on how well Williams plays in his second start, or how healthy Van Dyke is after sitting out against Clemson with an injury. If it’s Williams I can see him performing better against a much slower, less confusing defense. If it’s Van Dyke he has to show he’s not rusty after a week off.

3- Bounce back after a loss. Stay focused after a big upset win. Originally I marked the Clemson game as a loss, and wanted to see a big bounce back game. Now I’m saying don’t let the upset hangover leak into UVA week. Come out as focused as you did against CU.

Summer Prediction: Miami by 7. Updated prediction: Miami by 10.