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Miami at Virginia Tech
Canes -2.5 Road Favs
It’s funny how offseason comments work. People laughed at both Lane Kiffin of
Tennessee and Randy Shannon of Miami for things they said. The only difference
is that Shannon made good on his comment that Miami is a top 10 team. His team
has played very well to start the year 2-0 with victories over Florida State and
Georgia Tech. They will take on the ACC heavyweight Virginia Tech on Saturday.
The Virginia Tech Hokies are currently ranked #11 in the nation, and for good reason. They are 2-1 after wins over Marshall and Nebraska. Their only loss came against an Alabama team believed by some to be the best in the country. QB Tyrod Taylor stepped up to the plate big time last week in the Hokies 16-15 win over Nebraska. The junior had 192 yards and came up with a big TD pass late in the game to put Virginia Tech over the top. Freshman RB Ryan Williams was huge for the Hokies, picking up 107 yards and a TD on 21 carries. The defense played OK. They were unable to stop Nebraska’s run attack, but they did force Nebraska QB Zac Lee to throw 2 INTs.
The Hokies offense was somewhat lethargic last week, and they must do a better job of scoring points against the Hurricanes. Tyrod Taylor has to make big plays happen. The pressure is on him to win this game. He is an excellent athlete, but has to prove that he can throw the ball well on a consistent basis. The running game has been tough, and the receivers are solid. Virginia Tech’s defense is one of the best around, and it has been known to cause chaos for opposing QBs. They need to keep the pass rush on Jacory Harris and force him to give up INTs. I think the result of the game could hinge on their ability to make Harris have a bad day.
The ‘Canes have been great so far this year. They stole a win from Florida State to start the year. The defense held up on the last drive and prevented the Seminoles from converting what should have been an easy first and goal at the end of the game. Coach Shannon’s team did even better against Georgia Tech, holding the rushing based team to less than 100 yards on the ground. QB Jacory Harris was nearly flawless against the Yellow Jackets. He threw for 270 yards and 3 TDs on 20/25 passing. The running game was also strong, picking up 183 yards. All in all, the Hurricanes played an excellent game last week and they didn’t do much wrong.
If Miami wants to keep their perfect record intact then they will need to keep pressure on Tyrod Taylor. The Hokies QB is an athletic player, but not the greatest passer. They forced 2 turnovers against Florida State, but were unable to get any against the run based Yellow Jackets. Miami is full of talented athletes, and their WRs have done a great job of creating separation.
Miami's win over Florida State looking a little more impressive now after watching what the Noles did to BYU last week, a team that beat Miami's next opponent, Oklahoma. The Canes have a few more offensive weapons than Tech which is where we see the difference in this one. Note that Virginia Tech managed just 64 and 86 rushing yards in two of their games this year. Leaving it up to Taylor through the air won't cut it against the Canes. Also note that Miami, for the 2nd week in a row has had extra time to prepare for an opponent. A couple of days can make all the difference in the world. We'll lay the -2.5 with Miami here and look for them to Start 3-0 in ACC play to gain firm grip on the conference.
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