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Miami vs. Virginia Tech ACC Football Pick with Analysis

10/8/11

Virginia Tech hosts Miami Florida Saturday in a big ACC Coastal division showdown Saturday. Virginia Tech is 4-1 overall while Miami is 2-2 but more importantly, both teams are 0-1 in conference with plenty of time to catch 2-0 Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech finds itself in the exact same spot on the betting boards as they did last week, a -7.5 home favorite.

Miami kicked off the year by losing to Maryland but in their next game, they dominated Ohio State and we started to hear how the Hurricanes we're back, how Al Golden was the man, etc. etc. Now in retrospect, perhaps folks were jumping the gun. They lost at home to Kansas State and even last week, against Bethune-Cookman, they led just 21-14 into the 3rd quarter. The win over Ohio State would seem to be tainted as well as Michigan State had their way with the Buckeyes last week.

Virginia Tech may be a bit of a mystery themselves. They did what they we're supposed to do with a very soft September schedule, going 4-0. But, October saw them step up in class and enter the loss column as Clemson held them to just 258 total yards in a 23-3 upset win.

If we're going to forget about who these teams played thus far, what stands out in the stat column when looking at this game is rushing defense. In that category, Miami Florida ranks 105th in the nation while Virginia Tech is #2. That's one end of the spectrum to the other in a very important category and would suggest that Virginia Tech will be able to shut down the Miami running game, forcing them to the air where an opportunistic Tech defense, +3 on the year in turnovers can make some big plays. That's the signature of a Frank Beamer team.

But, you can't forget who they have played. The Hurricanes schedule thus far may have been as many as 10 points more difficult than Virginia Tech's. That's significant if you consider that both teams have near identical yards per point numbers, with Miami a tad better offensively and Tech a hair better defensively. Both are roughly 13 on offense and 19 on defense for a +6 overall. Same numbers, but not achieved against the same quality of opponents.

Likewise, if we take a look at our score prediction model, which also takes into account schedule strength, we have a predicted final of 19-15 in favor of Virginia Tech. That would also suggest under 44.5 is worth a look as well. Miami Florida +7.5

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