Virginia is coming off a loss, but it’s still the only team in the ACC Coastal division without a loss in conference play. Miami is on the other side of that already with two losses, though opened as a slight -1.5 point home favorite for the Friday night matchup
Things weren’t that bad for Miami and then it gave up 21 first quarter points to Virginia Tech and lost at home as a 14-point favorite.
While the Hurricanes only lost by four points to Florida in the opener, they haven’t played well in any game as their lone win against an FBS school was a 17-12 victory over Central Michigan.
It’s been a bit better for Virginia as its lone loss came on the road at Notre Dame. While the Cavaliers haven’t looked overwhelmingly good, they’ve won every game they were supposed to, including against Pitt and FSU.
The big difference for Virginia is that it knows who its starting quarterback is. Bryce Perkins may not be playing as well as a season ago, already with six interceptions, but he’s still the same athletic quarterback.
He’s averaging just 2.4 yards per carry, but that number took a hit after he was sacked eight times against Notre Dame. Virginia can be a dynamic offense in the right situation with Wayne Taulapapa at running back and top receivers Hasise Dubois and Joe Reed.
However, the Cavs have had a problem with consistency, which is why they opened as underdogs. The other part is that defense is Miami’s strong suit no matter what happened against Virginia Tech.
The bigger issue for the Canes is that they have a quarterback problem. Jarren Williams was fine in the first few games and then threw an interception on the first three drives against the Hokies and was benched.
N’Kosi Perry made the most of his time and almost led a comeback, throwing for more than 400 yards. While the potential is there with tight end Brevin Jordan and receivers Jeff Thomas and K.J. Osborn, scoring just hasn’t been easy for them.
There’s no other explanation for scoring 17 points at home against CMU. And while running back DeeJay Dallas is averaging 7.2 yards per carry on the season, he has 100 yards on 20 rushing attempts over the last two contests.
It may be good for Miami to have a short week after the Virginia Tech loss, but there’s clearly something wrong with the team on the inside. While Virginia has something to play for, it’s a wonder how much motivation Miami will have under first-year head coach Manny Diaz.
Defense was a big part of last year’s game as Virginia won 16-13 at home with the quarterbacks combining to throw no touchdowns and six interceptions. That may not happen again, but ugly quarterback play wouldn’t be surprising. The difference is that the Hoos still have some hope.
The under is 7-2 in Virginia’s last nine October games and 4-0 in Miami’s last four Friday games. Miami is also 1-11 ATS in its last 12 October games. The underdog is 13-2 ATS in the last 15 between these schools and Virginia is 5-1 ATS in the last six.
Our Pick – Virginia +2