Sports

MATCHUP: MIAMI v. VIRGINIA TECH

QUARTERBACKS

Kyle Wright’s injury is clearly still affecting his mobility outside the pocket. Wright continues to struggle at leading the passing game. Tyrod Taylor’s mobility and ability to throw on the run should pose problems for the Hurricanes. Sean Glennon also will be in the rotation and has come on strong after a slow start to the season.

Advantage: VA TECH

O-LINE

Miami’s group up front has to play disciplined and limit mistakes. The unit must pick up the blitz and provide time for Wright to throw in the pocket. The Hokies’ glaring weakness has been the O-line, which has surrendered 35 sacks on the year. The unit performed well against Florida State and has improved in the latter part of the season.

Advantage: EVEN

RUNNING BACKS

Miami’s tailbacks must be effective on first and second downs and set up manageable third downs for the offense. Javarris James and Graig Cooper need to combine for more than 100 yards and get in the end zone. Branden Ore had a big performance against the Hurricanes last year, but he is nursing an injury and has only averaged close to 60 yards per game on the season. Kenny Lewis is a change of pace and has hit pay dirt four times.

Advantage: MIAMI

RECEIVERS

The Canes need to find another reliable target to go along with Darnell Jenkins. The unit has not done a good job creating separation and has dropped some catchable passes. The Hokies have received more production at the position. Justin Harper and Josh Morgan have combined for 60 catches and seven touchdowns on the season.

Advantage: VA TECH

D-LINE

Miami has to do a better job on outside containment and help create turnovers to set the tone early. The Hurricanes need to get to the quarterback more often on third downs. The Hokies’ interior linemen do a good job getting to the running back. Defensive end Chris Ellis can wreak havoc and leads the team with 6.5 sacks.

Advantage: VA TECH

LINEBACKERS

Miami’s unit must read the play-action fake and focus on covering opponents in the flat and out of the backfield. The Hokies have a solid unit that has contributed in stopping the running game. Xavier Adibi is one of the top linebackers in the ACC.

Advantage: VA TECH

SECONDARY

Kenny and Randy Phillips have quietly been productive for the unit during the past few games, but the cornerbacks continue to struggle in coverage and tackling. Virginia Tech cornerbacks Victor Harris and Brandon Flowers each have four interceptions on the season and rank among the best in the ACC.

Advantage: VIRGINIA TECH

SPECIAL TEAM

Miami’s kicking game still remains a question heading into Blacksburg. The Hurricanes need more productivity on kickoff and punt returns. Virginia Tech’s Eddie Royal has taken two punts back for scores. Brent Bowden has averaged 42 yards per punt, while Jud Dunlevy is 14-for-17 in field goals.

Advantage: VA TECH

Alex Kushel may be contacted at a.kushel@umiami.edu

Saturday’s game begins at 3:30 p.m. It will be televised nationally on ABC 10 and broadcast on WVUM 90.5.

November 15, 2007

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.