Football

Preview: Miami vs. Virginia

Quarterback: For Miami, the quarterback partnership is hitting its stride. Jacory Harris and Robert Marve are really complementing each other well and picking up the other’s slack. Marve was clutch last game and is taking better care of the ball. For Virginia, Marc Verica is completing 67 percent of his passes but has thrown nine interceptions and only five touchdowns. EDGE: Miami

Running Back: Javarris James was worked more into the rotation against Wake, and he and Graig Cooper were used on the field together at times. They are a formidable duo but, right now, no running back in the nation is hotter than Virginia’s Cedric Peerman. He is averaging 5.7 yards per carry for the season and has seven touchdowns. EDGE: Virginia

Receivers: Virginia features Kevin Ogletree and stud tight end John Phillips. Miami continues to rotate six or seven receivers and two tight ends. Again, this is strength in numbers against two featured players. Miami has more talent, but Virginia’s guys have been just as effective. EDGE: Even

Offensive Line: Miami is averaging four yards per carry and keeping the quarterbacks upright. Virginia is averaging only 3.5 as a team; when one considers how far up Peerman is bringing that number, they have to wonder how bad the rest of the run game is. EDGE: Miami

Defensive Line: Alex Field is Virginia’s impact lineman, coming in with 4.5 sacks. Miami’s line was strong last week but has been inconsistent. Both teams are athletic and like to get after the passer up front. EDGE: Even

Linebackers: Virginia loves to blitz their linebackers, and the duo of Jon Copper and Clint Sintim (who comes in with 9.5 sacks) live in opponents’ backfields. Miami’s crew of linebackers prefers roaming sideline to sideline and cleaning up the mess on the other side of scrimmage. They will have to be great in covering Phillips. These are two different styles and two very effective units. Apples and oranges. EDGE: Even

Secondary: Once again, Miami’s secondary went untested last week. Virginia will be sure to change that. The nickelback will have to defend the tight end flat pass that maimed the Canes last year. Virginia is led by corners Ras-I Dowling and Vic Hall. EDGE: Virginia

Special Teams: Yannick Reyering is 5-of-8 on field goals for the Cavaliers. Matt Bosher is 12-of-13 for the Canes. Bosher has been great all season, not only in the kicking game but also in the punting game (the occasional shank aside). Virginia’s return game lacks a big play threat, while both Travis Benjamin and Thearon Collier are playmakers for the Canes. EDGE: Miami

October 29, 2008

Reporters

Dan Stein

Senior Sports Writer


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