The Miami Hurricanes have had quite a roller coaster ride in two sports over the weekend.
Saturday night saw a heartbreaking loss to third-ranked Florida State 30-26, one of their more valiant efforts against the Seminoles since their last win over their hated rivals in 2009. Monday night saw a Men’s Basketball 15-point comeback against the Florida Gators in Gainesville.
Now the attention shifts back to football for a road trip to Virginia. The Cavaliers (46, 2-4 ACC) are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, and had last weekend off after a two-touchdown loss to FSU in Tallahassee on Nov. 8.
The loss to Florida State officially eliminated the Canes from winning the ACC Coastal division at 6-4 (3-3 ACC), so now they simply play their last two games for pride and look toward their bowl game.
Quarterback Brad Kaaya continues to be a symbol of consistency, only throwing his one interception of the game on the last play down by four; it was his first pick in his last four games, and 90 pass attempts, dating back to the early October loss at Georgia Tech.
Kaaya threw his first 300-yard game since losing to Nebraska; the main reason being that the Canes have found a dominant ground attack.
Running back Duke Johnson rushed for 130 yards against the Noles, his sixth consecutive 100-yard game and 12th of his career. Those numbers have put him in the midst of Heisman Trophy talks by many college football analysts, but this weekend he is chasing an even bigger feat around Coral Gables.
Johnson is within 122 yards of passing Ottis Anderson’s career rushing record at Miami of 3,331 yards, which would cement Johnson as a Canes legend and possibly a candidate for the Ring of Honor and Canes Hall of Fame. He already passed the 5,000 all-purpose yards mark on Saturday, becoming the first Cane ever to accomplish that feat.
Virgnia’s Kevin Parks is a very solid running back in the ACC, but the team has elected to go with an aerial assault, although it hasn’t been much of an assault. Caveliers starter Greyson Lambert has thrown five interceptions in his last three games, yet has averaged a 55.5 percent completion rate.
Virginia has simply been through a rough part of their schedule after losing to Duke (which controls its own destiny in the Coastal), North Carolina (a game that ended on a Cavelier’s penalty), Georgia Tech and Florida State. They hope that history is on their side. Miami’s lost their last two games in Scott Stadium, including a game-winning touchdown with six seconds left in 2012.
Watch the Canes kick off at Virginia 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2.