The Hurricanes (5-3, 2-2) face off against the Virginia Cavaliers (3-5, 2-2) to cap off homecoming week at Sun Life Stadium Saturday afternoon. Miami is coming off one of the most dramatic victories in school history at Duke, while Virginia is coming off an impressive win itself against Georgia Tech. The game will likely eliminate the loser from ACC Coastal contention, and keep the winner in striking distance. Here is everything you need to know about both teams heading into this week’s matchup.
The Virginia Cavaliers:
- Virginia’s most significant win came last week, defeating Georgia Tech 27-21 and holding the Yellow Jackets to just 144 yards rushing.
- Virginia’s worst loss came against Boise State, losing 56-14 at home. On the flip side, the Cavaliers barely won against William and Mary with the final score being 35-29.
- Head Coach Mike London finds himself on the hot seat, having a 26-43 record and three consecutive losing seasons.
- All five of the Cavalier’s losses have come against teams with winning records, including Notre Dame, UCLA, and North Carolina.
- Virginia is dead last in the ACC with a minus-10 turnover margin.
- The Cavaliers are surprisingly efficient on third down, converting 43.5 percent of the time.
- Virginia quarterback Matt Johns is tied for second in the Conference with 13 touchdowns, but leads the conference with 13 interceptions.
- The Cavaliers struggle defensively, allowing 33 points per game.
The Miami Hurricanes
- Like Virginia, Miami’s most significant win came last week, as they topped the previously ranked Duke Blue Devils by returning a kickoff for a touchdown with time expired.
- Miami’s worst losses are a 34-23 loss to Cincinnati and a 58-0 drubbing at the hands of No. 1 Clemson.
- Redshirt freshman Malik Rosier will likely be the starter at quarterback this weekend, as sophomore Brad Kaaya has still not been cleared with a concussion. The freshman has proven to be more than capable for the Canes, as he went 20-of-29 for 272 yards and two touchdowns against Duke in his first start.
- Junior cornerback Artie Burns leads the ACC with five interceptions, and Miami leads the conference with an overall turnover margin of plus-10.
- Despite the turnover advantage, the defense struggles with giving up yardage, allowing 410.4 yards per game.
- Last week may have padded this stat, but Miami accumulates 86.8 yards in penalties per game, which is 125th nationally out of 128 teams. The Hurricanes were called for a school-record 23 penalties for 194 yards last week against Duke.
- Lou Groza Award semifinalist sophomore Michael Badgley leads the nation with 17 made field goals.
To put it bluntly, the Hurricanes are taking the field against a largely inferior team and should win this game. Virginia is arguably Miami’s weakest opponent since the Canes faced Florida Atlantic in week two. While Miami struggles on defense, Virginia is statistically worse in almost every category, and isn’t much of a force offensively either. So if we’re in for a shootout, Miami has the edge.