Football, Sports

With players finally healthy, Canes anticipate chance to clinch division

The College Football Playoff committee, the ACC and even UM offensive coordinator Thomas Brown know it.

Saturday night is judgement day.

Miami may have a chance to clinch its first Coastal Division title in program history when it faces off against Virginia Tech in a primetime matchup. If Georgia Tech defeats Virginia early Saturday afternoon, the Hurricanes can seal the deal with a victory over the Hokies.

The undefeated Canes, who were placed No. 10 in the first CFP rankings of the year, wrap up homecoming week against the No. 13 Hokies.

Virginia Tech walks into Hard Rock Stadium with a 7-1 overall record and a 3-1 record in the ACC. Its only loss came to the reigning national champion Clemson Tigers.

UM has not had a convincing victory in weeks, beating its last four opponents by a combined total of just 18 points.

Going into the season, many thought the Florida State game in Doak Campbell Stadium would let fans know whether Miami had the potential to go far in 2017.

But Seminoles’ starting quarterback Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending injury in the team’s first game, forcing FSU to start a freshman under center. Fast forward several weeks, and the Noles are sitting three games under .500 – their lowest record since 1976.

Last weekend, the Canes were primed to dominate in Raleigh, North Carolina, against the 1-7 Tar Heels. Instead, the offense desperately struggled to find a consistent rhythm and barely escaped with a five-point victory.

“I think the whole game was a concern, if you watched us play on offense.” Brown said after practice Oct. 31. “Obviously the worst performance we have had this entire year, maybe, the worst one that we have had since we have been in Miami. It’s just a lack of focus, a lack of execution and we just got flat out outplayed, to be honest with you. It was embarrassing to see, embarrassing to be a part of coaching wise.”

With back-to-back games against top-15 opponents, Miami has its players healthy at just the right time of the season.

Other than players previously announced out for the season, no Hurricanes were listed on the injury report Nov. 2.

“You can tell some guys are really, really sore.” Miami head coach Mark Richt said after practice Nov. 1. “It’s the time of year that I think everybody is sore. It’s a physical game, but we are in good shape.”

Earlier in the week, there was concern for starting quarterback Malik Rosier’s shoulder, after he took several hits from Tar Heel defenders.

“He’s fine.” Brown said. “He’s sore. A lot of guys are sore. It’s a violent, physical football game. Obviously he runs the ball at times and does get hit, but we are all banged up.”

Virginia Tech will rely on the arm of redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Jackson to attack Miami’s inexperienced secondary.

“17 touchdowns and only four picks as a freshman – he’s over 2,000 yards already, a freshman record … You can’t say enough about him,” Richt said. “He has already become a very good runner for them as well.”

The Hokies’ defense, which ranks No. 14 in yards allowed, will look to capitalize on the inconsistencies of the Miami offense.

“It all starts up front with them – it does in most great defenses.” Richt said. “When your interior linemen are making all the tackles, it’s hard for your defensive backs to make a lot. When you get down to their defensive backs, they don’t have a lot of tackles – at least at the cornerback positions – because mostly their linemen and linebackers are getting them all.”

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Nov. 4 at Hard Rock Stadium.

November 4, 2017

Reporters

Luis Gonzalez


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Friday: ▪ UM coach Mark Richt hasn’t yet given any indication to the ...

There are few players across Florida whose recruitment has been harder to parse than Derick Hunter’s ...

While University of Miami fans are not exactly thrilled about their Hurricanes going against the Wis ...

There was a time John Dixon looked like he would have his choice of just about any college he wanted ...

Part 2 of a 3-part series Former Marlins president David Samson, now unshackled by any contractual r ...

Following national recognition for its French production of Cinderella, the Frost Opera Theater is d ...

Several UM art students are getting real-world exposure during a highly anticipated – and attended – ...

Over the past several years, more and more students are using UM Libraries as a study place, a meeti ...

A record number of gifts have been collected across UM campuses to benefit children and seniors in t ...

Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak, who previously served as minister of the interior and mi ...

Following its longest break of the season thus far, the No. 25/23 Miami women's basketball team ...

After a six-day layoff, the No. 25/23 Miami women's basketball team will be back in action Sund ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Friday the signing of two players ...

University of Miami redshirt senior defensive tackle Gerald Willis III was recognized for his outsta ...

The University of Miami's redshirt senior setter Haley Templeton was named to the 2018 AVCA All ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

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.