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
  • Error
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: fsocket timed out

Seniors Emily Gossett, Millie Chokshi, and Jason Kaplan are eager to implement their platform throug ...

Follow the sights and sounds of the pregame festivities in Orlando leading up to Saturday’s big game ...

A team of researchers created the first mapping model of its kind to track how hate spreads and adap ...

University of Miami professors who study water treatment and civil engineering say that water contam ...

University of Miami experts in health geography, law, and public health weigh in on some of the issu ...

The Hurricanes take center stage Saturday as the nation begins celebrating college football's 1 ...

Head coach Manny Diaz and The New Miami will make their debut against an old rival, facing No. 8 Flo ...

Freshman midfielder Ine Østmo joined the Hurricanes in January as an early enrolee from Mandal, Norw ...

Senior linebackers Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud have already made history ...

UM women's soccer opened its 2019 campaign by blowing past UTRGV, 4-0. ...

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.