College Football

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Virginia Tech (6-3) at (14) Miami-Florida (7-1)



Saturday, November 9, 7 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The 14th-ranked Miami-Florida Hurricanes try to bounce back from their first loss of the season, as they host the Virginia Tech Hokies in an Atlantic Coast Conference clash on Saturday evening.

After losing its opener to top-ranked Alabama, Virginia Tech caught fire with six consecutive victories, rising all the way to No. 16 in the AP poll. Since beating Pittsburgh on Oct. 12 however, the Hokies have fallen in consecutive contests, losing at home to Duke on Oct. 26 (13-10), and at Boston College last weekend (34-27), dipping to 3-2 in conference as a result.

"Things just aren't going our way sometimes, and then, we're not making it go our way," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "We're not making the plays we need to make or take care of the ball the way we need to take care of it. (We've) got to work (our) way out of these funks."

Miami started the season unranked but managed to rise to national prominence following a 7-0 start, but it had its hands full against No. 3 Florida State last Saturday, losing convincingly in Tallahassee, 41-14.

"Obviously, we didn't do enough (against Florida State) to put any pressure on them," Miami coach Al Golden said. "We needed one more score in the first quarter to put some pressure on them and then be able to stay with the running game. Once we started getting behind, it unraveled a little bit."

The Hurricanes currently sit in first place in the ACC's Coastal Division at 3-1, although a defeat in this bout would create a three-way tie in the loss column with Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech (5-2), which is idle this week.

Miami holds an 18-12 advantage in the all-time series with Virginia Tech. After the Hokies won three consecutive matchups from 2009-11, the Hurricanes snapped the slide with a 30-12 home win last season.

Virginia Tech has been able to compile an impressive record despite an offense that ranks 10th in the ACC in yardage (348.0 ypg) and 11th in scoring (22.1 ppg).

Quarterback Logan Thomas has been inconsistent in his senior season. While he has amassed solid numbers passing (2,056 yards, 11 TDs) and rushing (296 yards, four TDs), he is completing fewer than 56 percent of his throws and has tossed 12 interceptions, two of which came in last week's loss.

"Turnovers are the story again," Thomas said following the setback to BC. "We've got to take care of the football or we wouldn't have been in the position we were in. The defense played well, other than when we put them in bad field position."

Thomas has three very capable receivers to throw the ball to, as Demitri Knowles (35 catches, 450 yards, two TDs), Willie Byrn (34 catches, 424 yards, TD) and Joshua Stanford (27 catches, 455 yards) all rank in the top-20 in the ACC in receiving yards.

Trey Edmunds has carried the ball 125 times, nearly four times as often as any other back on the team, but he has just 447 yards (3.6 ypc) and five scores.

The Hokies' success this season is due in huge part to the play of their outstanding defense, which ranks third in the nation in allowing just 253.2 ypg, while also ranking in the top-10 in point allowed (16.9 ppg).

The unit's 17 interceptions is tied for second-most in the country, with Kendall Hunter and Brandon Facyson pacing the ball-hawing secondary with five and four picks, respectively. Jack Tyler leads the way with 74 tackles , while J.R. Collins, Dadi Nicolas, Derrick Hopkins and Luther Maddy all have at least 4.0 sacks.

In stark contrast to its counterpart here, Miami boasts a very good offensive attack, ranking third in the ACC in both scoring (36.4 ppg) and yards (458.1 ypg), but those numbers are expected to take a hit with the loss of star running back Duke Johnson, the conference's second-leading rusher with 920 yards. Johnson will miss the rest of the season after suffering an ankle injury in the Florida State game.

"I'm disappointed for (Duke) because he was really starting to understand how to be a good running back," Golden said. "He was really starting to convert talent to skill."

In Johnson's absence, Dallas Crawford (294 yards), who already had a large role in the red zone with nine touchdowns, will be asked to take on more of the load.

Stephen Morris will also be relied on more under center. The Hurricane's success this season has masked a lackluster campaign for their signal caller, who is completing just 59.5 percent of his passes for 1,655 yards with 12 touchdowns and a career-high 10 interceptions.

Allen Hurns is one of the best big-play receivers in the ACC with 33 receptions for 590 yards and four touchdowns. His 17.9 yards per catch ranks second in the league among players with at least 30 grabs.

While the Miami defense may not be having as impressive a season as Virginia Tech, it has still performed well in its own right, allowing only 20.6 ppg and 364.1 ypg, while holding opponents to just 37 percent on third-down conversion attempts.

Denzel Perryman has a team-high 63 tackles, while Shayon Green has 9.5 TFL and 3.0 sacks. Ladarius Gunter, Tracy Howard, Tyriq McCord and Rayshawn Jenkins have all picked off multiple passes.

The loss of Johnson is huge for Miami, as he is basically irreplaceable in an offense that once revolved around his skill set. The Hurricanes will have difficulty putting up points on a stout Virginia Tech defense, but likewise, the Hokies have yet to prove to be a reliable offensive squad, especially on the road. In what should be a low-scoring affair, the boost from the home crowd gives Miami the edge.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Florida 17, Virginia Tech 14

11/06 10:47:26 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR