The Thursday night match-up this week is in the conference long synonymous with these broadcasts, the ACC. Both the Virginia Tech Hokies and Miami Hurricanes are 4-4 coming into the game. Each program is struggling and looking to use this game to prove itself as a legitimate bowl team, and possible contender for the wide open Coastal title and berth in the ACC championship game.
The Hurricanes have a second year head coach, pending sanctions for NCAA rules violations, and an injured starting quarterback. Probable starting quarterback Stephen Morris played two weeks ago against rival Florida State and has used the last couple of weeks to recooperate from an ankle injury.
Morris has led the Miami offense to a 27 point per game average on the season. He has completed 58 percent of this passes for 2214 yards, ten touchdowns and seven interceptions. Dynamic running backs Duke Johnson and Mike James have combined for 178 carries, 882 yards and 10 touchdowns. Philip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott lead the Hurricane receiving corps with 66 receptions, 980 yards and six touchdowns combined.
The Miami defense has been terrible this season, allowing 32 points per game to rank an uncharacterstically low 98th in the country.
The Hokies are also in the midst of a sub-standard season. Virginia Tech is scoring 29 points per game behind quarterback Logan Thomas, who finished last season strong but has been inconsistent this season. Thomas has completed 54 percent of his passes for 1910 yards, 13 touchdowns and a TEN interceptions. Thomas contributes in the running game, and has amassed 298 yards and five touchdowns to this point. Thomas’ production on the ground has been needed with last year’s star rusher David Wilson gone for the NFL. Running backs J.C. Coleman and Michael Holmes have combined for 695 yards and five carries this season. Receivers Marcus Davis and Corey Fuller together have 58 receptions, 1146 yards and eight touchdowns. Hokie Cody Journell kicker has been GREAT this season, connecting on 10-11 attempts. He is 4-4 on field-goals over 40 yards.
The Hokies defense has been adequate this season, though below Frank Beamer’s usually high benchmark. Virginia Tech allows 24 points per game, which ranks it 48th in the country.
The Miami offense will be balanced out by the Virginia Tech defense. Virginia Tech’s offense is not great but slightly better than the Miami defense. That this is an away game in Miami should be a cause for concern, because Virginia Tech has yet to win away from Lane Stadium. However, the Hokies field goal kicker will make the difference in this game, ensuring the Hokies get points when the porous Miami defense givs up yards. Virginia Tech wins on the road for the first time in 2012, in a subdued Sun Life Stadium.
Final Score: Virginia Tech Hokies 30, Miami Hurricanes 26