« Forston, Gordon, A. Smith out for VT | Main | Gameday blog: UM at Virginia Tech »

Gameday Preview: UM at Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- With less than 24 hours before the Canes and Hokies start hitting each other at Lane Stadium in a crucial ACC Coastal Division showdown, fans in South Florida seem to be panicking over the expected stormy forecast. According to Weather.com there is a 90 percent chance of rain for the game, which means UM and Virginia Tech will likely be playing in slop by the fourth quarter.

UM coach Randy Shannon told us Thursday he’s not worried about any rain and feels his team is well prepared for it after having played one of their scrimmages during fall camp in a “monsoon.”

REWIND: The Canes won last year’s tilt 16-14 in a defensive struggle at Land Shark Stadium. But the last time they were in Hokieville, Virginia Tech laid the Canes out 40-14. UM has won twice at Lane Stadium (2005, 2001) this decade and has split their previous 10 meetings overall at 5-5 with the Hokies.


UM > UM wins because…

Quarterback Jacory Harris doesn't get rattled, the Canes protect the football and UM’s defense and special teams don’t give up many big plays. One thing Harris has had plenty of is time to throw the ball and easy passing lanes to find open receivers. Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster is bound to try different ways – zone blitzes and zone coverages – to make Harris feel uncomfortable. If UM’s offensive line provides sound protection and the running game keeps the Hokies defense on its toes, Harris and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple will figure out how to strike for the big passing play.

Virginia Tech

> VT wins because…

Defensive end Jason Worilds leads the charge of getting pressure on Jacory Harris, Tyrod Taylor plays his best game of the season and the Hokies’ run defense – off to a horrible starts – regains its form and shuts down Javarris James and Graig Cooper. Worilds will be a handful for senior Matt Pipho, who stepped up to his challenge last week against Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan. Worilds and the VT defense have to accomplish what Morgan couldn’t and not only disrupt Harris’ flow, but do a good job containing the run. Taylor, meanwhile, won’t light up the scoreboard. But if he can keep the Hokies defense off the field with a few sustained drives and runs of his own, he’ll make it really hard for UM to win this game.

> My pick: UM 27, Virginia Tech 17. The final score won’t represent how close I expect this game to be. Playing at home as underdogs in the rain, makes the Hokies a dangerous team. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster is too good not to find ways to slow UM’s offense down. But what I think doesn’t happen for the Hokies is that Taylor and and the team's anemic offense find its groove. Taylor hasn’t been an effective passer for most of his career and enters with loads of pressure on his back. I think UM’s defense will rattle him enough under the spotlight and create turnovers late to help turn a close game in into an impressive road victory. In the end, UM will demonstrate it can win games with big plays on defense too.


> Offense: Miami’s offensive line. I expect them to struggle a little at first playing in a loud environment against a hungry team. But they will rebound in the second half and be the key to give Harris time and Cooper and James running lanes.

> Defense: Brandon Harris. He should have had a pick last week, but it was wiped away by a penalty. This week, I’m calling for Harris to take a pick back to the house and for UM’s secondary to come up with a few big plays when Taylor starts flinging the football.

> Special Teams: Travis Benjamin. The punt return game has been suspect. But I’m calling for Benjamin and UM to break out of the funk with a few nice returns to give UM important field position.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


no need for "VT wins because"...its not happening.

Miami Over VT 36-10

rain we help favor our passing game...I see a larger victory...VT is a solid team that is well coached but this is not your typical VT team..they dont have 5 or 6 NFL players on this team like years past...Miami will struggle with the weather..and I feel Miami will want to score fast and early to remove the crowd and put all the pressure on VT to beat them thru the air...after this game Lovett will be the hero..JH will play well and will pick apart the VT D and I see James and Coop putting 200yds combined this week with Jaocory getting 200 as well....throw a pic 6 in there and special teams score I like Miami in the rain 38-6......GO CANES>>.PLAY LIKE CHAMPIONS

bring the rain. jacory is a miami boy- he can throw in the rain. miami 38 vt 17.

Bud Foster is going to have something up his sleeve and there will be two or three big plays going against Miami. But if this team was able to stay calm in Tallahassee, they should be able to stay calm in Blacksburg. I can't see them being overconfident, not on the road at VT.

Can't wait.

24-20 Miami

Mark Whipple press conference notes: http://antonazucar.com/2009/09/25/game-3-preview-virginia-tech/

I've seen a lot of people discussing the "rain" factor. Don't you think coach Whipple has coached in rain before? After all, he was an offensive assistant in Philly, and the QB coach in Pittsburgh. I think he's seen his share of rain and snow during games. Another thing to think about is that most of the players on Miami are from the south, meaning that they are used to the rain during games and sloppy field conditions. Heck, the Miami players are used to playing during hurricane season. I think the only player that might think that the rain is strange is Vaughn Telemaque, being that he's from Long Beach, CA. and all. I think the Canes will roll this weekend because the coaching staff, leaders of the team (Jacory, Phillips, Baby J, and J Fox) will not let the team get complacent, and you know that the alumni (Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Andre Johnson...etc.) have been in contact with the guys and getting them fired up to play old school Miami football!!

Go Canes!!!!!!!

Good game for both teams. True test for Miami. Everyone will finally find out what is really true about both teams. Florida State in first game...oh well...real Florida State showed up last weekend...Georgia Tech....good team...Miami executed great....VT....has now played Number 5 and Number 19.....Miami number 9....Defense comes alive and VT figures out Offense is half the game....'Canes' in for a long sixty minutes. Prediction: VT: 24, Canes: 17.

VA Hokie,

Don't get caught up in what the FSU and GATech fans did and try to reason or downplay your way into a Hokie win. Your team has shown very little to make me think it will be turned around against a much faster team than Nebraska. We beat you last year and we'll do it again this year. Strangely, FSU fan and GATech fan mysteriously dissappeared after their defeats........the hurricane is comming, and you're gonna be wiped out too.

CANES on the rise baby!!!!

Should be a good game, I'm confident, not arrogant that UM plays well"again". Go C-a-n-e-s!!!!

Manny, I love your blog, I read it everyday. But you do need a little work on your grammar. It is anemic, not enemic.
"But what I think don’t happens for the Hokies"
But what I think doesn't happen for the Hokies.

Rain, sleet, or snow, Canes r on their way to 3-0!!!

Calicanesfan, did Vaughn Telemaque go to Poly?

I just looked it up he did go to poly...LBC!!!!

It's funny, looking at some of the other blogs the haters are out in full force calling the Canes "criminals", "thugs", "gang members"...etc.. Who do they think we are, Florida? Just because our guys make your guys feel like they've been "jumped" by a gang, don't think this team is "jail bait". We went from getting athletes that play football to getting football players that are athletes. We ain't number one yet, but that's where Jacory and company want to be and won't stop till they get there and stay there!

It's frday here on the west coast and i'm headed home from work...Go Canes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I dont give a damn how u do it.. jus win..prepare to win not to play" - Michael James SR.

Mike James dad per facebook. Yep.

I remember sitting in a pouring rain at a UMASS game in '98, I could barely see the field, UMASS won by 35 points. That team we beat later in the semi-finals that year. So, it wasn't a slacker for us.

I think Whipple knows how to game plan for inclement weather. Our players are experienced in wet conditions.

And last I heard - it will be raining on VaTech too. I think.

Both offenses will have a "cut" advantage over the defenses. This will favor THE U. Jacory should have a field day throwing the ball. Which will open up our run game. Our defense must stop the run and force Taylor to throw to make this a run-a-way win.

But remember VaTech is 24 and 3 at home. So, this may be a very difficult game. The CANES pull away in the 4th quarter for a 10+ points win. A little like what the GrayTurds did to us last year.


Did not get to post on the last blog but why does Shannon feel he needs to keep Whipple from talking to the media until after the Oklahoma game? This is not some upstart OC that just started. I wonder if Whip has any issues with having the gag order placed on him. It just doesn't seem right to do that to a very mature coach.
-On Va Tech, I am a little concerned with our defense. FSU was able to do a lot against our defense. Ga Tech was one dimensional and you saw what they did on a couple of long passes that went for big gains.
-Hope the Canes win big (I hate the nervous feeling at the beginning of the game).


Randy Phillips said that the Florida State game and the Ga Tech game were different for them and what they like to do because Florida State runs a more spread offense and you know about the triple option of Ga Tech. He says that the Hokie offense is more styled to their defense and what they like to run because it's a more "pro style" offense. There will be more man coverage and packages that they will be more comfortable running because it suits their defensive scheme better. I think I'm gonna like what I see tomorrow. From what I've seen from Lovett the first 2 games, I think he'll have a sound game plan and it's up the the guys to execute and they've done so, so far. 2-0 about to go 3-0 baby!!!


Thanks for the info Cali. I am pumped for the game. 3:30 can't get here fast enough.

For some reason I got a feeling that it will be a good game. With Miami winning. But i would not be surprised to see an absolute ROMP... with Miami beating the hell out of tech all over the field...31-0 Miami.

Whip knew what he was getting into when he came to Miami....Randy never lets his coordinators talk to the media early in the season....much like Jimmy Johnson used to run the show. Whip was too busy drooling at the talent Miami had to worry about talking to the media, he is in heaven right now and after two years knows he is cashing in his ticket to a big time college head coaching job.

A romp would be nice....because my heart and stomach need a rest.....but it won't happen. Just hope we win.

Rain keeps us from 70+ points.

great blog manny , Canes to win a close one - extra rest will help , VT had all it could handle last week , we have better talent , they have home field , rain helps Beamer ball ... but in the 4 th quarter who Wants IT More ? Canes by a Bosher FG!!

Va Tech 24 Miami 17 as the rain negates the Canes advantage in the passing game.

Tony im pretty sure you are an undercover Hokie Pokie fan... cuz no sane Cane fan would dare type such nonsense.

Just get ready for a beat down tmr...

Isn't Mark Whipple's son a sophomore playing football at St. Thomas Aquinas? If that's the case, he's at Miami 'til he graduates. Hopefully we can pull of a cpl of Nat'l Championships in the three years he's here.
I love his style of offense. Maybe if we get some fans in the stands we can afford to pay the man enough for him to stick around for awhile. CANE FOR LIFE!!!!

Whip could care less about talking to the media. Just like our baby Canes, he does his talking on game day.

The U is going to show the nation that we are back with a big win over Va Tech. Our boys just need to take it one week at a time and keep winning games. It would be nice to see Florida in the National Title! C-A-N-E-S!!! Go CANES!!!

When did you land, Navarro?

...are u at the team hotel yet? give us some dirt about your jokie experience so far.

I'll tell this story once more.
Im 2-1 at Lane Stadium.

The'01 game was just on espnClassic today...
I was in the UM pie-slice...by the open end --- before they built the new endzone:

Schmuck, Cane fans walking up/ down the aisles w/ Roses in their mouths...at HALFTIME....

We won, but Coach Shannon knows best:

Humble and just business
We win
Think of the all white uni's they wore when Coker won up there....That was fun times...

Letus know,

Hoo dem CANES!

Rain should quiet the crowd. And if it doesnt, it should at least ruin all their car keys when these idiots shake them like the lemmings they are.

I feel bad for jacory. Nothing takes away stats like rain.

Dont remember the Titans --- remember the FSU game in the rain!

We ahh eye-t...

(well, ya -- remember the Titans, too).


A small rant to end my evening. Dumbest cheer in sports "Overrated!" What exactly are you saying? That you just beat an overrated team? Well congratulations, that's just great!

Shouldn't the cheer be underrated? I mean I'd much rather have felt that I beat a really good and "underrated" team than one that in fact was overrated. Anyone else ever thought this?

Anyone else ever thought this?

Posted by: Russell | September 25, 2009 at 11:58 PM

Na, na , na, na...na, na, na, na...hey, hey, hey...goooood niiiight!

Go 'canes!!!

Going to be a Great Game.. X factor there special teams for TECH.. If we contain big plays, then we are golden..I predict 27-17 Miami..Let's GO CANES..

Hey Russell ..Overated chant is directly to who ever ranked the team in the polls and claiming them to win the game...GO CANES


wow! former 'Canes Reggi Youngblood, Kyle Wright and even Xavier Shannon lamenting not having the Whip!

You folks keep on this Whipple being taken by the NFL keep forgetting something. Maybe Randy gets taken by the NFL first? Can't happen? Oh what happen to Leonard Hamilton at Miami Basketball? I am just saying. What is Randy's strength? Talent recognition. What was Jimmy Johnson's strength? Talent recognition. He recruited these guys, from Byrd, to Johnson, to Telemaque, and Forston, and some guys who have busted their butts to win for him. A coordinator can call plays with this talent, but you have to have the guys. Randy has delivered the goods. Just saying.

Go LHS!!! My Alma mater on ESPN 2. Just went into OT. First play TD!!!


Why doesn't anyone mention we had 10 days to prepare for these guys.


Lakeland Wins! The De la Salle coach should check his ego! He went for 2, when the extra point would have gotten them into OT2. He had no right to gamble his kids game like that! Oh well, Lakeland wins!

Everbody is talking about Bud foster figuring our offense?? Are u guys retarded, we went from 80 plays to 400 plays this year and on top of that, half the play book hasnt even been exposed. So what the hell will they actually be figuring out?? Please!!! Do your research!!

Shannon will not go anywhere. whip will leave eventually but I think he stays until Jacory Grad.

As for the game. One thing you guys remember about playin in the rain. the offense knows where to go. You know how hard it is to cover an 13 yard out pattern. A sloppy field helps the offense. The offense will be up by 14 pts by halftime. If its rainy and Va. Tech losing the fans will be quiet. Another rainy loss in Blacksburg. UM-38 Va. Tech-13

Trap game, trap game this is what this game is.
If you ingorante people don't know by now, anything can happen. Manny, what are you doing predicting the score of this game. Did you forget what happen last year when you predicted games that Miami was supposed to win? I don't care if it's a blowout or a close game all I want for my canes is to come out with a win. What gives me hope is this team is not getting overconfident. They are keeping them selves grounded, and are not taking the bait(media hype).

i dont think whipple wants to show his hand and has just decided to be quiet. watch jh to run when the blitz once he burns them for a few 30 yrd runs they will stop and the long ball will be back. we havent seen jh run at all! coming out party today!

A big reason Whip is staying quiet is, whether this team started like they did or came out like the media said we would he would of been pounded with the never ending questions

He wants the focus to be on the team and not make this about him

"It's like they're stacked everywhere," Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael said regarding Miami's offense.

VT knows and they're ready. But I am still confident that the U will win this! 28-17-UM

1 2 »

The comments to this entry are closed.