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Gameday blog: Virginia at UM

SUN LIFE STADIUM -- The Miami Hurricanes (4-3, 2-2 ACC) play host to the Virginia Cavaliers (4-3, 1-2 ACC) in an 8 p.m. kickoff Thursday night, a game that will be televised nationwide on ESPN. UM is coming off back-to-back wins at North Carolina and at home against previously 20th-ranked Georgia Tech. Virginia knocked off the Yellow Jackets on 24-21 on Oct. 15, but lost last week at home to N.C. State 28-14. The Cavaliers knocked UM off last year 24-19 in Charlottesville. 

> ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: The Cavaliers own one of the best pass defenses in the country, ranking 12th nationally (176.00 yards per game). They also 19th in total defense (314.29) while allowing just 23 points per game. While Virginia doesn't necessarily create a ton of pressure on opposing quarterbacks (10 sacks in 7 games), they are very good in coverage and in creating picks (8 INTs). UM has thrown 7 INTs in its last three meetings against Virginia. Freshman cornerback Demetrius Nicholson and senior Chase Minnifield each have two so far this season. Minnifield has 12 in his career (3rd most actively in FBS). Offensively, Virginia is a run-first team, ranking 34th nationally with 183.43 yards per game on the ground. Junior tailback Perry Jones (5-8, 185) has 576 yards on 113 carries and two touchdowns, but freshman Kevin Parks (5-8, 195) is the guy they like to use near the end zone. He's has seven touchdowns and 386 yards rushing on 74 attempts. If Virginia does decide to pass, UM should be looking to cover Kevin Burd (34 catches, 447 yards, 0 TDs) and going for picks. Freshman quarterback Michael Rocco has thrown eight interceptions in seven starts and just four touchdown passes. His backup, David Watford (6-1, 190) has thrown four INTs himself. Kicker Justin Moore has been unreliable this season going 4-for-8 on field goal attempts with a long of 40 yards and two blocked kicks.

> WHAT TO WATCH FOR WHEN IT COMES TO THE CANES: UM is 15-2 all-time on Thursday night games, but hasn't won three games in a row since it beat Oklahoma, Florida A&M and UCF in Oct. 2009. Starting right tackle Jonathan Feliciano (left ankle) will miss his first start in six games and will be replaced by Malcolm Bunche, who will get his first start of the season and share time with Seantrel Henderson. Aside from that injury, the Canes are getting healthier and deeper. Defensive tackle Micanor Regis is back from his suspension and will backup Darius Smith. Defensive end Olivier Vernon (1 tackle vs. Georgia Tech) figures to see more playing time in his second game back from an NCAA-mandated suspension. Lamar Miller, once fourth in the nation rushing, has slipped to 14th nationally after rushing for just 2.8 yards a carry (122 yards, 43 attempts) over his last two games faces another decent run defense this week (49th, 138.29 yards per game). Jacory Harris has thrown just one interception over his last 18 quarters.

> MANNY'S PREDICTION: Canes 31, Virginia 17. I'm 5-2 picking the Canes this season (Georgia Tech, Kansas State were my losses). Last week, though, I was way off and pleasantly surprised to see the Canes come around and play as good on defense as they did. Virginia isn't a good team on paper. They pounded William & Mary 40-3, won at Indiana by 3, needed overtime to beat Idaho at home and were beaten by double-digit points in both of their ACC losses (North Carolina, N.C. State). Canes should roll here. But I'm apprehensive to pick a blowout based on the fact this is a short week and Virginia's defense isn't so bad. What will kill the Cavaliers in the end is quarterback play (12 INTs in 7 games). UM will score a defensive touchdown this week (my money is on a freshman) and make enough defensive stops in the second half to feel pretty good about themselves. But I could see this being close for a half.

FYI, No Cover It Live this week since I'll be on a late night deadline. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Follow me on Twitter at Manny_Navarro.


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Manny I agree that is a good ball park prediction...I do believe though that with our defense rotating and guys being healthier getting more play time that we can add a t/d or 2 for last year...Now we also have to take into account that Coach D has a long history with UVA in his formative Coaching years so I do not expect us to run up the score..
Good hard 'Canes football on Thursday night...
Grab a beer and let the Game begin..
Go "Canes

Solid prediction. And seeing a team that is more interception prone than UNC and GT, i sure hope a certain freshman (Chickillo) gets his first INT for a TD. Dad will be proud.

dUhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh P-EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEE !

48-0, 48-0 in the Grand Old Lady The Orange Bowl -- honoring the 2001 CANES - BEST EVER!!! - Thursday nite on ESPN - and I would like to see a return beatdown to the tune of 48-0...send them hme glad they are not playing the Canes for at least 365 day! go get 'em.

Nice prediction.
Stop their running game. Accelerate our running game and use the pass when they stack the box. Let's see our D have another strong performance.
Go Canes!

Will the real J-fiddy-five please stand up ...

U clUcks will be calling for Morris by Halftime.

Bring on the Orange ties....we are ready. Coach G and his guys are in the house....Hope the cameras pick up actions of the "Orange Tie Brigade"....they will be part of this game believe me...it should be interesting.
Go 'Canes

Hey Manny, is wvum going to broadcast the game? I can not get it on teevee here in Brasil. I make do the best I can, reading this blog live, listening to wvum.org because being out of the country I can not get a lot of the live stream internet broadcasts.


Hey ExpatinBrasil - checkout either justin.tv or thertv.eu for live streaming of the game. Probably won't show until right at game time.

thanks MiamiMoe, but the town I am in does not really have high speed internet... all over the phone line.. that is the price I pay to live in a small beach town a couple hours outside of Rio - wvum is broadcasting...

it gonna be oneof those nightz

Why is sometimes so hard for our team to get up for a game!!!!

what happen to our defense from last week ?

It seems that they play to the level of the competition, They are not dictating the level of play. Hopefully AG can correct that... quickly

The offense better get in gear because UM can't count on its defense this year.

what happened to the offence?

Right now Virginia just wants it more and is playing tougher than the U.

This is the worst team since the days when Butch took over on probation....... the defense is well for lack of a better word pathetic! and the offense isnt much better, Im not sure if it is total lack of talent or coaching , but the defensive schemes suck arse. It sure is sad days being a canes fan....

This will be a true test for golden. He hasn't done well against coaches that have some type of familiarity with him and his staff. We need to score here bad.

what the hell ???

this is a sad day indeed, we arnt even a midddle of the road team anymore, after these last 10 yrs I dont think our canes will ever be anything again, hell hurricanes??? they arnt even a tropical storm anymore maybe should change name to sun showers.

It takes much higher SAT scores to get into UVa and we're seeing what happens when really tough and smart white boys play guys who are used to winning on speed and talent alone.

can some one expalian to me what the hell just happen

When Streeter droped that first down pass I knew this was going to be a long game.


U stay tUned ...

He got pushed into him!!


Yhis team sucks... plain and simple and ray ray gets burned for TDs every game what an over hype he was and vernon should get benched for that knee shot and penalty --- thx vernon for saving that drive and 7 points for Virgina... wow these guys arnt 1 bit better than in the past couple yrs

Absolute mental breakdowns.

Canemutiny what does that mean please explain? Va has a black coach and we have a white coach. are you saying black people are smater that white people?


Streeter wide open, and no protection.

Than excuse me

Streeter hurt, he wont be back. As the chips fall where they may. THIS TOTALY SUCKS!

Looking at the crowd maybe Miami should have honored the 2008 Gator National Championship Team.

This bunch of Ghetto Ball Players from the Coker to Shannon era are big mouth nothings that cannot produce on the field.

Golden will have to wait a year or two to get rid of them

tallycane -

I'm saying that speed and talent alone won't get it here and that real toughness and playing the game right and smart will get it done. I'm seeing an awful lot of white guys on UVA who I'm betting aren't as fast or talented as many of the UM players. Don't get all sensitive on me. BTW - coaches don't usually play in the games.

Tallycane, Its not because hes black. Do you notice the size of his head?

that number 54 on the defensive line is a slow ball of nothing that gets destroyed at the point of attack who is this flab bucket?

That was a orgasmic catch!!!!

The "Hood Boys" are showing their football IQ. With late hits and poor football execution of not staying on their assignments.

I guess it was just a stinger. Hes back.

Heres where it turns around...I hope.

Very disappointing after last week.

Golden is getting a good taste of ACC officiating. These refs refuse to call pass interference on VA.

In order for Manny's prediction to be correct, we will need to hold them scoreless and crank out 31 unanswered. Very unlikely.

Why can't we run the ball against UVA?

Touchdown Tommy is a tough kid

You right about the Officiating it sucks.

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