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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.

Comments

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I recall about 2-3 weeks ago Golden talking about many of his players are trying to make the highlight film as individual stars rather than playing as a team.

As soon as he gets rid of these clowns the team will get better.

Hoping we can settle down in the second half and play lights out. We should beat this team

Lets get a strength coach...Swasey has been around from Coker to Shannon and now still here. He has a bachelors degree in sociology and no strength credentials.

His players get bullied all over . Only 5 players bench 400 or more. Hell even FIU and FAU both small time programs have at least 15 players bench pressing that.

So far i seen 3 facemask penalties not called. The fix is in!

How about the O line giving JH some better protection. That would help. arent these guys supposed to be like 6'10" and like 500 lbs or something.

Karl you are right. Sooner the prima donnas go the better

Who is getting sensitive. Im trying to figure out what game you are watching. I saw a wide out catch a well timed screen and run for a fifty plus yard td. I saw a um missed by a field goal. I also saw a half back pass to a wide receiver. Where did u see a smart white guys beating talent used to winning by speed and talent. What i have seen is a dumb dc who cant adjust. That has nothing to do with color.

Hey - let's hope they play a second half like they did in Blacksburg. I think VaTech was better than these guys so it can be done.

Virginia is daring UM to pass and not playing honest defense. UM needs to keep throwing, especially on first down. Continue to burn them with passes until they back the safeties up where they normally play.

On the bright side, we must be pushing nearly 9,999 in the stands!

OOOOH boy not good way to start the second half.

tally -

Sorry to mention the word "white" but I always notice that more "white" teams. BC, Wisconsin, UVa, etc make toughness - and sometimes downright dirty play - their strong point and rely on execution more that some teams with better talent and speed. I used to watch UM really struggle against BC for this reason. Usually, their talent would carry them but it was always a dogfight. I don't think real fsat guys with superior skills are used to this kind of fight in teams. The rest of this game will be about whether of not the U has a bit of FU in them and decide to freakin' hit some people and punch harder.

I dont think Miami is going to win this one. WOW a bunch of Soft tacklers. Well cant expect much from a new coach in his first season on a new team.

Who ever said they need a strength coach...that is a FACT.

These guys were mauled by Kansas State and now by this teams offensive line.


Lack of msucle for sure. Get a real strength coach.

Wa are making this crappy QB look good. Pitiful. This better change when these guys are gone and Golden gets his players in.

Uggggggg
When will these guys play three good games in a row.

Much much much work to do

If Va. scores again in the second half after this field goal UM is cooked.

Kehoe is funny.

Get you ass up there and snap the ball ASAP.
This is a major college quarterback and coaching staff?

These guys in the OL for the most part look huge and impressive but cannot really play sound football.

Wow....Harris back to old form. Get rid of ball when you feel pressure.

Miami has been cooked ever since Streeter dropped that first down pass in the first series of the game.

WOW a call going our way. Unbelievable.

THEY JUST SUCK!!!!

TRhis is a bizzare game, why the canes struggle so much? Very inconsistent team. Miami needs to bring back it's MoJo http://adf.ly/3RLRl

When UM beats teams that the previous coach also beat then golden is a great coach. If UM loses then golden needs to get rid of the players.

man this team is weak, slow poor tackling and soft

I agree with jerseycane.
That drop has set the tone.
Man it's been a tough 10 years following these guys

Get Morris in there as QB he can run and that will break up this crap of UVA stacking against the run and playing deep. Morris could average 10 yards or more per scramble they way they are playing defense.

They need a strength coach not the left over from Coker and Shannon- Swasey.

the DT 54 is being wiped out by the UVA line...who is this guy?

So depressing watching this. Especially when I have watched them since 1980. Cant wait for Golden to turn this BULL$#1? around.

Get the defensive line and some other people on the offensive line a case of steroids!

These Miami defensive backs do not jam the receivers as Virginia hits most of the time short quick timing passes. The just sit there and watch them catch it.

The street mentality of ghetto players is coming out tonight for sure. These are really dumb clowns. I see very few teams with this type of undiscipline play.

GOOD ONE IDIOT HIT THE KICKER. STINKING MORONS OMG!!!!!!!!!!!

Ugly.

Are these the same players from last week and week before. CHEESE AND CRACKERS!!!

Some of these guys have given up. The ran up against a well coached football team and this thug in your face crap does not work.

Well Im gonna play some Batman AC. Ill watch the post game.

U loose again ...

can U spell ?

They are being muscled out from the defensive line. Even a moron can tell they do not have the physical strength to stand up.

Hire Bill Kazmire the formner worlds strongest man winner in a hurry to be the strength coach.

The D is struggling bur What happened to the offense since first half of the NC game?

Yhis is a sad team and they will be "nothing" for yrs to come, the D c0-ords game plan stinks as well. and the offense blows

strong man competitions dont involve a lot of running at the same time.

These UM clowns in the defensve backfiled are talking trash after having their clocked cleaned. This street mentality shitz needs to graduate or be moved out of the lineup.

WOW Couldnt Golden of bring in the S and C Coach from Temple... at least, because Swasey sucks.Man thats the first upgrade we need when this season is done.

Ill see how this series goes. Then Ill play Batman AC.

SadFan, I agree they ahev a middle school type of thought process. Getting you ass kicked and on one play they guy drops the ball and you act like you have done something.

Jersey same for me

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