Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Miami Game Guide

Virginia Tech at Miami

Time: 7:30 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008
Place: Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.

Last Meeting: The Hokies beat Miami, 44-14 in Blacksburg last season...Virginia Tech held Miami to 213 total yards, including minus-2 yards rushing...Branden Ore ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns.

Trends: The Hokies have won four of their last five games against the Hurricanes...Miami has won its last four games...Tech has lost two consecutive road games...the Hokies have won their last two games at Miami.

What to Expect: The Hokies aura of invincibility on the road is gone after back-to-back losses to BC and FSU. However, they looked good in beating Maryland last week.

The Hokie ground game looked great against an inferior defensive line, but still struggled getting into the end zone. It may have seemed like the Hokies put up 50 points on the Terps, but they were held to three field goals and scored 23 points.

The defense has been outstanding the last three games, but has been prone to giving up big plays. BC and FSU had big plays and special teams plays that led to wins over the Hokies. The Terps had the big touchdown on the screen pass to Heyward-Bey and had a punt blocked. Miami has the speed and skill to take advantage of these mistakes.

The Hokies should be able to stop the run, but I think they're going to give up big plays through the air on special teams. Punt coverage has been atrocious for the Hokies and the Canes have been able to get big returns on punts.

Tech will be able to move the ball better than it did against BC, but not nearly as easy as it did against UMD. I expect Glennon to be the quarterback and him to have a much tougher time against Miami than UMD. The Canes will be able to get pressure. It's up to Glennon not to commit game-changing turnovers.

Hokies win if: They don't give up big plays and don't turn the ball over.

Canes win if: They keep the Hokies from getting pressure on the quarterback and force the Hokies into passing downs.

Dot-dot-dots: This is the Hokies first game against Miami on Thursday...this is also their first trip to Dolphin Stadium as a visiting team against the Hurricanes...the Hokies are 0-2 at Dolphin Stadium with both losses coming in the Orange Bowl...the Hokies are 15-3 on ESPN Thursday Night games with all three losses coming to BC...Tech is 13-1 in ACC conference games played in November...Darren Evans is tied for the Virginia Tech record for rushing touchdowns by a freshman with nine...Dustin Keys has made two or more field goals in seven consecutive games...the Hokies have used the same five offensive linemen for all but two plays in the last five games.

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