Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What to Watch vs. Miami

Most stats are from

Dolphin Stadium

- I'm interested to see how many people show up to Dolphin Stadium on a Thursday night. Will there be just as many Hokie fans as Cane fans like in 2006? Will the place be half full? Or will there be a strong showing from Cane fans for a team that may very will win their division for the first time since joining the ACC?


- I'm predicting Glennon will start. Then again, I said Holt would start against Maryland. But, with Glennon healing faster than Tyrod and Glennon not having to rely on his running ability, it will very likely be Glennon under center.

- We'll see the Wild Turkey formation with Boone under center again. I'm interested in seeing more zone road option from Boone in this game. Almost every time we ran the Wild Turkey against Maryland, it was either a reverse to the receiver in motion or Boone running to the left or right.

- There was one Wild Turkey play where Boone faked the run and dropped back to pass. If our offensive line hadn't broken down on the play, Boone would have been able to throw a pass for the first time in his career. However, he was forced to scramble. If that play looked familiar, it's because Ryan Perriloux ran it and threw a touchdown against us last year in Baton Rouge.

- The Hokies will be able to run the ball better than they did against BC but not as well as they did against Maryland. Expect a performance more along the lines of what we saw against Georgia Tech or FSU. Evans averaged 4.9 YPC against the Jackets and 5.1 against the Noles. If he can get around that against the Canes, I'll be happy.

- The problem for the Hokies is Miami is best in the ACC in YPC allowed. It allows 2.9 YPC this season. However, that number goes up to 3.5 against ACC foes, which ranks No. 5 in the ACC (VT is No. 1).

- As for yards per game numbers, Miami's D gives up 146.2 YPG against ACC foes, No. 8 in the conference. The Hokies gain 166.2 YPG in conference games, No. 3 in the conference. So while it will be more difficult for the Hokies to get yards on the ground against the Canes, it may not be as difficult as I originally thought.

- The Canes have had a lot of injuries on defense this year, but still have talent. I have been exponentially impressed by freshman defensive end Adewale Ojomo. The kid is a freak and has disrupted every offense he has played. He will line up against the Hokies' best tackle, Ed Wang. If Wang can mitigate Ojomo's effect on our offense, we'll have a lot better luck moving the ball.

- A big problem for the Hokies is that Glennon is still missing high when he is inaccurate. This will lead to interceptions against a defense as skilled as Miami's.


- The Canes have two quarterbacks with basically the same skill sets in Jacory Harris and Robert Marve. As you read in our Q&A with Canes305 from allCanes, Harris is the better passer and Marve is the better runner. However, what you will see is Marve start, Harris play early and then head coach Randy Shannon go with whoever has the hot hand down the stretch.

- In Miami's six wins, both quarterbacks have been very good with passer ratings in the 120s. In the three losses, both have been bad with passer ratings in the 80s. This is a little surprising to me because I expected one quarterback to be a little more consistent in their win/loss splits with the other one having a bigger difference when Miami is succeeding vs. when they are losing.

- It also tells me the key to disrupting the Miami offense is to get pressure on the quarterback. The Hokies must be able to cut down on how much time both QBs have to make their decisions while at the same time containing them in the pocking and keeping them from scrambling for yards.

- The Hokies have been good at getting to the quarterback lately and I think we'll have the same success against the Canes. The trick will be stopping Miami's run game.

- When the Canes run the ball, it will be strength against strength. As I mentioned above, the Hokies are giving up an ACC-best 3.1 YPC in conference games. However, the Canes are averaging 4.3 YPC on offense in conference games, No. 3 in the ACC.

- Miami features two solid running backs in Javarris James and Graig Cooper. Cooper became a hoss when James was out with injury earlier this year. James is back, but still not at 100 percent.

- Not surprisingly, there's a big, big difference in rushing yards for the Canes in games they win and games they lose. They average 4.6 YPC in wins and 2.9 YPC in losses. Stop the running game and you stop Miami. Our DTs, particularly Taco Thompson, have been playing their best football. However, I think Miami will have success running the ball, particularly with Cooper.

- Macho Harris needs to have a big game for Tech. I don't think he's played his best the last couple of games, but could get back to the way he played in the middle of the season against Miami. He'll have the chance at least. The Canes have very talented wide receivers and the scouts will be watching. Remember how big a game Brandon Flowers had against the Canes in 2006? Macho needs to have that kind of game.


- The Younglings are a talented football team. Like Tech, they have a lot of freshmen and sophomores at the skill positions. They also have experienced players at key positions on defense.

- I don't think we'll be able to take advantage of Miami's weakness, which is their secondary. Because of this, I think you'll see a 2006-type game that's low scoring with a few big plays here and there that decide the game.

- Miami's big, skilled wide receivers will be able to make plays against our secondary, which has been exploited when we haven't been able to get pressure on the quarterback. These receivers aren't as good as Florida State's, but it's close. I've been very impressed with Aldarius Johnson this year.

- In the end, one mistake late will decide the game. Unfortunately, with this game being on the road, I think the Hokies make that mistake.

Watch the Box Score For:

1. Turnovers.
2. VT sacks
3. Miami rushing yards.
4. Non-offensive touchdowns.

VT Players to Watch:

8 - Greg Boone, Jr., TE/QB/RB
77 - Ed Wang, Jr, LT
1 - Macho Harris, Sr., CB
95 - Taco Thompson, Jr., DT

Miami Players to Watch:

4 - Aldarius Johnson, Fr., WR
2 - Graig Cooper, So., RB
97 - Adewale Ojomo, Fr., DE
31 - Sean Spence, Fr., LB

Final Score: Miami 17, Virginia Tech 10

1 comment:

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