Miami vs. Virginia prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Hurricanes and Cavaliers on Saturday in Charlottesville, VA.
Miami vs. Virginia Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Where: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
TV Broadcast: ACC Extra
The Hurricanes (5-4, 2-3 ACC) took care of business against Pitt at home last week, as Brad Kaaya feasted on the Panthers’ porous secondary. The Miami signal-caller passed for 356 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran for another score to help the ‘Canes snap a four-game losing streak in a 51-28 win.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers (2-7, 1-4) dropped a 27-20 road decision to Wake Forest last week, as quarterback Kurt Benkert tossed two fourth-quarter interceptions, with Demon Deacons safety Jessie Bates returning the second one 39 yards for the winning touchdown with 6:47 remaining.
In last year’s meeting in Miami, Kaaya returned from a one-game absence with a concussion to pass for 286 yards and two touchdowns, and Stacy Coley had 132 receiving yards with a score in a 27-21 ‘Canes win. Kaaya finished 19 of 30 through the air for 296 yards.
What To Know About Miami
The Hurricanes were desperate for a win last week, and they took out their frustrations on a wounded Pitt squad. Kaaya had 13 straight completions to start the game, a career-high 32 completions in 47 attempts and did not throw an interception. Plus, he was only sacked once, which was very surprising considering Pitt came in averaging 3.5 sacks per game this season and the fact that Miami’s O-Line had been struggling to protect Kaaya, especially during the losing skid. Keep in mind that the Hurricanes gave up eight sacks against Virginia Tech and allowed Notre Dame to live in the backfield and rack up 12 tackles for loss. So the game against the Panthers is a very encouraging sign.
What to Know About Virginia
The Cavaliers were coming off of a heartbreaking home loss to Louisville, which saw Lamar Jackson lead a 75-yard scoring drive in the final minute-plus to help the Cardinals escape with a 32-25 win. So to lose another game in the fourth quarter really has to hurt Bronco Mendenhall and Co. A pair of fourth-quarter picks by Benkert led directly to 10 of Wake Forest’s points, and the QB continues to struggle with protecting the football. He threw two costly interceptions the week prior, including one that led to Louisville’s first lead of the game, and he now has 11 picks on the season.
Offense: Miami. The ‘Canes are out-gaining the Hoos 415.7 to 365.6 yards per game.
Defense: Miami. The Hoos are allowing a whopping 445.4 yards per contest.
Special Teams: Miami. The ‘Canes have one of the better special teams efficiency ratings in the country.
Coaching: Even. Both Mark Richt and Mendenhall have strong track records of success at their previous stops.
Intangibles: Miami. The Hurricanes are coming off of an easy win over Pitt, so they will be looking to close the season strong.
Matchup To Watch
Miami run game vs. Virginia defensive front
In last season’s contest between these two teams, the Miami rushing duo of Joseph Yearby and Mark Walton combined for 137 yards and a score on 28 carries. For the season, the pair have combined for 16 touchdowns, with Yearby averaging 6.0 yards per carry and Walton gaining an average of 5.4 yards per rush. Kaaya will be a tough test for this Hoos secondary, so taking the Miami run game out of the equation is crucial to Virginia’s upset hopes.
Spread: Miami -12.5
Miami vs. Virginia Prediction
The Hurricanes put together a strong game on both sides of the ball last week against Pitt, and they will carry over that momentum against the Hoos on Saturday.
Miami vs. Virginia Score Prediction: Miami 34, Virginia 23