Virginia Tech Hokies (4-4 SU, 2-6 ATS) vs. Miami Hurricanes (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Thursday November 1st, 2012. 7:30PM Eastern
Where: Sun Life Stadium Miami, F.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: VT -2/MIA +2
Over/Under Total: OFF
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ACC Football returns this Thursday night when the Virginia Tech Hokies travel to south Florida to battle the Miami Hurricanes in an intriguing ACC Coastal match-up. Despite both teams measly 4-4 SU record, both the Hokies and the Hurricanes are still in the thick of the ACC Coastal race with 4 teams tied with 2 losses in conference play. Additionally both Miami and Virginia Tech are coming off bye weeks and looking to prove their selves to the nation on Thursday night.
Miami has dropped 3 straight games going back to their most recent 33-20 loss against Florida State. The Hurricanes defense has statistically been one of the worst groups in the country giving up 499 yards per game which ranks 116th in the FBS. Not to mention Miami has given up 32.38 points per game this season (95th in FBS). However, Miami has had a pretty brutal schedule thus far in 2012. The Hurricanes were beaten up by two of the Cinderella stories this season in Kansas State and Notre Dame. Both teams dominated Miami in the trenches in blowout defeats. However in recent weeks, Miami just narrowly lost to North Carolina and was in position to pull off an upset against Florida State. Therefore the Hurricanes hope that with a little more improvement, they can still show they are capable of closing the year strong and quite possibly even still playing for the ACC Championship.
Sure the Miami defense has to play better, but the offense has to keep from turning over the football. In Miami’s 4 losses this year, the Hurricanes have given up 7 turnovers. Turnovers have even been an issue in some of the Hurricanes victories this season and must be a focal point surrounding the improvement of the football team. QB Stephen Morris has thrown 7 picks season while completing just 57% passing. Morris’ has definitely added to the turnover issues but he has also racked up some decent passing totals with 2,214 yards on the season. In fact, the entire Miami offense has moved the ball relatively well averaging 415 yards per game and 288 yards per game through the air. The offense is more than capable of putting up the numbers to win football games. The Hurricanes offense just needs some help from their defense and need to help their defense by limiting the turnovers.
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Virginia Tech on the other hand may be one of the most disappointing teams thus far in the ACC this year. The Hokies were expected to be a frontrunner in the ACC this season. While the Hokies could still win an ACC Title in theory, they have not been the normal dominating threat of year’s past. If anything has been obvious through the first 8 games for Virginia Tech, it is that Frank Beamer’s talent in Blacksburg is way under par. Bud Foster’s defense has not been the dominating threat that most expected giving up 370 yards and 24 points per game. Special teams have been less than special and the offense is struggling to score points averaging just 29pts per game (59th).
I’m sure Virginia Tech fans would love to point at a single cause for their disappointing year but it is pretty obvious that it is a talent issue. In the 4 losses this year, Virginia Tech has given up 37 points per game which is simply unheard of from a Bud Foster lead group. Additionally, the offense has not had any real impressive performance this season. The Hokies two biggest wins this year were against Duke and Georgia Tech who have combined to put together a 9-8 SU mark so far this year. However, I think that improvement has to start on offense with QB Logan Thomas. If you remember, Logan Thomas was receiving a ton of national hype going into the 2012 season but has failed to deliver. Thomas has completed just 53% passing with 13 touchdowns and 10 picks.
Thomas has had to carry more responsibility this season since the Hokies have not had the luxury of a dominating tailback in the backfield. Running back J.C Coleman leads the team in rushing with 338 yards rushing on the season. Those numbers are very surprising since the Hokies have been spoiled with running backs like David Wilson, Darren Evans, and Ryan Williams over the last few years. Still, Thomas has to take control of this team and get the football moving in the passing game. Senior wide outs Marcus Davis and Corey Fuller have the capability to lift the offense if Thomas can get both receivers the ball consistently. Perhaps Thomas and Virginia Tech can get some things going this Thursday against a rather weak Miami defense to keep their ACC Championship hopes alive.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I do not really have a strong pick in this game but I lean towards the Hurricanes in this one for the simple fact they seem to be improving while the Hokies have not shown any signs of improvement. Consider a small play on the Hurricanes +2.
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