In what has become an increasingly frustrating year for Virginia, the Hoos fell to Miami on Saturday 34-14 in their final home game of the season. As has been the case in too many games this season, the Hoos were able to hang close with Miami for most the game only to see the Hurricanes pull away late. The loss continues Virginia’s downward spiral and takes their record to 2-8. Going into the game, here was what we were looking for, and here is how things played out...From the Upper Deck
- Improvement on third down - For all of their struggles moving the football, Virginia was able to achieve their highest third down conversion rate on the season going 9-17. They also managed to hold Miami to just 6-15 on third down tries. However the Cavaliers were undone by turnovers once again. No matter how well a team plays on third down, four fumbles will almost always cost you the day.
- Cover, cover, cover - It wasn’t perfect, but overall on the day, the Virginia secondary did a nice job keeping Miami’s receivers in front of them. The unit held Miami to just 228 yards passing, one of their lowest totals of the season. However, not all the credit goes their way as Miami ran the ball 42 times for 222 yards. The 222 was Miami’s highest rushing output in ACC games this season and they were paced by Mark Walton who ran for over 100 yards for the second week in a row and the fifth time this season. Thanks to a dominant run game and putting the game out of reach by the fourth quarter, Miami didn’t have to throw much and take advantage of a struggling Virginia secondary.
- Keep an eye on Richards - Ok, so it wasn’t to the southeast corner of the stadium (it was the southwest), and it wasn’t a bomb over the top, but Ahmmon Richards did break free from a would-be Virginia tackler and sprinted untouched for a 77 yard touchdown. The play came at the most inopportune time too, as Virginia was within striking distance down 20-14, but struggling to move the football. For the day, the freshman (and the rest of the the Miami receivers) was held relatively in check as he only caught two additional passes for 23 yards. Nevertheless, all it takes is one play, a refrain echoed in Virginia games far too often this season.
Virginia takes to the road next week when they visit Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are coming off an upset win over Virginia Tech and prove to always be a tough matchup due to their triple option offense. Stay with Streaking the Lawn all week as bring you all your Cavalier coverage.