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THE COLUMN: Virginia at Miami Complete Preview

Virginia faces their first ranked opponent of the year


TIME: 12:00 PM (EST)

DATE: November 18th, 2017

LOCATION: Hard Rock Stadium - Miami, FL




by Paul Wiley

After a disappointing performance in Louisville, the Hoos will look to rebound as they head to Coral Gab—TURNOVER CHAIN!

...What? Where did that come from? Anyway, with two games left in this turnaround seaso—TURNOVER CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!!

Oh god. This is really happening isn't—TURN! OVER! CHAIN!

Fine. We're going full chain mode: Virginia's success on Saturday will depend on whether Kurt Benkert can link up with Andre Levrone and the UVA receiving corps, or if they'll be shackled by an aggressive Miami defense. The blitz-happy Canes will test Virginia's mettle, but the Hoos have been steeled in the forge of competition thus far. If Blanding, Brown, and Kiser bling bring their A-game, the Cavalier defense should keep things close. Thankfully UVA's bowl eligibility is not de-pendant on this game, as it will be a tough one for the Hoos to swing in their favor.

(turnooooveeeerr chaaaaaaaaiiiiiinnnnn....)


Provided by Danny Neckel

The Good For UVA

Category UVA Category Navy
Category UVA Category Navy
Passing Defense 15th (179.6) Passing Offense 128th (83.8)
Turnovers Lost 41st (16) Turnovers Gained 109th (13)
3rd Down Offense 68th (39.8%) 3rd Down Defense 101st (43.5%)

The Not So Good For UVA

Category UVA Category Navy
Category UVA Category Navy
Team Sacks 50th (2.5) Sacks Allowed 6th (1)
Rushing Defense 81st (178.3) Rushing Offense 2nd (343)
Rushing Offense 125th (98.8) Rushing Defense 65th (164.9)


Jordan Ellis
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Ellis - RB

Third-year Jordan Ellis has started all nine of UVA's games. Virginia has won every game in which he has 20 or more carries. On the year, Ellis has rushed for 766 yards with six touchdowns alongside one receiving touchdown. Numbers-wise, he’s had a pretty good year but it seems that OC Robert Anae hasn’t found the best way to integrate Ellis into his pass-happy offense. This shows as UVA is ranked at a dismal 116th in rushing offense. Perhaps this is the week to let Ellis loose and see what that does for the Virginia offense.

Olamide Zaccheaus - WR

Zaccheaus is probably Virginia’s best weapon on offense. He is as consistent as it comes for the team, amassing 70 receptions for 727 yards so far on the season. Against Louisville last week, OZ only caught four balls for 44 yards. Miami’s defense lives up to the hype and if they can shut Zaccheaus down, it might be a long day for Benkert and The Boyz™.

Jack English
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jack English - LT

Speaking of Benkert and The Boyz™, last week was a horror show for the offensive line. The Hoos allowed four sacks for 33 yards on Kurt Benkert, and be was seemingly left scrambling on every play. Fourth-year Jack English is back in the lineup this week, after a knee injury, and will resume his duties at left tackle. The offensive line has to protect Benkert this week and we’ll see if the return of English can be the fix.

Malik Rosier
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Rosier - QB

Another week, another dual-threat quarterback. This week, it’s Miami’s Malik Rosier - the junior who played backup to Brad Kaaya over the last two years. On the year, Rosier has passed for 2410 yards with 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Interestingly, these numbers are very close to what Kurt Benkert has done on the season (2492 yards with 21 TDs and 7 INTs). Rosier brings another dynamic with his legs though and the Hoos defense will need to contain Rosier better than they did Lamar Jackson if they have any shot at winning this game.

Braxton Berrios
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Braxton Berrios - WR

Berrios is Malik Rosier’s main man. His receiving numbers aren’t eye popping (484 receiving yards) but he has a knack to score. On the year, he’s got eight touchdowns and is big threat in the red zone. Virginia’s secondary showed holes last week but being able to limit Berrios this week will be key.

Jaquan Johnson
Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

Jaquan Johnson - DB

So, what’s so good about this Miami defense anyway? Sure, you’ve heard about the turnover chain but what about the actual players? For starters, there is junior defensive back Jaquan Jackson who leads the team in tackles (40 solo, 66 total). He also has three interceptions on the season. Last week, for his efforts against Notre Dame, Johnson was named defensive Walter Camp National Player of the Week.



Miami Turnover Chain?

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230 votes total Vote Now



Virginia at Miami | November 10th, 2007 | UVA 48-0 Miami