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THE COLUMN: Virginia vs Miami Complete Preview

Homecomings under the lights

TIME: 7:00 PM (EST)

DATE: October 13th, 2018

LOCATION: Scott Stadium | Charlottesville, VA


The Lowdown

Last year, it was found out that Virginia carried around a toaster to make other stadiums (including their own) feel more like home. Coach Bronco Mendenhall said, “Every stadium we go into, we bring a toaster so when we go we know we’re home. It’s kind of been symbolic. I try and take a piece of toast with me the night before the game just to remember that I get to go back ‘home’ the next day...and toast is the link to that.” When I heard that, the only natural thing that came to my mind was the need for a Turnover Toaster. After all, only such an ordinary object as a toaster could be the thing to rival the infamous Miami Turnover Chain. Imagine Charles Snowden getting a pick-six this Saturday and Defensive Coordinators Kelly Poppinga and Nick Howell donning him with a toaster . . . I would love it at least.

Anyway, I digress. This week No. 16 Miami rolls into Charlottesville for the Hoos first Saturday prime time game since 2014. While 5-1, Miami still remains a mainly untested team. The ‘Canes have wins against Savannah State, Toledo, FIU, UNC, and FSU. And against Florida State, Miami had to improbably came back from 27-7 to get the victory.

Virginia is coming off a bye-week as well as a Week 5 loss to NC State. Under the lights, the Hoos will have a chance to get a real statement win and get right on track to make a second consecutive bowl game. I hope the Cavaliers are firing up the toasters cause they’ll need Homecomings to feel extra homey in order to beat the Hurricanes.

The Statistics

from Danny Neckel

The Good

Category UVA Category Duke
Category UVA Category Duke
Yards Defense 25th (327) Yards Offense 83rd (390)
Passing Defense 34th (197) Passing Offense 82nd (215.5)
3rd Down Offense 16th (48.1%) 3rd Down Defense 59th (37.9%)

The Bad

Category UVA Category Duke
Category UVA Category Duke
Scoring Offense 76th (27.8) Scoring Defense 20th (17.7)
Yards Offense 85th (368.8) Yards Defense 38th (350)
Passing Offense 97th (203.8) Passing Defense 48th (209.5)

Hoo’s Hoo?

Virginia Cavaliers

Bryce Perkins, QB

Now that we’re halfway through the season, it is a good time to spotlight Bryce Perkins again. So far on the season, Perkins has thrown for 1125 yards and ran for 478 yards. He has 11 passing touchdowns (plus four interceptions) and six rushing touchdowns. I think most people would agree that Perkins has been impressive individually so far, but needs help - notably from the offensive line to really make his game consistent.

Virginia Cavaliers

Joey Blount, S

Even though Virginia’s secondary was supposed to be one of the deeper units on the team, it has been shaky so far on the year. When safety Brenton Nelson with down with a concussion in the first half against NC State, Joey Blount had to step up even more. The son of Virginia star S Tony Blount, has been sure tackler for the Hoos and already has 22 solo tackles on the year. Look for him to keep developing into an integral piece of the defense.

Virginia Cavaliers

Tavares Kelly, WR

There’s a large disparity between the Virginia receivers: Zaccheaus has 33 receptions for 501 yards and Dubois has 22 receptions for 247 yards. Besides those two, Bryce Perkins needs other receivers to step up and diversify who he passes to. First-year Tavares Kelly is a dynamic and explosive player that could be one such person. We’ve seen this dynamism in his kick returns, but have yet to see it unfold in the receiving game.

Miami Hurricanes

Jeff Thomas, WR

Sophomore Jeff Thomas has become the new wide receiver phenom for the Hurricanes. It used to be Ahmmon Richards, however, he has sadly retired from football after a neck injury. Thomas has been torching teams this year and is averaging 24.6 yards per reception. He undoubtedly has big play ability and Virginia’s secondary will have to respect Thomas’ deep ball ability throughout the day.

Miami Hurricanes

Michael Jackson, CB

Senior cornerback Michael Jackson considered declaring for the NFL Draft last year but elected to stay one more year. He shared the team lead for interceptions last year, with four on the season. Jackson headlines the secondary corps for the Hurricanes and will be itching to wear the infamous turnover chain on Saturday. However, it’s unknown whether or not the Senior can do a nasty moonwalk.

Miami Hurricanes

Joe Jackson, DE

Junior Joe Jackson has been an absolute force this year for the ‘Cane’s defensive line. A potential NFL prospect for next year, Jackson has recorded 15 sacks and 23 tackles for loss over the last two seasons. Look no further than his performance against UNC this year to understand the impact he can have: Jackson finished the day with a 42-yard pick-six, one sack, two forced fumbles, and five total tackles.


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