The Miami Hurricanes’ season has seemingly fallen to pieces in just a couple of weeks. A team who was ready to jump into the college football playoff, have regressed back out of the top 25. The frustrating thing for Miami is that they were a play here or there from being a 6-0 team instead of 4-2. A few mistakes has bumped them from what would have been a top 6 ranking to out of the picture all together. Against Florida State at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Dolphins, the Hurricanes looked like they were ready to tie it up late with a touchdown. The touchdown came but they were unsuccessful on the XP try. The XP was blocked, before a stunned crowd who were just jumping in joy seconds before. It really felt like the start of the end for Miami in 2016.
They had no time to relax, because the following week they had a team who already beat the team they just lost to, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Now, a few days after that game, reports are coming out that show replay angles on a touchdown catch, which were unavailable to the review team. The replay would have resulted in an incomplete pass, a huge turning point in that one. North Carolina ended up winning 20-13, so yeah, it was an important call that didn’t go the Hurricanes’ way. It’s a shot to the gut, just a week after they endured a heartbreaker against their rival.
Miami gets yet another tough competitor this week in Blacksburg. The Virginia Tech Hokies will be waiting for them, who are a team flirting with the top 25. A loss on the road at Syracuse last week derailed those plans, but a win against Miami could put them back up there. I foresee Virginia Tech playing in an okay bowl game, but not in the top-tier. How does the Russell Athletic Bowl sound? Yeah, it sounds like it has Virginia Tech’s name on it. Virginia Tech also dropped the Bristol Bowl game at the racetrack against the Tennessee Volunteers. The Hokies can look like a great time at moments, but sometimes isn’t good enough in college football where two losses end your entire intentions for the year. Miami and Virginia Tech step up for a midweek meeting between two of the better teams in the ACC Conference.
Miami Hurricanes vs. Virginia Tech Hokies NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Virginia Tech -6.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Miami vs. Virginia Tech Pick:
Miami has a star at quarterback. Brad Kaaya is increasingly becoming an attractive option in the NFL. He operates out of a pro-offense, which can only help his cause for the next level. However, he would be putting up monster numbers in an air-raid offense. Kaaya in the Big-12 would be rolling defenses up, but in the long run, NFL scouts prefer a guy who can take a snap from under center as well as out of the shotgun. Kaaya is fully capable of doing either. He has thrown for 1373 yards with 10 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He isn’t going to put up jaw dropping numbers because of the balanced offense he plays in, but it bodes well for him at the NFL Draft, in my opinion.
The bright spot of this Miami team is their defense. They held FSU down for most of the game, but just couldn’t hold on near the end. Last week was especially impressive. Miami held the North Carolina offense to just 20 points, against a quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, who I feel is one of the best in the nation. He is projected as the 2nd best quarterback in the 2018 NFL class. Miami has given up just 14 points per game this season, which ranks 4th in college football.
Virginia Tech is a top-flight unit on defense as well, despite their lapses against Syracuse last week. The Hokies are allowing an average of 18.2 points per game and allowing just 177 passing yards a game. Shut down Kaaya and the Hurricanes turn into a one-dimensional squad. Virginia Tech is 67th in the country passing the ball, Miami should be able to neutralize them through the air. Likewise, Miami is 63th thanks to their pro-style offense, which prefers to run the ball over airing it out often. I think this is going to turn into a slug fest on Thursday night. If you like a college game that reminds you of the NFL, you may want to turn this one off. I expect defense and field position to play a critical role in the end result tonight. So, the UNDER looks like a quality play tonight.
PICK: UNDER 52 POINTS (-110)