The Miami Hurricanes and the Virginia Cavaliers have a love hate relationship. These two fan bases love to hate each other, but the reasons are rooted in different reasons. The Canes have that history of dominance, of being that feared and electric team striking wide eyed concerned in the eyes of their opponents. Within those glory years came what many called arrogance, but what Miami referred to as “swagger”.
Not to say that the Virginia Cavaliers haven’t had their moments, they have. Yet it is that tension between the blue collar hard working label given the Cavaliers that runs against the glitz and glam of the Miami program that takes this gridiron battle to another level. Then there are the games.
Every team has that one ‘Achilles heel’ program, that thorn in the side that just seems to know how to play against them, Virginia has been that team versus Miami. On paper seemingly every year these teams have played Miami appears to have more talent, but on the field is where it counts and where it is settled. So what is in store for the matchup this year?
This One is About Pride Not Titles
Neither team is going to contend for the ACC crown, not this year anyways. At the time of this writing, Miami comes in at 4-3 overall but only 1-3 in conference play, while Virginia enters at 2-5 and 1-2 through three conference games. Miami leads the series 7 to 6 and the teams have exchanged wins the past few years, Miami winning the latest round last season. Having lost their top two receivers last year in addition to having a reliable and deep backfield means Virginia will likely rely on Mizzell as the work horse. Albert Reid offers a change of pace and Olamide Zaccheaus has become the primary receiving threat this season.
Miami relies heavily on the two headed attack of running backs Mark Walton and Joseph Yearby. Virginia with a new coach at the helm has actually looked like the more potent passing team, but this game is going to be won on the ground. Even with better passing statistics, there is also no doubting NFL prospect Brad Kaaya‘s leadership abilities for Miami too. So who wins?
The Final Score
When the dust settles, the more talented overall team and stronger running game of Miami will make this back to back seasons with wins over Virginia, but not by much. The improved passing attack of the Cavaliers should struggle to find success against an underrated Miami defense. Kaaya’s experience and the run game for Miami should do just enough to put a few more points on the board for Miami, who is also getting adjusted to their own coaching changes.
Although each team has the ability to put points on the board, the inconsistency of doing so and the inconsistent play of each team trend toward a lower scoring affair. Virginia will enjoy having home field, but that just won’t be enough of an edge. The final, Miami 20 Virginia 17.