The Miami Hurricanes haven’t officially named a quarterback for Thursday’s ACC bout against the Virginia Cavaliers. Starting quarterback D’Eriq King missed last week’s 69-0 win with a shoulder injury. Even with King, Miami hasn’t played very well against real opponents like Alabama and Michigan State. Getting a couple of freshmen some work under center might be costly this season, but it could prove worthwhile in the future. On the other hand, Virginia has one of the top offenses in college football through the first four weeks of the season. But that offense struggled to score in clutch moments last week, and Virginia fell to Wake Forest, 37-17.
With both defenses struggling to start the year, which team has the edge for Thursday’s game at the Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday?
- Opening Line: Miami -2.5, O/U 62.5
- Current Line: Miami -4, O/U 62
- Last meeting: October 24, 2020, Miami 19, Virginia 14
The Virginia Cavaliers have found a reliable quarterback in Brennan Armstrong. The junior has led Virginia to 546 yards per game of offense through four outings this season and has thrown for 430.5 yards per game. The offense moved the ball well last week against Wake Forest but struggled to score in the red zone, preventing them from winning.
Virginia’s defense is so bad that their offense will need to continue stepping up. The Cavaliers allowed 59 points to North Carolina and 37 to Wake Forest in the last two weeks, and they have struggled in every facet of the game outside of tackling.
They’re allowing 423 yards per game, including over 200 on the ground. That won’t fly against some of the ACC’s better offensive teams.
Miami hasn’t announced their quarterback for this game. The hope is that their starter, D’Eriq King, will return from a shoulder injury, but that might be wishful thinking because of the tight turnaround. This season, Miami has already lost to Alabama and Michigan State by multiple touchdowns. They barely beat Appalachian State, too. That win against the Mountaineers is solid, but Miami is expected to beat non-Power 5 teams.
Last week, Miami dominated Central Connecticut State University, 69-0. They were without King as freshmen Tyler Van Dyke and Jake Garcia took over. Both threw multiple touchdowns and didn’t throw an interception. While Virginia’s defense is bad, it isn’t Central Connecticut State bad. It might be a bit difficult for this offense to get in sync, but that get-right game against CCSU could help jumpstart them.
- Cavaliers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring fewer than 20 points in their previous game.
- Hurricanes are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight-up win of more than 20 points.
- Over is 8-1 in Cavaliers last 9 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
Miami should still be able to find ways to score against Virginia, even if King is out. Both of the freshman quarterbacks are confident and got a feel for college football in last week’s game. Virginia’s defense has been awful in the running game, and I’d expect Miami to get their ground game moving, especially with a freshman quarterback potentially taking over.
Virginia’s offense is very electric under Armstrong. The protection has been way above average, and he only has to make better throws in clutch situations. Armstrong is known for completing massive plays down the field. They struggled to do that against Wake Forest.
Against Miami, there’s a good chance that Virginia creates big plays with how bad the Hurricanes have been at tackling. They miss tackles like it’s their job, and their coverage downfield has been atrocious.
Let’s grab the over 62 here. If King decides to play, this total could move up by a field goal.
Pick: Over 62 (-110)
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