Gameday Central: News, Links, and Preview for Hokies and Miami


Fresh off of being upset on the road at Syracuse, the Hokies look to bounce back on Thursday night against the Hurricanes at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg


Hurricanes lead all-time series 20-13 (Miami won last meeting by a score of 30-20 in 2015)

Where to Watch:

7:00 ET Thursday on ESPN


VT -6.0

Last Week: 

Virginia Tech: Lost at Syracuse 31-17

Miami: Lost at home to North Carolina 20-13

Gameday Links

Fighting Gobbler Audio: Mike’s Appearance with ESPN Blacksburg

Hokies DB Stroman Named to ESPN Midseason All-ACC Team

Hokies and Hurricanes Release Injury Report

Miami Week: Monday Press Conference Transcript and Reaction


The Virginia Tech Hokies (4-2, 2-1 ACC) return home to the friendly confines of Lane Stadium to take on the Miami Hurricanes (4-2, 1-2 ACC). Although both teams are coming off of losses last weekend, the match-up on Thursday night still screams big game, as the Hurricanes attempt to make their last stand in terms of contention for the Coastal, while the Hokies try to take a big step forward towards being the division’s representative in December’s conference championship game.

Both games come in battered and bruised on the defensive line, which I outlined here earlier in the week. The Hurricanes will be without most of their starters on the line, most notably defensive end Demetrius Jackson and defensive tackle Gerald Willis, who will both miss the game with lower extremity injuries. For the Hokies, they potentially have issues of their own on the defensive line, with end Ken Ekanem and defensive tackle Nigel Williams listed as questionable for the match-up with the Hurricanes.

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With so much attrition on the defensive lines for both teams, the key to the game will be which team better establishes the run. The Hurricanes have two backs lining up behind Brad Kaaya that are more than competent in Mark Walton (566 yards, eight touchdowns) and Joe Yearby (434 yards, six touchdowns).

They’ll come ready to play, but it is safe to say that the offensive line will have most of the weight on their shoulders, as usual. The unit has struggled with consistency this season, but the offense has been at its best when the line is opening up the running game for the dynamic duo of backs that the Hurricanes have in the backfield. Quarterback Brad Kaaya is putting together another solid season for Miami with 1,373 yards passing and 10 touchdowns to only four interceptions, and should be at the forefront of the Hokies’ concerns when attacking this offense on Thursday night.

As for the Hokies, their offensive line is facing some question marks coming off of their worst performance of the season last Saturday afternoon against Syracuse. It was a curious performance given the fact that the Orange entered the match-up as the worst offense in the ACC, and one of the worst in all of college football.

Quarterback Jerod Evans struggled mightily with his decision making in both the running game with the option, as well as in the passing game, highlighted by a crucial red zone interception in the second half that cost the Hokies a crucial opportunity for points and momentum.

In addition, the running game flashed its inconsistency once again, which has been one of the lone spots of concern for an offense that has otherwise been much improved and extremely efficient through the first six games of the season. After becoming the first 1,000-yard rusher since 2011 for the Hokies last season, Travon McMillian has only rushed for 327 yards and three touchdowns, which leads the team. He has averaged 4.4 yards per carry though, a sure sign that he is more than capable of getting going if the offensive line improves in the run blocking scheme that coach Justin Fuente is attempting to employ.


In my mind, this game comes down to two key aspects: turnovers and the running game.

Virginia Tech has been one of the best defenses in college football this season, and they are primed for a bounce back performance after struggling mightily against Syracuse’s dual-threat quarterback and quick hitting offense.

While Miami has been solid defensively this season, I do not believe that they will be able to create enough turnovers and force enough stops to win this game in what is expected to be a sold out Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. I’m envisioning Virginia Tech’s offense bouncing back in a big way, especially in the running game, against Miami’s battered defensive front.

Because of this, I’m taking the Hokies going away late in the fourth quarter.

Virginia Tech 30    Miami 14