MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s hard to imagine based on their defensive performance this year, but the Miami Hurricanes stand on the cusp of clinching a berth in the Atlantic Coast Championship game if a few things fall UM’s way this weekend.

Miami plays in Charlottesville, Virginia this Saturday against the Virginia Cavaliers. The Cavs recorded their first conference win of the season last weekend against North Carolina State and are hoping to make it two in a row this Saturday against Miami.

But, UM doesn’t even have to win on Saturday to punch a ticket to the ACC title game.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a Duke loss at Georgia Tech on November 17 would clinch Miami’s ACC title game berth. A Duke win over Georgia Tech would set up a winner take-all game between UM and Duke on November 24.

UM will have a non-conference game wedged into the schedule before the Duke game against the University of South Florida. But that game may have become easier with the loss of USF quarterback B.J. Daniels for the rest of the season.

If UM can clinch a berth in the ACC Championship game, it will likely be a rematch against the Florida State Seminoles. FSU beat UM at Sun Life Stadium on October 20, 33-20. It was a game that UM kept closer than most anticipated and the defense finally started to show up.

Still, UM’s defense has been abysmal in 2012. In total defense, UM ranks below teams like Akron, New Mexico State, and the University of Massachusetts. UM ranks 117th out of 124 teams in total defense, according to


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