MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes can take another step towards the Atlantic Coast Conference championship Saturday with a victory in Charlottesville, Virginia over the Virginia Cavaliers.
Miami is coming off a resounding victory over Virginia Tech last Thursday. The Canes held the Hokies’ offense in check, allowing just 12 points in the game. For the much-maligned Hurricanes defense, it was a massive improvement over the rest of the season.
Miami’s defense went from being ranked near the bottom of the nation in scoring defense to being ranked 83rd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 30.1 points per game, according to cfbstats.com. But, that’s only good enough for 10th out of 12 teams in the ACC.
While Miami is cutting down on letting opponents score, the total defensive numbers are still pretty dismal. The Canes are allowing 490.4 yards per game, last in the ACC, and 117th out of 124 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The Canes defense should get a reprieve on Saturday against the Cavaliers. Virginia has struggled this season and is only scoring 22.8 points per game. The Cavs are gaining 3.95 yards per rush and roughly 5.49 yards per overall offensive play.
Until Virginia upset North Carolina State last weekend, the Cavs had lost six consecutive games. Overall, Virginia is 3-6 on the season and fighting for bowl eligibility. If Virginia loses to Miami on Saturday, the team won’t qualify for a bowl.
Miami’s prolific offense may struggle at points against the Cavaliers defense. Virginia is ranked third in the conference in total defense, allowing just 341.2 yards per game in 2012. On the other side, Miami is averaging 407.6 yards per game on offense.
Miami is 5-4 on the season and with one more victory becomes bowl eligible.
The Canes vs. Cavs game will kick off at 12:00 p.m. on ABC.