MIAMI GARDENS (SportsDirect, Inc.) — Two teams coming off emotional victories try to build a winning streak as Miami hosts Virginia in an ACC contest Saturday afternoon.
Virginia knocked off Georgia Tech 27-21 last week to even its league record and will face the revived Hurricanes, who pulled out a 30-27 victory over then-No. 18 Duke on a disputed touchdown as time expired.
Miami looks to improve its bowl chances under interim coach Larry Scott, who earned the victory in his debut after replacing Al Golden as the Hurricanes rebounded from an embarrassing 58-0 debacle against Clemson.
Talented quarterback Brad Kaaya (concussion) missed the Duke contest and is still questionable for Miami while backup Malik Rosier (midsection) is expected to be ready to go if needed.
Taquan Mizzell, who leads the nation in receiving yardage for a running back with 499, led a Cavaliers ground attack that churned out 233 yards in last Saturday’s victory and could be the key to a strong finish.
Virginia has won two of its last three and gave up a season low in points last week.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, ESPN3. LINE: Off
ABOUT VIRGINIA (3-5, 2-2 ACC): The Cavaliers have struggled most of the season on defense, sitting last in the league at 33 points against per game and 13th of 14 in average yards allowed (411.9). Virginia held Georgia Tech’s high-powered rushing attack (10th in the nation) to 144 yards – more than 100 below its average. Quarterback Matt Johns has thrown 1,755 yards and 13 touchdowns, but his league-high 13 interceptions are a concern while Canaan Severin (37 catches, 513 yards, four TDs) is his top target.
ABOUT MIAMI (5-3, 2-2): Kaaya told reporters he was ready to get back at it after practicing on Tuesday and was still awaiting tests to be cleared to play. Rosier was outstanding in his place, completing 20-of-29 passes for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Stacy Coley caught five balls to continue a solid run (24 catches, 343 yards over his last four games). Rashawn Scott leads the Hurricanes with 37 receptions and Joseph Yearby leads the ground attack with 641 yards – 82 versus Duke after averaging 45 the previous three games.
1. The Cavaliers have won four of the last five meetings to even the all-time series 6-6.
2. The Hurricanes are tied for fifth in the nation and lead the league in turnover margin (plus-10).
3. Fourteen different players have at least one touchdown for Virginia, second-most in the ACC.