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Oct 20, 2016; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Stacy Coley (3) catches a ball in the end zone but lands of bounds against Virginia Tech Hokies defensive back Chuck Clark (19) and cornerback Adonis Alexander (36) during the fourth quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech Battles Miami in ACC Coastal Matchup

No. 13 Virginia Tech and No. 9 Miami (FL) will face off in an ACC Coastal match-up tomorrow night. Both teams have seven wins so far this season, however, the Hurricanes are still undefeated. The Hokies won their previous meeting 37-16 in 2016. Kick-off is set for 8:00 PM ET on ABC from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

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Defensive Matchup

A huge headline surrounding this game is turnovers. Miami is thriving off their new viral hit turnover chain, a Cuban-linked chain rewarding defensive players for forcing turnovers. However, Virginia Tech has been one of the best teams in the ACC at retaining the ball. While on offense, Virginia Tech has only turned the ball over six times including four interceptions and two fumbles. Virginia Tech is 1-1 versus top 25 opposition so far, unlike Miami who has not played a ranked opponent. Therefore, the Hokies experience against Clemson and West Virginia should leave the offense with more confidence. This is the Hurricanes first real test of the season on defense, so the core of cornerbacks including Michael Jackson, Trajan Bandy, and Malek Young will be thrilling. 16 turnovers in seven games place the U at the top spot in the ACC so far this season.

Quarterback Situation

Both Josh Jackson from Virginia Tech and Malik Rosier of Miami came into this season as starters to replace NFL-ready quarterbacks. Both have had their moments, specifically the Hurricanes offense that has been questionably lucky so far. Jackson has not been as effective in the recent wins against Duke and North Carolina, but the team won easily in both games. On the other hand, Rosier practiced this whole week after a shoulder issue saw him out of parts of the game against North Carolina. He has thrown for over 250 yards in all ACC games this year but still has relied heavily on defensive mistakes by the other team and his own defense to maintain a lead. Miami running back Travis Homer may be a colossal factor in helping the Miami offense succeed.

 

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ACC Coastal Overview

If the Hokies win (3-1), they will be one game behind the Hurricanes (5-0) in the conference rankings. After tomorrows game, Virginia Tech will face Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, and Virginia to finish their schedule. All three teams can turn up at random moments, with Georgia Tech being the toughest of the opponents. On the other hand, Miami will also face Pittsburgh and Virginia but will have to play the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. No. 5 Notre Dame has one loss against No. 2 Georgia, which was only by one point. Therefore, this game is a focal point in determining what team will likely make the conference championship.

About Homar Hernandez

Sports Journalist @ESPNGainesville, @VAVEL, @VAVEL_USA, @WUFTNews. Telecom at @UF. Miami Aficionado. Views are my own. RT's ≠ endorsements.

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