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Miami football vs. Virginia Tech: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Hurricanes battle Hokies

The Miami Hurricanes take the field against the LSU Tigers to start The AdvoCare Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 2, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
The Miami Hurricanes take the field against the LSU Tigers to start The AdvoCare Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 2, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – There was a time when so much was on the line when former Big East foes and current ACC rivals Miami and Virginia Tech tangled. Now they head into Saturday's matchup in Blacksburg just fighting for respect and bowl eligibility as Miami comes in mired in a four-game skid after last Saturday's 27-21 loss to Georgia Tech, while Virginia Tech is saddled with a three-game slide after a dismal 52-22 setback at Pitt.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Miami -5.5.

 

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Neither school could have expected to be in this position when the season began as they were both ranked in the USA Today preseason Coaches Poll -- Miami at No. 8 and Virginia Tech No. 17. And last season's ACC Coastal Division title went to the Hurricanes partly thanks to their 28-10 victory over the Hokies, as both teams entered the contest in the top 15 in the College Football Playoff rankings. But those days seem so far away as they are a combined 5-7 in the conference and 9-10 overall this season, with the Hurricanes needing one victory to attain the six needed for bowl eligibility and the Hokies needing to win their last two to extend their bowl streak to 26 in a row. "That's really the No. 1 thing right now, above personal goals because it's our seniors' last chance," Hurricanes sophomore defensive lineman Jonathan Garvin told reporters. "They came back to give us a chance to win, things didn't go as planned so we owe it to them to get into a bowl game."

ABOUT MIAMI (5-5, 2-4 ACC)

Offense remains a huge weakness, but it showed some signs of life in last week's loss to Georgia Tech as redshirt freshman N'Kosi Perry was installed back at quarterback and the Hurricanes scored more than 14 points for the first time in four games. Receiver Jeff Thomas also came alive after disappearing for weeks due to the quarterback woes and he hauled in six passes for 84 yards, more than his combined total (51) for the prior three games. Defense has kept Miami in games, ranking fourth in the nation in yards allowed (268.7 per game) after giving up just 304 to Georgia Tech, its second-lowest output of the season, but the unit failed to come up with the key stop last week when the Canes needed the ball back to try for the win.

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (4-5, 3-3)

Forced into action in mid-September with the injury to Josh Jackson, junior quarterback Ryan Willis, a transfer from Kansas, has started the last six games for the Hokies, ranking sixth in the ACC with 221.2 passing yards per game while connecting on at least two touchdowns in each of his starts for a total of 16 overall compared with four interceptions. Willis is helped by the performance of another college transfer, receiver Damon Hazleton (Ball State), who is averaging 76.3 receiving yards per game and sits atop the ACC with eight TD catches -- a score in every game but one -- tied with Ricky Hall (1998) for the most ever by a first-year Tech player. Miami's offensive woes play into the hands of a Hokies' team that has won 23 straight games when holding opponents to 21 points or less dating back to 2015.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Miami owns a 21-14 lead in the all-time series with Virginia Tech, with the home team winning the last three. 

2. The Hurricanes are seeking to avoid four straight ACC road losses for the first time since 2006-07.

3. Virginia Tech hasn't lost four in a row in Blacksburg since 1992.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 24, Miami 20

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