The Canes’ thwarted then No. 3 Notre Dame 41-8 last Saturday in a game they dominated from the opening kickoff until the final whistle. Additionally, Miami has already secured a bid into the ACC Championship for the first time in school history. The question for this Canes squad now is whether or not they can handle the pressure that comes with success.
“I don’t know. We’re not baiting them in practice,” said University of Miami Head Coach Mark Richt on whether his team are equipped to handle their recent success. “Here’s what I think: every time you look at the film of an opponent, it immediately gets you grounded. We know we’ve got our work cut out for us. We watched film like, ‘These guys are pretty dang good. How are we going to do this? How are we going to do that?’ There’s a lot of strategy involved.”
The Hurricanes are set to host the Virginia Cavaliers this Saturday at 12:00 P.M. EST at Hard Rock Stadium. The Cavaliers are coming into this contest 6-4 on the year and have lost three out of their last four games to Boston College, Pittsburgh, and Louisville. Last Saturday against the Louisville Cardinals, Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert threw for 214 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Benkert also has 2,492 yards, 21 touchdowns, and seven interceptions on so far, this season. Therefore, the Canes aggressive defense will look to make it five straight games with four or more turnovers to add to Benkert’s interception total.
The Hurricanes will also look for their third consecutive victory over the Cavaliers, and fourth win in their last five meetings. Historically, Virginia has caused Miami troubles especially when they beat the Canes 48-0 back in 2007 when Randy Shannon was Miami’s coach.
“I remember way back when I was at Florida State and Virginia always had these great-looking body types, very tough guy, hard-nosed,” stated Richt on Virginia’s history as a nemesis for his team. “They were really good. I think that historically, they’re a team that can physically line up with anybody and get after you. It’s not shocking. I didn’t pay a lot of attention the 15 years I was gone, but I know Miami’s record might be 4-5 or 5-4 or something like that. It’s a really close battle.”
Miami needs to keep winning to keep impressing the College Football Playoff Committee, and their chances of winning grow exponentially if quarterback Malik Rosier can keep the ball out of the opposing defense’s hands. If Rosier has a similar performance to his game against the Fighting Irish than his team will have a great chance to improve their record to 10-0 on the season.