Virginia Tech Hokies
(8-2, 7-3 ATS)
(7-3, 5-5 ATS)
The Miami Hurricanes and Virginia Tech Hokies might only be separated by six spots in the Top 25 rankings, but we believe that they are going to end up looking like teams that are worlds apart on Saturday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium in a crucial ACC Coastal Division tussle.
For Virginia Tech, it seems to be just a formality that it is going to win the ACC Coastal Division, as a win over either the Canes or the Virginia Cavaliers will lock up a trip to the ACC Championship Game. The Hokies improved to 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS since losing to the James Madison Dukes last week when they toppled the North Carolina Tar Heels to knock them out of contention in the Coastal Division. The play of QB Tyrod Taylor has finally come to life four years after he first stepped foot in Blacksburg, as the Hokies nation is getting some last few looks at how special this young man has become. Taylor is just 12 yards shot of 2,000 for the season, and he has thrown for a career high in TDs with 18 to go with what could be a career low in picks for a season in which he started the majority of the games with just four. Having a plethora of options to hand the ball to has helped as well, as RBs Darren Evans, David Wilson, and Ryan Williams each have at least 75 totes of the rock on the campaign and have combined for 18 scores.
This is Miami’s last chance to make a stand in the Coastal Division, and though it seems unlikely to overcome the long NCAA football odds to go to its first ACC Championship Game in school history, the Canes know that they can help save the job of their HC Randy Shannon with a ‘W’ in a game like this. Save really getting wrecked by the offenses of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Florida State Seminoles, Miami’s ‘D’ has had a great year. This unit hasn’t allowed any other team to score more than 24 points against in, and it ranks No. 3 in the nation in pass defense at 147.9 yards per game. One has to wonder whether this concussion for QB Jacory Harris is ultimately going to end his season. Harris’ injury has given way for QB Stephen Morris to show what he is made of. Morris has completed just 52.9 percent of his passes for 678 yards with four scores and four picks, but we must remember that this is just a freshman which was No. 3 on the depth chart at the outset of the season. Thank goodness for RB Damien Berry, who has picked up 763 yards on the ground to go with five TDs.
The Hokies dismissed the Tar Heels last week, and they’ll do it to the Canes on Saturday afternoon. Miami just doesn’t have the horses to be able to hang with V-Tech, even at home, and it’ll be back to the drawing board for “The U” for a marginal bowl bid. HC Frank Beamer will take his team back to the ACC Championship Game after a year of absence with a win in South Beach.
College Football Free Pick: Virginia Tech Hokies -2