Both Virginia Tech and Miami are coming off weekends they would prefer to forget, but both teams are nonetheless in the mix for a Coastal Division title. The game between them on Saturday night will go a long way toward clarifying the division race.
The Hurricanes were blown out at Florida State last week, but they're hardly the first to fall victim to the Seminoles in that manner -- FSU has done that to just about everybody this season. The Hurricanes' offense managed just 14 points in that one, and the team hasn't scored more than 27 points in any of its last three contests.
That's a bit worrisome for the Hurricanes considering that one of the stingiest defenses in the country is in town. Last week's uncharacteristically poor effort at BC aside, the Hokies have made it incredibly difficult for opponents to move the ball and score points -- they are limiting opponents to 4.1 yards per play this season.
Rankings and records: Miami is 7-1 (3-1), ranked No. 14 in the AP Poll, No. 14 in the Coaches' Poll and No. 11 in the BCS standings. Unranked Virginia Tech is 6-3 (3-2). Miami hold an 18-12 all-time record against the Hokies.
Vegas: Miami opened as a 6.5-point favorite, while the over/under opened at 44.
Weather: A high of 82 is expected in Miami. There is a 70 percent chance of rain.
Three names to know
Stephen Morris -- Now that running back Duke Johnson has been lost for the season, there's some added pressure on Morris to keep the 'Canes moving through the air. He has struggled in recent weeks, though, throwing six interceptions over his last three games. Being without injured receiver Phillip Dorsett hasn't helped.
Logan Thomas -- Thomas has been about as inconsistent this season as we've come to expect, and the Hokies have followed suit. He's capable of leading the team to a win in Miami, especially considering the defense he has behind him, but sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) there's just no telling how he's going to play.
Allen Hurns -- Hurns emerged as an important part of Miami's passing game this year -- he leads the team with 590 yards receiving on 33 catches.
Two things at stake
Setback against FSU aside, Miami controls its destiny in the Coastal Division, and a win over the Hokies would further solidify their position in first place. The Hokies are the biggest challenge standing in the way of a trip to Charlotte and a likely rematch with the Seminoles. The Hurricanes also need to get back on a winning track if they want a shot at an at-large BCS bid (assuming of course they don't pick up an auto bid by winning the ACC.)
Virginia Tech has dropped its last two conference games, but by beating the Hurricanes, it would have itself back in good position to win the Coastal. The Hokies would then have the head-to-head tiebreakers over both Miami and Georgia Tech, two of the other three two-loss teams in the division in this scenario.
How to witness
TV: ESPN, 7 p.m. ET