Miami football faces different challenge versus Virginia Tech than UNC

Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team entered the game versus North Carolina with the challenge of slowing down one of the best offenses in the country. Miami did a significantly better job in the second half on defense than in the first half. The Hurricanes held North Carolina to six second-half points after allowing 21 in the first half.

When the Miami football team travels to Blacksburg on Saturday to play Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes will face one of the worst offenses in college football. Virginia Tech enters the game with Miami 120th averaging 20.0 points per game, 98th averaging 332.7 yards per game, 110th in rushing and 94th in passing.

The Hokies have occasionally produced big plays on offense ranking in the middle in most categories. Miami is 96th or below allowing plays of 30 or more yards and increasing in 10-yard increments. The Miami football team cannot allow big plays against thus far a poor Virginia Tech offense in 2022.

Virginia Tech has failed to score 30 points this season and hasn’t reached 20 in three of its six games. Except for Pittsburgh on Saturday the most yards Virginia Tech gained versus an FBS opponent this season was 333 in a season-opening loss to Old Dominion. Virginia Tech has under 300 yards in three games this season.

Virginia Tech has been slightly above averaging ranking 52nd nationally allowing 1.67 sacks per game. The Hokie defense is 36th allowing 341.2 yards per game, but 67th with 26 points allowed per game. Virginia Tech is 40th nationally allowing 202.8 passing yards per game and 61st allowing 138.33 rushing yards per game.

If Miami sticks with the run, they could improve on the 138.33 rushing yards Virginia Tech allows per game. The Hokies are 74th nationally allowing 4.07 yards per carry. Miami needs to run better on the road than in the last two games. After starting the season strong running, Miami has 63 carries for 102 yards in the last two games.

Earlier this week, Miami offensive coordinator

Josh Gattis mentioned the Hurricanes

“kind of lost our identity…That’s an area for us that’s important. We threw the ball way too many times on Saturday.”

Miami had 57 pass attempts and 42 rushing attempts versus North Carolina. A lot of that is attributable to trailing 14-0.

Miami had good offensive balance in the first quarter with eight passes and 10 runs. The Hurricanes had 17 passes and seven runs in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Miami threw 10 times and ran five. Needing to come back in the fourth, Miami all but abandoned the run with one attempt to 22 passes.

Next. Miami LB Corey Flagg one of ACC's best big play players. dark

Getting off to a good start will be critical for Miami. During the three-game losing streak, Miami has been outscored 34-6 in the first quarter. Virginia Tech does not have an offense equipped to play from behind. Silencing a usually raucous Lane Stadium crowd will also help Miami. Miami can turn its season around on Saturday.