This line has been staring me down all week. Initially I said I liked Virginia but I’m going to pass because this line looks fishy, why is it not higher? etc. etc. Then I realized that Miami was -7 at Virginia last year – a game Virginia won 16-13 – and Miami would’ve been -12.5/13 if that game was played at home. Clearly that line was off and I’m thinking the adjustment for this year’s game just isn’t enough.
There is so much more riding on this game for UVA than for Miami – yes, Miami badly needs a win to avoid an 0-3 ACC start, but even if they get one here what’s next for this team who has questions at QB and one of the softer O-line’s in college football? Virginia needs to win to stay ranked and stay atop the ACC.
Virginia fell a little flat against Notre Dame and the turnovers really cost them as they ended up falling 35-20 in a game they were +12.5. Playing Notre Dame is a lot different than playing Miami though.
The matchup in Virginia’s favor here is their front 7 vs this offensive line for Miami – the offensive line has allowed the most sacks in college football this season. UVA leads FBS in tackles for loss and were able to get to the QB four times against Notre Dame, who averages under 3 sacks allowed as a team per game.
Virginia is coming off a bye here. Since 2016, HC Bronco Mendenhall is 4-1 ATS off a BYE at Virginia. Miami has not shown me much, certainly not enough to be a favorite here even at home. In home games this season squeezing by Central Michigan 17-12, they blew out a bad Bethune-Cookman school, and then lost last week at home to Va Tech. This is a good opportunity for Virginia to continue to be the only unbeaten team in ACC play and a road win here would be huge for them going forward.
Friday night in Miami honestly was another thing that held me back at first here. However, like we saw with Maryland on a big Friday night stage at home, just because a school is hyped up for a primetime game doesn’t mean it’s going to go well. I am starting to think, perhaps the pressure of getting off to a good start in this “blackout” or “whiteout” games like we have in Miami Friday night, can create a huge sense of urgency to get off to a quick start. Not something I am trust Miami to be able to do given the state of their offense. This is also not something I would like to have fall squarely on QB N’Kosi Perry who will start for the injured Jarren Williams. Perry looked good last week vs V Tech in the 2nd half but that was when this game was already out of hand and VTech didn’t ave to play with the same intensity. Virginia Tech also hasn’t played well this year.
Perry gives this Miami offense more of a pro, spread style offense. This is a welcome change, however with the state of this offensive line, there is not much time for any QB to do much. This style of offense may help Miami but my bet is that it doesn’t against Virginia’s pass rush. It is going to be a tall task for Perry to be thrust back into this offense and asked to be “the guy” again. On the other hand I really like what I have seen from Bryce Perkins and I like him to respond well off a loss here. I like him and this UVA offense to really value to the football here against a team that’s built their team on taking it away. Give me the better team to go into Miami and make more plays, I like UVA to win this game outright but will take the +2.5.
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2019 NCAAF: 19-10-2 +9.13