Game: Virginia Cavaliers at Miami Hurricanes
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Cavaliers +5.5, Cavaliers -5.5
Tonight’s Thursday night college football action should be entertaining if you like offense. In contrast to last year’s 19-14 Virginia-Miami matchup, this one tonight has the potential to be a shootout. Fans will be treated to two of the most explosive offenses in the country. The Hurricanes are coming off a game in which the offense rolled up 739 yards and 69 points. Virginia has one of the most potent passing games in the nation.
Cavaliers QB Brennan Armstrong is the No.2 passer in the country. Through four games, Armstrong has completed over 67 percent of his passes for 1,705 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has thrown just three interceptions so far. The only quarterback with more passing yards than Armstrong this season is Jake Haener.
Despite passing their way into oblivion, Virginia is still just 2-2. Last week, the Cavs put up 506 yards of total offense but found a way to lose to Wake Forest 37-17. The game was never really close as the Virginia offense turned the ball over twice. It also didn’t help that Virginia gave up 699 yards of total offense and 59 points to North Carolina.
That defense could be an issue tonight against a solid Miami offense. Virginia’s defense currently ranks 117th in total defense. The Cavs give up 503 yards of offense per game and, as a result, allow 36.7 points per game. That ranks 109th in the nation. Last year, Virginia wasn’t very good defensively either giving up 31.2 points per game. Teams don’t normally win a lot of games when they give up over four and five touchdowns per game.
One of the contenders for the ACC title this season was Miami. The ‘Canes are just 2-2 and have fallen out of the national rankings, but they still have the opportunity to win a conference title. Tonight’s game will be Miami’s first ACC game. The question for head coach Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes is whether or not QB D’Eriq King will play.
He sat out last week with a shoulder injury. Miami started Tyler Van Dyke in King’s place and he threw for two scores and 270 yards in a 69-0 win over Central Connecticut State. The bottom line is that with or without King, Miami will be able to move the ball against an awful Virginia defense.
Miami’s defense is better than Virginia’s, but the Canes still give up 427 yards a game. The pass-happy Cavaliers should have no trouble moving the football against Miami. What’s interesting is that as much as Virginia throws the ball, the Under has hit in four of the team’s last five games.
This series has trended Under as well. Six of the last seven Miami-Virginia games have gone Under the total. Thursday night’s total is now 62. The last three Cavs-‘Canes games have produced totals of 33, 26, and 29 points.