* The only real change on the offensive side of the ball is that Ereck Flowers is back to being listed as the co-starter with Seantrel Henderson at right tackle. Flowers started the season there but Henderson has played the majority of the snaps the last few weeks. It appears as though Flowers is back to being even with the talented junior. The starter will be determined by who has the better week in practice but the player who gets more snaps Thursday night will be determined by their on-field performance.
* Jalen Grimble is now being listed as a defensive end. The depth at defensive end has been poor all season and now Kelvin Cain, one of the few backups who actually played there, is off the team. Grimble wasn't getting a lot of playing time at tackle so it appears as though he'll see some time off the bench at end. The Canes need help everywhere on defense but this is one move that will certainly not help the pass rushing skills of this group but putting a 300-pounder there will likely help in run situations. We saw a little bit of Luther Robinson at defensive end in the FSU game and it looks like Grimble will see action at that spot against Virginia Tech.
* Olsen Pierre continues playing like Miami's best defensive tackle this season. The No. 2 guy has been back and forth but for now, it appears as though the coaches believe that guy is Earl Moore. He is the starter at the nose, listed ahead of Darius Smith and Dequan Ivery. Moore is considerably smaller than those two but he's obviously playing as well or better than both of them.
* Jimmy Gaines was listed as the co-starter with Gionni Paul at middle linebacker before the FSU game. Gaines started and played most of it, while Paul didn't play a single snap. It's no surprise, then, that Gaines is now the starter by himself and freshman Rapheal Kirby is now listed ahead of Paul on the list of backups. Paul is a talented player and has been productive at times but he's obviously doing something to prevent the coaches from playing him more.
* Switching gears a bit, former UM defensive end Olivier Vernon is really starting to emerge as one of the best rookie defensive linemen in the NFL this season. He turned in another very strong performance against the NY Jets today. He scored a touchdown and blocked a field goal in today's win. It has to be frustrating for UM fans to see a player, who was largely ineffective here last season, playing so well on Sundays at a much higher level.