Canes and Hokies trying to jump into ACC race

Miami and Virginia Tech are both 1-2 in the ACC so far this season and the two teams will take the field tonight. The winner will jump right back into the mix while the loser will drop further behind.

The Miami Hurricanes already have two losses in the ACC so far this season and losing a third game will really knock them back in the Coastal Division standings.

Virginia Tech, tonight, stands in Miami's way.

The Hokies come into the game with a 4-3 record, which includes a loss at Pittsburgh last Thursday night. After opening the season with an easy win over William & Mary, the Hokies shocked a lot of people when it went into Ohio State and beat the 9th-ranked Buckeyes by two touchdowns.

Ever since that night, the Hokies have played mediocre football. Losses to East Carolina and Georgia Tech were followed by wins over Western Michigan and North Carolina before the Pittsburgh game last week.

Quarterback Michael Brewer is completing 61-percent of his passes for over 1,200 yards this season but he's thrown just as many interceptions (11) as touchdowns.

Tech's top two running backs -- Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie -- did not play against the Panthers last week but are expected back for tonight's game. They've combined for 606 yards and six scores on the ground.

True freshman Isaiah Ford leads Tech's receivers with 32 catches for 424 yards and four touchdowns. Interestingly, the Hurricanes made a late run at the Jacksonville receiver during last year's recruiting season but decided not to offer him a scholarship at the last minute.

As is the case every year it seems, the Hokies are led by their defense. They currently rank 20th nationally in yards allowed, second in team sacks, and fourth in third down defense. Those are some of the mismatches they'll try to take advantage of while playing in front of a home crowd tonight.

The Hurricanes are led by running back Duke Johnson, who already has 974 yards of total offense and six touchdowns. Miami will likely try to establish the running game early to take the pressure off freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya. The talented signal-caller has lost all three of his road starts this season -- Louisville, Nebraska, and Georgia Tech.

Tonight's kickoff is set for 8:00 EST on ESPN. CanesTime.com will have full coverage of the game including post-game stats, analysis, interviews, and more.

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