The average score of the sixteen games played between the Mountaineers and Hurricanes has been 26-14 in favor of the Canes. WVU is 1-4 at Miami since 1986. In 1999 the Mountaineer lost 28-20 at Miami.
Hurricane players to watch:
QB-Ken Dorsey, RB-Clinton Portis, WR-Andre Johnson, PR-Phillip Buchanon, OL-Martin Bibla, OL-Bryant McKinnie, OL-Joaquin Gonzalez, SS-Edward Reed, RB-Najeh Davenport, TE-Jeremy Shockey, RB-Willis McGahee, DL-William Joseph, DL- Matt Walters, K-Todd Sievers
WVU - Rasheed Marshall (Wrist) Out, Rick Sherrod (Knee) Out, Lew Daniels (Knee) Out, Grant Wiley (Hamstring) Probable
Miami - D.J. Williams (Ankle) Questionable, Harold Clark (Ankle) Probable, Daryl Jones (Leg) Probable.
WVU 2-4, 0-2
Miami 5-0, 2-0
Thu 10/25 7:00 p.m.
Coral Gables, FL
Series: Miami 13-3
TV: ESPN 2
BCS: WVU-67 Mia.-4
Line: WVU +35
Stats & Trends
This match-up really has nothing to do with the Canes and everything to do with execution of the Mountaineer players. If the WVU offense can move the ball effectively against Miami and show improvement it could give a big lift to the confidence of this offense. While Miami's defense may not be as highly ranked as the Virginia Tech defense it is faster and will present plenty of problems. The key, as it is for every game, it to limit the turnovers. If WVU can avoid turning the ball over it will, obviously, create more opportunities for the offense but will also keep the Mountaineer defense on the sidelines.
The offensive line has been improving steadily each week but this week they must bring their "A" game in order to give Lewis time to throw the ball and open up the same running lanes they opened up against Notre Dame last week. Avon Cobourne should get his customary 100 + yards but only if Lewis can hit some open receivers down field to loosen up the Hurricane defense.
Advantage : Miami
WVU defense vs. Miami offense
What can I say? If the Mountaineers keep tackling the way they have been, Miami will score at will. You can complain about Phil Elmassian's defensive scheme all you want but until the defense starts wrapping their arms around the man with the ball and bringing him to the ground the defense will give up real-estate in huge chucks. The WVU defense needs to pin their ears back and play like crazy, quit being tentative and start punishing the ball carrier, quit thinking..react! Whats the worst thing that could happen? We lose? The defense gives up all kinds of yards? So what, it cant be any worse than the last few weeks. If the starters cannot get it done, put some young pups in there and tell them to "sick em!".
Not unlike theWVU offense vs Miami defense match-up, this match-up has nothing to do with the Canes. At this point its all about attitude and what kind of showing that the Mountaineers want to make in Miami. We all know what the type of effort and team we will see from the Hurricanes...fast and aggressive. It will be up to the Mountaineers to match the Canes intensity level and go out and smash someone in the face!
Although the Mountaineers have improved it's special team play from last year, the return coverage team still needs some work and that will show on Thursday against the speed of the Canes. Phillip Buchanon, the same Phillip Buchanon the scored on a 77 yard run against WVU last year, is one of the top punt returners in the country, averaging 15.78 yds/return. Returning kicks for the Canes will be Andre Johnson who is also their top wide receiver and has speed to burn.
Todd Sievers, the Hurricane kicker, is averaging 2 field goals a game and is very solid. The Canes punter, Freddie Capshaw, has the easiest job in college football. The Canes just don't punt very often.
Advantage : Miami
Picks to Click:
On Offense: Avon Cobourne
On Defense: Kyle Kayden
Stat of the week:
Miami has a 12 game winning streak at home (WVU started that streak in 1999, 28-20). The average score of those 12 games has been 45-12!
"Anything can happen on any given (Thurs)day", "You never know" , "Miami will be overlooking WVU", "If Lewis gets hot and we get some turnovers...". These are phrases sure to be heard throughout the state of West Virginia over the next several days but it's not gonna happen. The Canes have too much speed and talent for this years' Mountaineers to handle. In fact, the Canes would probably be favored over the Detriot Lions or Washington Redskins. On the other hand, if the Mountaineers could keep this one close it could pay huge dividends in the remaining four games.
Score: Canes 48 - WVU 13
Other Big East Games
Syracuse 14 at Virginia Tech 31
Notre Dame 21 at Boston College 24
Pittsburgh 31 at Temple 30