MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Virginia had trailed at halftime in all three of its FBS wins entering Friday night’s game with Miami. The Cavaliers found themselves in a familiar position, but they couldn’t complete the comeback in their 17-9 loss to the Hurricanes.
Quarterback Bryce Perkins led the offense to 318 total yards, which was 53 more yards than Miami amassed, but the Cavaliers only scored nine points on six drives that went inside the Miami 25-yard line. The inability to convert red-zone chances into touchdowns ultimately doomed Virginia.
UVa’s loss gives every team in the ACC Coastal Division at least one loss in conference play. Virginia, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Duke all have one loss, while Virginia Tech, Miami and Georgia Tech all have two.
Running back variety
Virginia used an all-hands-on-deck approach with its running backs Friday night. Wayne Taulapapa, PK Kier, Mike Hollins and Lamont Atkins all received snaps at the running back position. Despite using a handful of guys, the Cavaliers still struggled to break open the running game.
UVa’s longest rush of the night was 13 yards, and the Cavaliers averaged just 2.4 yards per carry on the night. Hollins lost a fumble midway through the third quarter that ended a quality drive. The team’s inability to run the ball consistently has plagued it all season.
After combining for 18 catches for 250 yards and two touchdowns against Notre Dame, Joe Reed and Hasise Dubois were at it again this week. The two receivers combined for 12 catches for 126 yards against Miami. Dubois’ 49-yard reception at the end of the first half helped the Cavaliers get on the board with a 25-yard field goal from Brian Delaney.
Dubois and Reed consistently made acrobatic, contested catches and used their speed to make plays after the catch. The two wide receivers served as the team’s best offensive threats yet again.
Reed and Dubois have pulled away from the rest of UVa’s receivers. The duo consistently leads the team in targets, catches and yards and has become one of the top receiving tandems in the entire ACC.
Dubois went down late in the third quarter after taking a big hit at the goal line. The hit was flagged for targeting, and Dubois never returned to the game. He was seen wearing a sling after the game, and his status for next week needs to be monitored.
» Brian Delaney’s field goal attempt in the second quarter was blocked. It’s the second time this season Virginia has allowed a blocked field goal.
“It was a poor kick,” Mendenhall said. “It didn’t have a chance to clear the line of scrimmage.”
A 21-yard field goal from Delaney later in the game hit the right upright before going through. He did, however, nail a 44-yard try with no problems. He finished the game 3-4.
» Both teams entered this contest in the top-20 nationally in time of possession. Virginia possessed the ball for more than 34 minutes Friday, but the Hurricanes’ defense stood tall in the red zone despite playing the majority of the 60 minutes.