Going back to Miami: UVA returns to South Beach, after two visits last season

Virginia football team running out of the tunnel before taking on Florida in the Orange Bowl.
Virginia football team running out of the tunnel before taking on Florida in the Orange Bowl.(WVIR)
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 10:22 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team will be playing its third game in Miami in a little more than a calendar year, when the Cavaliers take on the 11th ranked Hurricanes this weekend.

UVA played Miami during the regular season last year, and also faced Florida in the Orange Bowl.

Both of those games were played under the lights, and Saturday’s contest will also be in primetime.

Quarterback Brennan Armstrong did not play against Wake Forest last week, after suffering a concussion against NC State.

He was unable to practice last week, but there are signs of improvement this week.

Offensive coordinator Robert Anae says, "I saw Brennan out there stretching, and moving about.  We’re just waiting for the trainers to give us the clearance, to turn him loose.”

UVA used three quarterbacks against the Demon Deacons, with Lindell Stone, Keytaon Thompson, and Ira Armstead all taking their turn.

Add in the possibility of Armstrong’s return, and Miami has to prepare for four different QB’s.

Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz says, “They do really change who they are, offensively, based on who their quarterback is.  It’ll be a challenge for our defense, in terms of their preparation, and awareness during the game, to see what we’re going to get, because we really, probably, will not know until Saturday.”

This has been a defensive game over the last two years, with the winning team scoring 16 and 17 points, respectively.

Miami is averaging over 35 points per contest this season.

Diaz says, “I know that staff at Virginia, and have seen those guys work for too long, to know that that will be a point of major emphasis this week, in trying to limit our ability to create explosive plays, which is something we have done well, through the first half of the season.”

Miami quarterback D’Eriq King is fifth in the ACC in total offense (270.4 YPG), and he’s averaging almost 55 yards per game rushing (54.6).

UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall says, "Having already seen Trevor Lawrence, and even though he’s a different type of runner; he’s fast, and he’s a great athlete, and so that at least gives us a point of reference that’s helpful. This is a different quarterback, different style, but still really athletic.”

Virginia and Miami kickoff on Saturday at eight o’clock in Coral Gables.

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