What happened and what mattered in the Virginia 16-13 win over Miami?
Virginia 16, Miami 13
If you had said that Virginia was going to turn the ball over three times in the first half – all Bryce Perkins interceptions – and was going to finish with a grant total of 231 yards, you’d have assumed a blowout Hurricane win. Instead, the Virginia’s defense pitched a gem to turn the season into something potentially amazing. It was the big win needed under Bronco Mendenhall, and now the Coastal is up for grabs.
Okay … let’s do this. Can Virginia actually play for the ACC title? The one loss is against NC State from the Atlantic, but the games against Duke, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech are on the road. Whatever. Virginia just beat Miami. It was ugly, it took slew of key things to happen, and it took that defensive performance, but Virginia fans certainly won’t care.
This was beyond devastating for Miami. The ACC title is still on the table, but the College Football Playoff dream is squished, and now there’s a problem with road games against Boston College, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech to go. Worse yet, the offense is back into the morass of quarterback issues.
N’Kosi Perry was awful. He completed 3-of-6 passes for 20 yards with two picks. Malik Rosier picked it up, threw for 170 yards and a score, and the Canes appeared to be on the verge of turning things around with a touchdown and a late stop, but a penalty crushed the comeback attempt. The defense did its part. The offense didn’t.
Miami outgained Virginia 339 yards to 231, the turnover battle was even, and the defense was its normal, swarming self. but outside of a late rally against FSU, the defense simply can’t find its footing. The running game averaged over five yards per carry, but most of the production came on one big Travis Homer run. If the quarterback play isn’t more consistent, forget about going back to the ACC title game.