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Game Day Notes: Miami Hurricanes vs. Virginia

Saturday, October 24, 2020 8 p.m. ET | ACC Network Miami Gardens, Fla. Hard Rock Stadium (64,767)

#11/#11 MIAMI HURRICANES (4-1, 3-1 ACC) HEAD COACH: Manny Diaz (Florida State, 1995) | CAREER: 10-8 (second season) | AT MIAMI: 10-8 (second)

VS.

VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (1-3, 1-3 ACC) HEAD COACH: Bronco Mendenhall (Oregon State, 1987) | CAREER: 125-73 (16th season) | AT UVA: 26-30 (fifth)

THE GAME

• Coming off a 31-19 win over Pittsburgh last time out, the #11/#11 Miami Hurricanes continue their second season under head coach Manny Diaz with a home matchup vs. Virginia. Kickoff for the contest - Miami's second straight home game - is set for 8 p.m. from Hard Rock Stadium.

• The matchup will be broadcast on ACC Network with Dave O'Brien (pxp), Tim Hasselbeck (color) and Katie George (sidelines) on the call. Joe Zagacki (pxp) and Don Bailey, Jr. (color) are in the 560 WQAM radio booth for their 19th season together, while Josh Darrow will handle the sideline duty. In addition to the broadcast on 560 WQAM, Alfredo Alvarez (pxp) and Joe Martinez (color) will carry the game on Unanimo Deportes 990AM.

• In conjunction with the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Hurricanes football games will have a maximum of 13,000 fans this year.

THE SERIES

• Saturday's game vs. Virginia is the 18th matchup in the history of the series; UM leads the series 10-7, including a 6-2 lead in games played in Miami.

• The ACC Coastal foes have met every year since 2004, and Miami has won four of the last five meetings overall and four straight in Miami Gardens.

• In last year's matchup at Hard Rock Stadium, a stout defensive performance helped lead the Hurricanes to a 17-9 win over then-#19/#20 Virginia.

THE HURRICANES

• Miami returns 11 starters and 39 letterwinners from a team that finished in the 2019 Walk-On's Independence Bowl in Manny Diaz's first year as coach.

• Miami was ranked #11 in the latest Amway Coaches Poll and #11 in the Associated Press top 25, released Oct. 18 - a rise from its previous rankings of #12 by the coaches and #13 by AP. Miami's #7/#7 rankings from Oct. 4 marked UM's highest position in the polls since November 26, 2017.

• Last time out on Oct. 17, the Hurricanes bounced back with a 31-19 win over Pittsburgh at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami was led by four touchdown passes from QB D'Eriq King and four tackles for loss from DE Quincy Roche in the team's third straight win over the Panthers. Pitt totaled just 22 rush yards.

• Miami became the first school to participate in the game selected for the site of ESPN College GameDay three times in the first five weeks of the year in the show's history; UM, who is 15-9 in games selected for GameDay site, was picked for games versus Louisville, Florida State & Clemson this fall.

• QB D'Eriq King, who has picked up ACC Quarterback of the Week honors after two of his five games, has thrown for 1,079 yards and 10 touchdowns while adding 273 rushing yards and two rushing scores. One of the nation's most electrifying players, King is a Heisman Trophy candidate at The U.

• On July 27, Diaz named King Miami's starting quarterback for the season. King, who announced his decision to transfer to Miami in January 2020, compiled 82 total touchdowns, 4,925 passing yards and 1,421 rushing yards during his 22 starts at Houston. He has 7,698 career yards of total offense.

• Diaz, who was the defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes from 2016-2018, retooled Miami's offensive staff this past offseason, hiring Rhett Lashlee as offensive coordinator from Southern Methodist. He also added wide receivers coach Rob Likens, who spent 2019 as offensive coordinator at Arizona State, and offensive line coach Garin Justice, who was offensive coordinator at UNLV. Diaz also added UM legend Ed Reed as Chief of Staff.

THE OPPONENT

• On offense, Virginia is led by QB Brennan Armstrong (596 passing yards, 5 passing touchdowns) and RB Wayne Taulapapa (245 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs). On defense, the Cavs are paced by Zane Zandier (37 total tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss) and Noah Taylor (5.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks).

MIAMI FACES OFF VS. CAVS IN PRIMETIME

• #11/#11 Miami hosts Virginia in the second of back-to-back home games at Hard Rock Stadium. The Oct. 24 matchup is slated for 8 p.m. on ACC Network - Miami's fifth primetime game in six games so far this season.

• The Hurricanes have a narrow 10-7 lead in the all-time series, but have won four of the last five matchups overall dating back to 2015 and have not lost to the Cavaliers at Hard Rock Stadium since 2011.

• Miami is looking to continue its strong start to 2020; with a win Saturday, UM would have five wins in its first six games for the third time in the last four seasons.

A NEW 'KING' IN CORAL GABLES: D'ERIQ

• Redshirt senior D'Eriq King is slated for the sixth start of his Miami career on Saturday against Virginia; he was named Miami's starting quarterback by head coach Manny Diaz in late July.

• In his fifth start for Miami on Oct. 17 against Pittsburgh, King totaled a season high four passing touchdowns in a 31-19 win over the Panthers.

• King spent the first four seasons of his career at Houston before electing to transfer for his final year of eligibility; the Manvel, Texas native was selected to the watch lists for the Davey O'Brien Award and the Maxwell Award this preseason.

DIAZ RETOOLS, ADDS ED REED TO STAFF

• Head coach Manny Diaz hired Ed Reed as the University of Miami's chief of staff this past spring, adding the former College and Football Pro Hall of Famer to the program. Reed will serve in an advisory role to Diaz and assist in several different areas.

• Diaz also retooled Miami's offensive staff, hiring offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee from SMU, where he led the Mustangs to unprecedented offensive success there.

• Joining Lashlee on Miami's offensive staff were WR coach Rob Likens, who spent last year as offensive coordinator at Arizona State, and OL coach Garin Justice, who was offensive coordinator at UNLV in 2019.

#11/#11 MIAMI HOSTS VIRGINIA IN PRIMETIME AT HARD ROCK STADIUM

• #11/#11 Miami (4-1, 3-1 ACC) finishes off a home back-to-back with a matchup against Virginia (1-3, 1-3 ACC) on Oct. 24 at Hard Rock Stadium; kickoff for the game is slated for 8 p.m. on ACC Network.

• Miami has a narrow 10-7 lead in the previous 17 meetings, but has won four of the last five overall against Virginia and four straight at home; UM has not lost to Virginia in Miami Gardens since 2011.

• In Virginia's last trip to Hard Rock Stadium in 2019, Miami topped the then-No. 19 Cavaliers, 17-9.

• With an adjusted 2020 slate due to COVID-19, Miami played just one nonconference game and had 10 ACC games scheduled; after its game versus Virginia, Miami has an open date scheduled for Oct. 31.

• For the season, it was determined that the two teams with the best ACC record of the 15 members for 2020 will play in the ACC Championship Game; there is no Atlantic or Coastal Division for this fall.

• Saturday's game will represent the Hurricanes' seventh ever time playing on ACC Network, which debuted last fall; Miami is 4-2 in games all-time on ACC Network, including 4-1 in home games.

• Saturday's game will be broadcast live by 560 WQAM "The Joe" and Unanimo Deportes 990 AM.

A LOOK BACK: MIAMI TOPS PITTSBURGH FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR

• Last time out, Miami got back to its winning ways with a 31-19 home victory over Pittsburgh on Oct. 17.

• QB D'Eriq King threw a season-high four touchdown passes in the victory, including two to TE Will Mallory. He threw for 222 yards and completed 16 of 31 passes on the day with two interceptions.

• UM's defense held Pittsburgh to just 22 total rushing yards and 300 yards of total offense in the win.

• DE Quincy Roche was among Miami's top defensive performers in the win, finishing with a season best seven tackles including a game-high four tackles for loss. He also forced and recovered a fumble.

• DL Jared Harrison-Hunte had two tackles for loss and a sack, while S Gurvan Hall had eight tackles.

• P Lou Hedley had one of his most outstanding performances, averaging 51.7 yards on six punts with a season-long 60 yarder - the best single-game average (six punt minimum) by a Hurricane since 2007.

• Roche (Defensive Lineman of the Week) & Hedley (Specialist of the Week) were honored by the ACC.

BOLDEN BREAKING OUT IN SECONDARY AS A TOP DEFENSIVE PERFORMER

• One of Miami's top defenders this season has been S Bubba Bolden, who has has started three of five games and who leads the Hurricanes with 33 tackles this season. He has also added four tackles for loss.

• Bolden, who had 11 total tackes in an injury-shortened 2019 season, was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week and Jim Thorpe Award Player of the Week after a standout game against Louisville on Sept. 19.

• Bolden matched his 2019 season tackle total with a career-high 11 vs. UofL and added a forced fumble.

• In Miami's game at #1 Clemson (Oct. 10), Bolden totaled 10 tackles, two blocked field goals and a forced fumble. He won his second ACC Defensive Back of the Week Award for his performance against the Tigers.

WREAKING HAVOC: ACC POTW ROCHE ANCHORING DISRUPTIVE D-LINE

• Despite the decision of Gregory Rousseau to opt out of 2020, Miami has a pair of talented book ends on the defensive line in redshirt junior Jaelan Phillips and redshirt senior Quincy Roche. Those two ends start outside of interior linemen Nesta Jade Silvera, a first-year starter for Miami, and returner Jon Ford.

• No player in FBS has more tackles for loss than Roche (9.5), who is tied for the FBS lead in total TFLs.

• The four starting defensive linemen combined for a disruptive opener, totaling 13 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, three quarterback hurries and one sack. Silvera led the way with five total tackles against UAB.

• Though both ends had never suited up for Miami, Phillips was previously ranked the No. 1 recruit in the country out of high school and spent the first two years of his career at UCLA. He redshirted 2019 while recovering from multiple ankle injuries and a wrist injury suffered during a car accident on his scooter.

• Roche was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. Roche was ranked among the FBS leaders in sacks and tackles for loss in 2019; he is tied for second in the ACC with 5.5 TFLs. Last time out, Phillips had the first interception of his career in the win over Florida State.

HEDLEY, BORREGALES MAKE UP TOP SPECIAL TEAMS DUO IN ALL OF FBS

• Miami has been bolstered in the early going by arguably the best punter / kicker combination in the counry: P Lou Hedley, in his second season with the Hurricanes, and K Jose Borregales, in his first year.

• Thanks to the stellar work of Ray Guy Award candidate Hedley, Miami ranks No. 2 in the nation in net punting, averaging a whopping 46.35 net yards per punt. Hedley was named to the Ray Guy watch list.

• Borregales, who is second among ACC kickers with 45 points this season (eight field goals, 21 XPs), is a perfect 8-for-8 on field goal attempts and was named ACC Specialist of the Week after a standout performance against Louisville where he tied the UM record with a 58-yard field goal and went 4-for-4.

• Hedley ranked No. 26 in FBS in punting in his first year at The U (2019), averaging 43.9 yards per punt.

• Borregales ranks No. 2 in FBS in career field goals made with 58, trailing only Jake Verity of ECU (69).

EVERYBODY'S EATING - ONCE AGAIN IN FBS TOP-5 IN TACKLES FOR LOSS

• Since Manny Diaz's first arrival as defensive coordinator in 2016, Miami has posted 21 individual performances of 3.0 tackles for loss in a game; DL Quincy Roche (4.0) did it in the win vs. Pitt (Oct. 24).

• The Canes have ranked in the top five in the country in tackles for loss in all five of Diaz's years at UM.

• Miami ranked No. 4 in FBS in 2019 averaging 8.3 tackles for loss per game; the Hurricanes currently are tied for No. 5 in FBS with an average of 9.8 tackles for loss in 2020, paced by Roche's FBS-leading 9.5.

• UM led FBS in tackles for loss in 2018, averaging 10.5 per game in Diaz's final year as coordinator.

• The Hurricanes ranked No. 4 in tackles for loss in 2017 (8.5 per game) and No. 5 in 2016 (8.3).