Greg’s Grades 2020: Miami

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The grades are in.
Virginia lost 19-14 at Miami on Saturday. ~ Photo courtesy Jim Daves/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

Not sure what was more heart-breaking to me: the Dodgers losing game four of the World Series on an error by one of favorite Hoos, Chris Taylor, or the Virginia football team letting an upset bid on the road fall through their fingers like sand on Miami Beach. The fact the two games ended within an hour of each other was especially brutal.

Focusing on football …

Virginia’s 19-14 loss to the Hurricanes overshadows some promising trends we witnessed throughout the contest. Despite the loss, the Hoos are moving in the right direction in many ways. More on this in the One More Thing segment.

One notable blight in an otherwise competitive effort was Virginia’s abysmal play in pass coverage. Defensive back execution and communication breakdowns across the board continued and the Miami offense capitalized. The Canes produced eight explosive passing plays for 241 yards: 54% of their total offense on only 10% of their total plays. Of the eight plays, only one was fewer than 26 yards.

Another area of frustration: UVA’s vexing, season-long inability to stop 3rd-and-long plays. Miami converted 3 of 7 3rd-and-long attempts (9 yards+) and scored 10 points on the drives where those conversions extended the drive.

Virginia’s run defense turned in a strong effort by holding Miami to a season-low, 2.54 yards per carry and recorded 11 tackles for loss for -38 yards. UVA also recorded 10 run stuffs and limited UM to just five explosive run plays.

Offensively, the run game was solid and the passing game complimentary. Virginia’s three musketeer quarterback trio rushed 24 times for 137 yards