Keep it locked here for news, notes, photos and videos in the hours leading up to Saturday’s prime-time Coastal clash: the 10th-ranked Hurricanes (7-0, 5-0 ACC) hosting 13th-ranked Virginia Tech (7-1, 3-1) with control of the division on the line.
Miami can clinch the ACC Coastal with a win and a Virginia loss. The Cavaliers host Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. We’ll keep you posted on that.
We’ll also have updates from a blacked-out Hard Rock Stadium beginning around 4 p.m. The game kicks off after 8 p.m. on ABC.
Updated 7:56 p.m. Saturday
Game time announced
Miami-Notre Dame will be an 8 p.m. game on ABC.
Virginia beat Georgia Tech 40-36, staying alive in the ACC Coastal. Miami entered Saturday’s game without the ability to clinch the division. UM needed a win and a Virginia loss to clinch.
The Hurricanes (7-0, 5-0 entering the game) were assured their spot in first place regardless of the result, and would control their destiny with a win over Virginia Tech (7-1, 3-1).
With a loss, Miami would have the same amount of ACC losses as the Hokies, but one more win, thus remaining a half-game ahead for the division lead. Virginia Tech, however, would own a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Canes. If both teams finished with the same amount of conference losses, UM would lose out on that tiebreaker.
UVa (6-3, 3-2 ACC) is now bowl-eligible for the first time in six years. The Cavaliers went 2-10 last season were picked to finish last in the Coastal in the media’s preseason poll.
In the big Atlantic Division game, No. 4 Clemson beat No. 20 North Carolina State 38-31 to remain in control of that side of the league.
Miami’s next opponent, No. 3 Notre Dame, beat unranked Wake Forest 48-37.
A good sign for the Hurricanes?
According to VegasInsider, the line opened favoring Virginia Tech by 3 points. It has since swung to Miami by 2.5.
Don’t ask me to explain why. No idea.
On the early part of the Saturday morning show, ESPN’s crew leaned toward the Hokies, with Lee Corso and David Pollack taking the visitors. Desmond Howard picked Miami.
The “Saturday Selections,” from Stillwater, Okla. and the campus of Oklahoma State:
Desmond Howard went Miami. “I absolutely love the Hurricanes’ all-black unis,” he said. “What’d Wesley Snipes say, ‘Bet on black?’ I’m going with the ‘U’.”
Guest picker Thurman Thomas, the Oklahoma State alum, said when he found out he was participating, he got texts from former Buffalo Bills teammates Jim Kelly (Miami’s own) and Bruce Smith (a Hokie). “I know more of the University of Miami guys.” That was his reasoning.
Lee Corso, fly in the punch bowl: “Not so fast, both you guys. Great defense — Virginia Tech wins it.”
The official Palm Beach Post prediction can be found here. It includes a breakdown of all the matchups (Miami’s passing game vs. Virginia Tech’s run defense, etc.).
Also: if No. 10 Miami and No. 3 Notre Dame (hosting Wake Forest at 3:30) win today, UM would be the likely spot for GameDay next week, when the Irish come to town.
If that happens, we’ll be writing about it plenty. But here’s one nugget:
Though it has been the visiting school (most recently in 2013, at Florida State), Miami has not been the home school for an episode of GameDay since Nov. 17, 2001, when 14th-ranked Syracuse visited the top-ranked Hurricanes. Miami won 59-0.
Aside from the “blackout” conditions expected at Hard Rock Stadium …
Temperatures at kickoff should be in the mid-70s, according to Weather Underground, with partly cloudy skies and a 15 percent chance of rain, winds 5-10 mph. Overnight lows will be 69.
Miami has some nice uniforms for tonight:
A UM spokesperson said they were looking into a social media post made by freshman receiver Mike Harley, who announced he is not playing today.
“Really wish I could play … Trust me I’ll be ready for ND,” Harley wrote, referring to next week’s game against Notre Dame. Harley has battled an ankle issue recently. Whether that’s the issue here is unclear.
Harley, from Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas, has six catches for 63 yards in his first season. He started Miami’s season-opener against Bethune-Cookman, with Ahmmon Richards out with a hamstring injury, and played in the first six games. The ankle kept him from playing last week.
For my pregame column, I wrote this letter to South Florida, which has includes some personal perspective on this major opportunity for Miami.
A collection of other links from this week’s coverage: