Hokies head to Miami for critical Coastal clash

BLACKSBURG – No. 13 Virginia Tech will travel to No. 9 Miami with Coastal Division implications on line as the Hokies and Hurricanes face off in primetime on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is set 8 p.m. with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Maria Taylor on the call for ABC.

• Saturday’s game marks the first meeting between a pair of ranked Virginia Tech and Miami squads since 2010.
• The last time these squads squared off with both teams in the top 15 was in 2009. No. 11 Virginia Tech topped the No. 9 'Canes, 31-7 (9/26/09).
• This pair of former BIG EAST rivals have engaged in their share of high-stakes contests over the years. Miami won the first 12 games in the series before Tech’s breakthrough 13-7 win in Blacksburg (9/23/95).
• That 1995 win was followed by Tech’s first-ever win at Miami (11/16/96), part of a five-game win streak against the Hurricanes.
• Virginia Tech owns a 13-8 edge in its last 21 games vs. Miami, and is seeking back-to-back wins in the series for the first time since winning three in a row from 2009-11.

• Miami TE Christopher Herndon and Tech QB AJ Bush were teammates at Norcross HS in Norcross, Georgia.
• Miami offensive line coach Stacy Searels served in the same role at Virginia Tech from 2014-15.
• Greg Nosal, currently an offensive quality control analyst with the Hurricanes, was a three-year letterwinner at Virginia Tech from 2009-11. Nosal was an offensive lineman who earned All-ACC honors as a senior.

• The legs of K Joey Slye and P Oscar Bradburn have proved to be key in Virginia Tech’s success this season as they’ve given their opponents little room to breathe when starting drives offensively.
• The Hokies are winning the hidden yardage battle when comparing drive start averages; opponents average drive start is 22.9 while the Hokies average drive start is just over the 36-yard line.
• Only Auburn (49) and Oklahoma (48) have more touchbacks on kickoffs than Virginia Tech (47) as Slye has pinned foes back to their own 25-yard line 88.7 percent of the time.
• The Hokies rank fourth among the Power Five with 177 kick return yards allowed and fifth with four opponent punt return yards.
• Overall, the Hokies rank second nationally with 181 total opponent return yards.

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