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G8: Virginia 24, Hurricanes 19 (Final); UM rally falls short, ACC hopes in peril; plus Gators, FAU win

[Look for our latest Canesfan Satisfaction Meter poll in a separate post in the blog today beginning at 4:30 p.m. Also, I'll be on CBS-4's SportsZone tonight at 7 chatting Canes, Dolphins and Heat. Catch us if you can].

1aacavaliers2 1aacavaliers VIRGINIA STUNS NO. 22 CANES, 24-19: Miami rallied from 24-0 down but falls short when defense cannot stop late third-down conversions by Cavaliers. Ultimately UM could not overcome five interceptions by three different QBs, with 21 of VA's points coming off UM turnovers .... Canes now 5-3 overall, 3-2 in ACC, and ceding control of the division title race to Virginia Tech ..... How serious is Jacory Harris' injury is big question in the wake of the loss ..... UM recovers onside kick, scores on 60-yard Travis Benjamin TD catch ..... Stephen Morris TD run but Matt Bosher shanks XP kick ..... Leonard Hankerson TD pass from true freshman Stephen Morris averts shutout, mid-fourth ..... Third quarter didn't get any better. Three Miami QBs have thrown four interceptions. ..... Oh my. What a miserable first half for Miami. QB Jacory Harris out injured. Canes killing themselves with mistakes. Nothing going right. Nightmare. Do they have a comeback in them?

Original post: Miami (5-2 overall, 3-0 in ACC) is a comfortable 15-point road favorite over Virginia (3-4, 0-3), although the very suggestion of "comfy" is likely what concerns coach Randy Shannon going in. This could be The U's easiest game, on paper, since the FAMU opener, perhaps even more so than the one at Duke. But the Canes can afford no letdown if sights are to remain set on an ACC championship. Things a UM fan should hope to see: Continued emphasis on more running and offensive balance to ease the burden on Jacory Harris; that was one of the delights of the win over North Carolina last week. Also wondering if Miami is capable of playing a "clean" game in which turnovers and costly penalties are not a factor. (By the way, maybe it's just me, but the Cavaliers' mascot, far right, looks ... a little ... fey? Not that there's anything wrong with that! Maybe it's his Halloween costume). 

Your thoughts welcome here on all Collball Week 9 action, particularly on the Canes, Florida-Georgia and of course the FIU-FAU backyard brawl for the Shula Bowl. My predictions: UM big, Gators in a (mild) upset, and Owls in an upset over FIU. (Hey, I got two out of three!)

Other Week 9 state FBS games:

North Carolina State 28, No. 16 FSU 24: Thursday night upset loss loosens Seminoles' grip on both the top-25 and the ACC race, ending Tally's five-game win streak.

Florida 34, Georgia 31: Oy, how the mighty have fallen. The annual "World's Largest Cocktail Party" in nuetral Jacksonville found both sets of fans boozing to drown sorrows more than celebrate. The Gators (now 5-3, 3-3) were slight 'dogs but ended a three-game lsoing streak.

Central Florida 49, East Carolina 35: Here's one I couldn't much care less about, personally, yet it was a big game within the Conference USA East division. UCF now 6-2, 4-0.

FAU 21, FIU 9: Shula Bowl! Backyard grudge! Neighborhood war! Golden Panthers were 4 1/2-point favorite. Arise, Owl Nation, arise!

Idle this week: South Florida's Bulls 4-3 and preparing for Wednesday night game vs. Rutgers.

National top-25 matchups: 18-Iowa d. 5-Michigan State, 37-6; 14-Nebraska d. 6-Missouri, 31-17.


Our continuing weekly cumulative ranking of the college football programs having the biggest impact on the 2010 season:

Rank-LW   Team   Points

1-3   Boise State   757

2-1   Alabama   756

3-2   Ohio State   735

4-5   Oregon   718

5-4   Texas Christian   710

6-6   Oklahoma   637

7-7   Nebraska   609

8-10   Auburn   514

9-8   Wisconsin   500

10-12   Louisiana State   471

11-9   Iowa   470

12-13   Utah   464

13-14   Arkansas   430

14-11   Florida   427

15-15   Texas   386

16-17   Stanford   380

17-16   MIAMI   355

18-19   Arizona   342

19-18   South Carolina   339

20-21   Michigan State   298

21-20   Florida State   277

22-27   Missouri   200

23-25   Virginia Tech   184

24-24   Michigan   174

25-26   Southern Cal   167

26-22t   West Virginia   166

27-22t   Penn State   163

28-28   Oklahoma State   156

29-29   Nevada   119

30-30   Georgia Tech   91