GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND
1) It's SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14. Hope all y'all Triskaidekaphobes out there and especially you Paraskevidekatriaphobes had a safe Friday the 13th. 2) A belated R.I.P., Alex Trebek. You lifted the American I.Q., and gave 'game show' a good name. 3) The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Join us on both! 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): A personal message for readers and listeners, Colts-Titans pick, NFL Pix 'n Fantasy Week 9 results and QB rankings, a very special Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 36 & more. 5) Join me on Twitter and Instagram.
G8: NO. 9 HURRICANES 25, AT VIRGINIA TECH 24: R-E-S-P-E-C-T! LATE RALLY LIFTS ROAD 'DOG CANES: OMy column off Saturday's big win: Canes Flew to Blacksburg Disrespected, Returned With a Win. Original Post: Might seem double-take, shake-your-head. are-my-eyes-deceiving-me weird to some, but No. 9-ranked Miami is a 2-point underdog at Virginia Tech in Saturday's noon ACC matchup. As if to verify, ESPN's Football Power Index has it a 62.2 percent likelihood of a Hokies win over the Hurricanes. Possible reasons: Va-Tech is pretty good, Blacksburg is a tough place to play, and this has been a thorny rivalry for UM. Miami once was 12-0 in this series. Since then, UM is 10-15 including only 4-8 on the road. The Hokies won in Miami last season, 42-35. This figures as a rugged test for The U's defense against an opponent driven by a physical ground game that averages 279 rushing yards per game, fifth in the nation and the most of any team in a Power Five conference. Top back Khalil Herbert is second in the ACC with 803 rush-yards and averages 8.4 a carry -- although Canes catch a huge break of if Herbert is sidelined by the hamstring injury that makes him questionable. Miami also will face a big, elusive, dual-threat quarterback in Hendon Hooker, who is as much a threat on designed runs as he is with his arm. And Miami's run defense has been a bit erratic, allowing an average of close to 150 yards per game. trong (Miami ranks 55th in the country in run defense), it will be critical for the Hurricanes to have its best performance of the season when trying to stop the run. UM's plan os to limit Tech's ground game as best it can and see the offense score plenty on the Hokies' D. Coach Manny Diaz said there is "a hope" TE Brevin Jordan will return after three games out with a shoulder injury, and that would be huge for Miami and QB D'Eriq King. The Hurricanes must earn again the respect that is lacking somewhat in this point spread if they want to stay at only one ACC loss and maintain hopes of reaching the ACC Championship Game. I believe they will here, in a high-scoring game that finds King's offense having the better of a beatable defense. My pick: Upset! Hurricanes, 34-30.
Other state FBS games this week (in order; all Saturday unless noted):
FAU 38, FIU 19: Friday night was the 19th annual Shula Bowl (FAU now leads 14-5) -- and the first since Don Shula's passing at age 90 in May. The Owls were 9-point favorites and showed it in improving to 4-1 and dropping the host Panthers to 0-4. The score easily exceeded the betting over/under of 41 1/2 total points. That's low even for the NFL, and almost unheard of in college. FIU at home was a definite sentimental pick, amid a season turned upside down by COVID-related issues. (Our recent column on Butch Davis' most trying year: In a Pandemic-Battered Season For FIU, Butch Davis' Love Of Coaching Survives).
South Florida (1-6) at Houston (2-3), 3:30 p.m.: Houston a 14-point favorite. SoFla was 21-4 in 2016-17. Bulls have now lost 20 of past 25.
Arkansas (3-3) at No. 6 Florida (4-1), 7 p.m.: Gators a 17 1/2-point Swamp favorite coming off big statement win over Georgia that bestowed upon UF the inside lane toward reaching the SEC Championship Game. But be wary of embarrassed big programs that are used to being good, like Arkansas was before its recent slide.
Temple (1-4) at UCF (4-2), 7:30 p.m.: The Knights from Mousetown are favored by 25 1/2 in an expected rout.
Florida State (2-5) at North Carolina State (4-3), 7:30 p.m.: Wolfpack are 10 1/2-point faves. Between 1992 and 2017 the Seminoles ranked in the polls 22 times when facing NCST. Those days are gone.
Off this week: None. [Nationally, 15 more games this week were postponed (9) or canceled (6) by COVOD issues this week, including No. 1 Alabama at Clemson].
NFL WEEK 10 PICKS: TUA VS. HERBERT. SEAHAWKS-BILLS AND 2 UPSETS LEAD THE PARADE: The rollicking Week 10 picks parade is topped by Sunday's first career meeting of Dolphin Tua Tagovailoa and Charger Justin Herbert, instant career-long rivals via their draft proximity. Can Miami button down its fifth straight win? Also up there: Our Seahawks-Bills Game of the Week, and two big upsets. This is our 30th season of NFL picks in the Miami Herald, and thanks as always for joining us on the ride! For our Week 10 previews and picks for Fins-Bolts, our Game of the Week, our Upset of the Week and all the rest of the 14-game slate, visit NFL Week 10 Gems. Our week got off to a rousing start Thursday night in Nashville. Host Titans were favored by one point but we called the mini-upset by the visiting Colts. Our picks appear Thursday afternoons every week online, and Fridays in print, after the Thursday night pick appears separately Wednesdays online and Thursdays in print.
Our most recent other columns: Canes Keep Beating Teams They Should (If Barely) / Stop the Silly Noise And Speculation. Give Dolphins' Tua Time And a Fair Chance / Fans of ESPN's Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Should Prepare For Another Change / Dolphins Defense Makes It Easy For Tua In First NFL Start / Drama, Controversy, Torqued-Up Pressure: Welcome to Tua Week In Miami / Turner, With COVID, Joining Dodgers Celebration A Sadly Fitting End to Season / Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move/ Dolphins Turning to Tua Now Is Risky -- But Right Move / and Heat, Marlins, Canes -- now Tua. Miserable 2020 Suddenly Great Time To Be Miami Fan.
GREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: CHRIS DISCUSSES ESPN LAYOFFIN NEW EPISODE OUT NOW: Our Miami Herald podcast debuted in March and the new Episode 36 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 36 we've done so far RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. In an emotional new Ep36 -- easily the most downloaded and most listened-to episode we've done, climbing as high as No. 3 among all sports podcasts in the national Apple rankings, Chris Cote discusses his layoff from ESPN, which he announced on Twitter Sunday evening. Chris and I also talk Tua and Dolphins, a smidgen of politics and bring you a new Mount Gregmore. But it's the heartfelt discussion of the layoff that is must-listen, especially for fans of the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz. Hear all of that and more on the latest Greg Cote Show podcast. Go HERE for the Miami Herald's story on the layoff.
-- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * -- * --
Heat NBA Finals columns: Game 6--LeBron Reigns, But Credit Heat For Unexpected Run to Finals. Game 5--They're Alive! Butler, Heat Beat Lakers, Get to Game 6 In NBA FInals. Game 4--Lakers in 3-1 Command in NBA Finals, But Don't Write Off Heat Yet. Game 3--Jimmy Butler's 40 Gives Heat New Life in NBA Finals. Game 2--NBA Finals Slipping Away As Heat Lose Again. Game 1-- Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.
Marlins postseason run columns: NLDS Game 3--Marlins Season Was A Miracle But Way It Ended Is Lesson On Work Still Ahead. Game 2--Marlins Fall Again, Join Heat On Brink Of Elimination. Game 1--Braves Homers, Bullpen Collapse Bury Marlins in NLDS Game 1. Columns from two wins over Cubs in wild-card round: Miracle Marlins Advance in NL Playoffs and Seventeen Years Out of Playoffs, Marlins Return in Style.
Select other recent columns: 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice
Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg: Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Columns. Podcast. Podcast on Twitter. Podcast on Instagram. LeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).