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Hot Read: Miami Does Enough to Win Again

By Carlos Pineda
SouthernPigskin.com
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The Hurricanes' play wasn't thrilling, but Miami had enough to beat Virginia 27-21 while picking up its sixth win of the season to become bowl eligible.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — A week after winning an emotional game in Durham, Miami returned home to face a team that had won four of the last five games in the series. The Hurricanes' play wasn't thrilling, but Miami had enough to beat Virginia 27-21 while picking up its sixth win of the season to become bowl eligible.

Below are five takeaways from Saturday afternoon's game:

1. After missing last week's game against Duke, the return of Brad Kaaya was nice welcome for Miami. Cleared to play Friday night, Kaaya played with efficiency despite admitting it was hard to get used to the rhythm of the game. While he did cost his team a safety early in the second quarter for throwing the ball away, Kaaya passed for 286 yards with two touchdowns. Receiver Stacy Coley was his favorite target, hauling in seven catches for 132 yards and a 67-yard touchdown on a slant.

2. Similar to last week, the Hurricanes started slow, not scoring until the second quarter of the game. Miami led for much of the game except for a  few moments in the third quarter when Virginia took a 15-14 lead. UM responded with a field goal on the next drive and a touchdown right after to take a 24-15 lead. While allowing over 400 yards of offense, the defense managed to keep the Cavaliers out of the end zone most of the game. With three red zone possessions, Virginia had to settle for two field goals.

3. Fourteen days ago, the Hurricanes suffered their worst loss in team history on its home turf. Heading into the Virginia game Miami made it a point of emphasis to defend its home turf. UM not only accomplished that feat but also managed to beat an opponent that has really flustered the Hurricanes. As I mentioned above, the Cavaliers had won four of the last five against Miami but also six of the last nine. Virginia also handed Miami a 48-0 shutout in its final game at the famed Orange Bowl back in 2007.

4. Miami is still alive in the Coastal Division. With North Carolina's monster victory over Duke, UM's Coastal Division hopes cleared up. The Hurricanes would have to win out the rest of the season with games against North Carolina and Pitt on the road and Georgia Tech at home left on the schedule. A Tar Heels' loss to either Virginia Tech or NC State would seal the deal for Miami.

5. Given where the Hurricanes were two weeks ago, the last two wins have been a testament to Miami's spirit. The team could have gone belly up after the loss to Clemson and the firing of Al Golden, but that hasn't been the case. A trip to Charlotte is within reach and the Hurricanes so far have been able to avoid a late season collapse.

Carlos Pineda - Carlos Pineda is a featured writer for Southern Pigskin. He covered the UCF Knights football team for Florida Today in 2010. Carlos' work has been published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Business Journal. He attended the University of Central Florida. Follow Carlos on Twitter @CarlosFPineda.