After a one-game injury absence, Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke appears ready to return Saturday when his Hurricanes host Virginia in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.
Miami (5-2, 1-2) is coming off its first win over Clemson since 2010, and the Hurricanes did it with true freshman quarterback Emory Williams making his first career start.
Virginia (2-5, 1-2) is coming off its first-ever road win over a Top 10 opponent, knocking off then-No. 10 North Carolina 31-27. The Cavaliers lost their first 30 road games against Top 10 foes before last Saturday’s shocker.
“What you saw,” Virginia coach Tony Elliott said, “is a group that believed.”
There’s a good amount of belief on the Hurricanes’ side, too, especially after they knocked off Clemson 28-20 in two overtimes last week.
Miami would’ve had just one loss this season had coach Mario Cristobal ordered Van Dyke to take a knee in the final seconds against Georgia Tech. Instead, a fumble led to an upset and a two-game skid that was broken last Saturday.
Now Van Dyke, who sat out last week due to an apparent leg injury, is poised to return.
“He was really close to being able to play (against Clemson),” Cristobal said. “So yeah, we feel good about (Van Dyke facing Virginia).”
Van Dyke ranks second in the ACC in passing yards per game (286.8). He is completing 70.5 percent of his passes for 16 touchdowns, with six interceptions.
Virginia shuffled its two quarterbacks — Tony Muskett and Anthony Colandrea — earlier in the season. But it’s been all Muskett the past three games, and Virginia is 2-1 in those contests.
Against UNC, Muskett completed 20 of 30 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.
Saturday’s game will feature the top two pass-catchers in the ACC: Virginia’s Malik Washington (56 receptions) and Miami’s Xavier Restrepo (54).
As for head-to-head battles, watch Virginia’s offensive line against Miami’s defensive front. Virginia rushed for 228 yards and a 4.2 average against the Tar Heels. The Hurricanes lead the ACC in fewest rushing yards per game (79.6) and fewest yards per carry (2.7).
The last five meetings in this series have been decided by one-possession margins. Miami won 14-12 in four overtimes at Virginia last season.