MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes control their destiny to getting to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game as the winner of the Coastal Division despite an up-and-down season for the team.
The Hurricanes took a major step towards the championship game Thursday night when they thumped the Virginia Tech Hokies, 30-12. Overall, Miami is 5-4, with a 4-2 record in ACC play. The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Canes.
Miami finished off Virginia Tech on Thursday night with a Duke Johnson eight-yard touchdown run with a little less than 12 minutes left to go in the game. Miami's victory came as the defense finally shut down an opponent after having been abused for most of the season.
Miami's defense has been ranked as one of the worst in the country for most of the season and has given up 30 points six times this season. But Thursday, the defense was in bend, not break, mode and gave up 421 yards of total offense, almost 80 yards than the team's season average.
With the victory, Miami now has two ACC games left on the schedule and if the team can win both of them, they head to the ACC title game. The Canes will travel to Virginia next weekend to play the Cavaliers, who have yet to win an ACC game this season as of November 2.
Then, the Canes will head to Durham, North Carolina for a season-ending showdown with the upstart Duke Blue Devils. Duke has qualified for a bowl game and could be the final hurdle for Miami to get to the championship game.
Still, even if Miami makes it to the ACC Championship game, the team will likely be facing one of it's biggest nemesis', the Florida State Seminoles. FSU has looked like a different team since losing at North Carolina State and had they not lost, would be in the thick of the national championship discussion.
Florida State is off this weekend, but will travel to Virginia Tech to play the Hokies next Thursday and then follow that up with a game in College Park, Maryland against the Terrapins, who are set to use a linebacker as the team's quarterback this weekend.
FSU then closes out the season at Doak Campbell Stadium with the annual showdown with the Florida Gators. If FSU wins out, it would likely move back into the Top 10 and be favored to win the ACC championship game and come to Miami to play in the Orange Bowl this January.
But, Miami could be the ultimate thorn in FSU's side if the Canes can win out. If both teams made it to the ACC Championship game, and Miami pulled an upset, then the Canes would likely win a bid to the Orange Bowl.
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