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Miami poses concerns for London, Cavaliers on many fronts

First-year Virginia Coach Mike London paused briefly after the question was asked: What concerns you about Miami?

"Let's see," he said, "where can I start on that one?"

The Cavaliers (3-4, 0-3 ACC) will ride a nine-game conference losing streak into Saturday's home game against No. 22 Miami (5-2, 3-1) and understand the tall task they face in attempting to earn their first league win under London's watch. The Hurricanes are second in the ACC Coastal Division thanks in large part to a defense that makes opposing quarterbacks more inefficient than any other team in the country.

"When they’re on, they play pretty well," London said Monday. "We’ve definitely got to play our best game. We can’t start slow. We can’t get into those second and long situations. We’ve got to stay out of those situations, because this is the type of team that thrives on that."

Miami's offense is led by a quarterback -- Jacory Harris -- that, while inconsistent, may be as talented as any other quarterback the Cavaliers have faced this season, according to junior cornerback Chase Minnifield.

"He's very relaxed," Minnifield said. "Very poised."

Not all the time, though. Harris has thrown five of his 10 interceptions during Miami's two losses this season. If Virginia can get passed Miami's offensive line -- which London referred to as "road graders" -- the Cavaliers will have a chance at disrupting the Hurricanes' offensive flow. That, however, has been an issue for Virginia, which has tallied fewer sacks (nine) than all but two ACC teams.

Harris -- who has completed 53.9 percent of his passes and thrown for 1,561 yards and 14 touchdowns -- is "a tall, long, lean, athletic quarterback that actually would rather stay in the pocket and throw the ball downfield to his skill players, rather than take off and run," London said. "When he is on, he’s on. Hopefully he’ll be off on this Saturday."

By Steve Yanda  | October 25, 2010; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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