MIAMI — Bright lights, prime time, Thursday night. It's been a winning formula for Virginia Tech and Miami. This time, it'll only work for one of those clubs.
The Hokies and Hurricanes meet in Miami tonight, and though neither is ranked — at least one has been in 12 of their most recent meetings — it's still an important game for both. The winner will possibly become the ACC Coastal Division favorite. The loser will be 4-5 and need two wins for bowl eligibility.
"Everything in the ACC is still available for both of us," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "Starting off, at this time of year you want to be playing for something, and both of us certainly are."
The division is jammed at the top. Duke is 3-2 in league play, as is North Carolina and Miami. The Tar Heels aren't eligible for postseason play, and the Hurricanes, still under NCAA investigation, would in theory have the option of self-imposing a postseason ban for the second straight year because of what may loom when that inquiry ends. And Virginia Tech has already beaten Duke, giving the Hokies (4-4, 2-2) a tiebreaker edge if needed.
"We know this division has gone through Blacksburg, and we've never won the division," Miami coach Al Golden said. "So clearly, if you want to have an opportunity, you have to beat Virginia Tech. They're the reigning champion, so I think everything starts and stops right there."
It's an unusual time for both teams. The Hokies went 6-0 in road games last year (losing two neutral-site contests) but are winless in four games played away from Lane Stadium this year. Miami went 0-for-October, losing to Notre Dame, North Carolina and Florida State, by a combined score of 92-37.
"We need to put it together, put our run game and our pass game together in the same night," Miami offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said. "I just feel like we're due for one of those type of games."
Thursdays have been good for both squads. Miami is 15-3 on that day of the week, Virginia Tech 19-5.
Ex-LSU QB back in jail: Jordan Jefferson, the former LSU quarterback who was cut by the Bucs after a tryout, reported to a Louisiana jail after a judge revoked his bond in a 2011 simple battery case. Jefferson was arrested last week on marijuana possession charges. He had been free on $5,000 bond in the days since his arrest.
Auburn QB change: Freshman Jonathan Wallace, the UCF commitment who switched to Auburn on signing day, will start for the Tigers against New Mexico State this week. Wallace completed 6 of 9 for 122 yards and two scores and had 71 yards rushing in relief Saturday against Texas A&M.
BC-Ohio State series: The Eagles and Buckeyes have scheduled a home-and-home series to be played Sept. 19, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio, and Sept. 18, 2021, in Chestnut Hill.
Minn. State-Makato: Coach Todd Hoffner, accused of making pornographic videos of his children, told a judge the images show a skit his children came up with while in the bathtub and asked him to record. Hoffner asked a judge at a hearing to dismiss the felony charges after the university found the images on his work-issued cellphone. He has been on leave since he was escorted off the practice field in August. The judge, who has not yet seen the video, didn't immediately rule on the motion to dismiss. Hoffner, who maintains his innocence, has not yet entered a plea. No new hearing date has been set.