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Nov. 8, 2004

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers attempt to move one step closer to an ACC championship in a Senior Day match-up against Miami on Nov 13. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. on ABC. This is the Hurricanes’ first-ever visit to Scott Stadium as they are playing their inaugural season in the ACC.

Virginia is ranked 10th in this week’s Associated Press poll, its highest rank this late in the season since 1990.

Head coach Al Groh has said the goal all season has been to be “in the hunt” on Nov. 1 and his team remained in the hunt following last week’s 16-0 win over Maryland. Now the goal, he says, is to be in the hunt come Nov. 7, which is the case.

The Cavaliers are 7-1 this season, including 4-1 in the ACC, and are tied with Virginia Tech atop the league standings. Virginia became bowl eligible for the third consecutive season following its 37-16 win over Duke two games ago, the first time that’s happened since 1998-2000.

Groh has called November a month where “you can play your way in or play your way out.” Virginia is 7-6 in November (and one December regular season game) under Groh. The record is much better at home, however, as the Cavaliers have feasted on the opposition at Scott Stadium. Virginia is 20-5 at home under Groh, including a 7-2 mark in November/December. The Cavaliers, who have won 16 of their last 17 home games, have won six in a row at home in November/December going back to 2001.

One of the keys to Virginia’s success this season has been a lack of turnovers and limiting big plays. The Cavaliers have committed just six turnovers, tied for third fewest in the country. Defensively Virginia has given up just five running plays of more than 20 yards and relinquished only 15 pass plays of more than 25 yards.

After opening the season with six straight wins, Miami comes into this weekend with two consecutive losses. The Hurricanes haven’t lost three consecutive games since 1999. They were ranked as high as third this season, but are 18th this week.

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