The Miami Hurricanes (5-4, 4-2 ACC) had not beaten Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3 ACC) since 2008. That statistic is no longer valid.
Miami now controls their own destiny within the ACC Coastal – prior to this season, who would have thunk it? In a game where neither offense played particularly well, Miami was out-gained by VT, 395-216.
‘Canes QB Stephen Morris threw two early touchdowns thanks in part to Virginia Tech special teams miscues. Morris finished the night completing 13-of-28 passes for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Over the years, special teams has played an eminent role in Hokie’ football. Against Miami, “Beamer Ball” was not a factor. In all, VT allowed a punt block, shanked a PAT and allowed an 81-yard kickoff return by freshman Duke Johnson, who has become a vital part of Miami.
The freshman phenom amassed 100 yards on the ground and one touchdown on 11 carries. Johnson finished the night with 217 all-purpose yards in a game that snapped Miami’s three-game skid.
Miami head coach Al Golden told ESPN, “…everybody wanted us to be national champions yesterday and get back to BCS games and all that, but the reality of it is the pathway through that is the Coastal. It’s almost like we have to re-educate our team. They have to understand, that’s how you get there.”
Miami players took that message to heart.
The ‘Canes went a measly 1-for-12 on third down conversions, but the scoreboard ended in their favor. Miami was flagged 8 times for 55 yards, but again, managed to claw their way to victory,
VT QB Logan Thomas rattled off a 73-yard TD run and finished with 124 rushing yards on 22 carries. He tallied another 199 yards through the air, completing 19-of-37 passes.
However, Thomas was unable to carry the Hokies’ on his own.
Miami CB Ladarius Gunter intercepted Thomas inside the 20-yard line which gave Miami early momentum. LB Gabe Terry sprung free and blocked a VT punt setting up the ‘Canes with favorable field position.
Miami scored on a 16-yard toss to WR Allen Hurns, and again on a 16-yard pass to RB Mike James. The ‘Canes went into the half leading the Hokies’ 20-12.
K Jake Wieclaw has been much improved as of late and hit field goals from 22, 31 and 37 yards, respectively.
Miami’s offense struggled to move the ball for much of the game and aside from Duke Johnson’s 65-yard run in the second quarter, the ‘Canes running game played a limited factor in their victory.
In a surprise, TE Clive Walford led the Miami receivers with two receptions for 56 yards. WR Rashawn Scott caught 3 balls for 50 yards.
Miami’s win snaps a three-game losing streak against VT. The ‘Canes will face the Virginia Cavaliers on Nov.10 in Charlottesville.