Miami football and Georgia Tech recent games full of stranger things

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

The Miami football rivalry against Georgia Tech recently has been full of stranger things. Six of the last nine Miami football games against Georgia Tech have had a defensive or special teams touchdown. Georgia Tech and Miami had their 2020 game canceled twice because of Covid. The Yellow Jackets have won the last two meetings.

Prior to their 2018 loss at Georgia Tech, Miami won three straight and eight of the previous nine games against the Yellow Jackets. The 2016, 2017 and 2019 Miami football games against Georgia Tech were the three that were particularly full of stranger things. Miami traveled to Georgia Tech in 2016 with a young team.

Due to suspensions, the 2016 Hurricanes started three freshmen linebackers. Miami took the lead in the second quarter on a 14 yard Mark Walton touchdown with 6:43 remaining. Freshman LB Shaquille Quarterman returned a fumble 25 yards for a TD 52 seconds later to extend the Miami lead to 21-7.

On the second play of the next Georgia Tech drive, Miami freshman defensive end Joe Jackson returned a fumble 18 yards for a TD. Georgia Tech got within a score with a TD right before halftime and another one in the third quarter. Miami answered 1:33 later for the final score of the game and a 35-21 victory.

The 2017 Miami Georgia Tech game came a week after the Hurricanes ended their seven-year losing streak to Florida State. Trailing 14-13 to begin the second half, Miami head coach Mark Richt called from an onside kick. Georgia Tech returned it 42 yards for a TD to extend the lead to 21-13.

Although it was the only non-offensive TD that day, there were plenty of more stranger things that afternoon. A Georgia Tech field goal extended the lead to 24-13 in the third quarter. A deluge began in the fourth quarter. Miami running back Travis Homer had a 27 yard TD run in the rain to get Miami within 24-22.

The two-point conversion failed. On the game-winning drive, Miami quarterback Malik Rosier and wide receiver Darrell Langham teamed up for the second straight week for a clutch play. Rosier completed to Langham for 28 yards on fourth and 10 to the Georgia Tech 15 to put Miami in field goal range.

Miami kicker Michael Badgley made a 24-yard field goal four plays later to give Miami the 25-24 win and improve Miami to 5-0. The Hurricanes would not lose again until the final week of the regular season at Pittsburgh. The 2017 season was the only one since 2002 that Miami won 10 games.

Georgia Tech defeated Miami 27-21 in 2018 for just their second victory over the Hurricanes since 2008. That was one of the most conventional games the Hurricanes and Yellow Jackets played recently. The 2019 game was a case of Miami doing everything it could to give Georgia Tech the victory.

Georgia Tech got on the board 2:25 into the game when they recovered a fumble in the Miami end zone for a TD. After Miami answered with a pair of TDs, Georgia Tech tied the game on a 41-yard TD pass off a fake punt. Current Pittsburgh Steelers punter Presley Harvin made a perfect pass to tie the game.

The teams traded a pair of TDs in the second quarter to tie the game at 21. There was no scoring in the second half. Miami missed three field goals in the game, including having a 25-yard attempt blocked on the last play of regulation. Georgia Tech scored in the first overtime, then stopped Miami on fourth down to win 28-21.

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Miami needs to continue the good starts it had against North Carolina State and Pittsburgh and not provide any confidence for a struggling Georgia Tech team. Miami has built momentum with victories the last two weeks over ranked Panthers and Wolfpack teams. Hopefully, Miami can defeat Georgia Tech conventionally.