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Football Keeps Their National Title Hopes Alive

Football Keeps Their National Title Hopes Alive

Oct. 28, 2000

Box Score

By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP) – Miami’s good plays overshadowed the bad ones.

Barely.

James Jackson ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns and Santana Moss added158 all-purpose yards and two scores as No. 4 Miami beat Louisiana Tech 42-31on Saturday night.

The Hurricanes (6-1) kept their national title hopes alive with their fifthstraight win, but they’ll have to play better to stay in the hunt for thechampionship. Miami, which plays No. 2 Virginia Tech at home next Saturday, hadfour turnovers, committed 12 penalties and allowed the Bulldogs (2-7) to gain485 yards.

Ken Dorsey, a sophomore who came into the game having thrown just twointerceptions in his career, threw three and Jackson fumbled once.

“We got the win, no matter how ugly it was,” Dorsey said. “Those wereprobably the worst 42 points in history. I don’t think anybody was happy withthis. I think everybody in the stadium would agree that this was the poorestperformance of my career.”

Still, Miami – a 41 1/2-point favorite – was able to overcome the miscues.

“Not every one of your performances are going to be absolutely beautiful.We’re glad to get this game over with,” Hurricanes coach Butch Davis saidbefore abruptly ending his postgame news conference after just a few questions.

The ‘Canes scored on three of their first four possessions to take a 21-3lead, but Louisiana Tech outscored – and outplayed – Miami the rest of the way.It just wasn’t enough for an upset.

“It was a little tougher than I expected,” defensive tackle Damione Lewissaid. “I knew they would come in and play us tough, but I didn’t think itwould be like this.”

Miami made it look easy early. Jackson had two 1-yard scoring runs and Mossscored on a 43-yard end around. Jackson had 26 carries and finished 2 yards shyof his career high.

Moss added a 69-yard punt return for a score in the second quarter. Thespeedy senior split two blocks, broke a tackle and sprinted down the rightsideline for his third punt return touchdown this season. It also was the fifthof his career, breaking the Big East record shared by Moss and Syracuse’sQuinton Spotwood.

Moss touched the ball seven times, finishing with 43 yards rushing, 37 yardsreceiving and 78 yards on two punt returns.

Clinton Portis, who missed the last three games with broken toes, carried 14times for 86 yards – all in the second half.

Tech cut the lead to 11 points three times in the second half, but Miamitwice answered with touchdowns.

The Hurricanes marched 71 yards in less than two minutes to put the leadback to 18 points with 3:43 to play in the third. Dorsey, 4-of-4 passing on thedrive, threw a perfect 16-yard fade to Wayne in the corner of the end zone fora 35-17 lead.

It was the only time Dorsey looked sharp all night. He finished 16-of-31 for185 yards.

“The fans won’t like it,” Dorsey said. “They’re not going to be happy foran entire week. I feel for them. But if I don’t learn from this, then there’sno point for me being out here.”

Luke McCown threw three touchdowns and ran for another for Louisiana Tech.He finished 42-of-72 for 418 yards, breaking the NCAA freshman record forattempts in a game. The previous record of 71 was set by Northwestern’s SandySchwab in 1982.

McCown also threw three interceptions, but the Bulldogs had three receiverswith 10 catches.

“He has a lot of poise,” Bulldogs coach Jack Bicknell said. “He made somemistakes, but to do what he is doing as a true freshman is really something.It’s unbelievable what he is doing and who he is doing it against.”