Football Dominates Hokies
Nov. 4, 2000
By RICHARD ROSENBLATT
AP Football Writer
MIAMI — Whether he was healthy or hurt, No. 3 Miami was ready forMichael Vick.
“We wanted to show him,” linebacker Dan Morgan said, “that he wasn’tgoing to work his magic against us.”
Far from it. Hobbled by a sprained right ankle that limited him to 19first-half plays, Vick sat on the bench with a white towel draped over his headin the second half and watched the Hurricanes beat No. 2 Virginia Tech 41-21 onSaturday.
“It was disappointing. This was a big game. It determined our season,”Vick said. “It hurt me inside – deep inside.”
Ken Dorsey threw three long touchdown passes – two to Santana Moss – andJames Jackson ran for 145 yards and a score as Miami (7-1, 4-0 Big East) took agiant step toward playing for the national championship back in the Orange Bowlon Jan. 3.
Virginia Tech (8-1, 6-1) saw its 19-game regular-season winning streak endalong with its bid to return to the title game. The Hokies were beaten 46-29 byFlorida State in last season’s championship game at the Sugar Bowl.
In ending a five-game losing streak to Virginia Tech, Miami is poised toreplace Virginia Tech at No. 2 in the AP media poll, while the Hurricanes hopeto move up in the Bowl Championship Series standings, where they were in fifthplace. The Hokies were second in the standings that will determine who plays inthe BCS’ title game.
“Whatever they’re going to do in the BCS, they’re going to do,” Miamidefensive tackle Damione Lewis said. “All we can do is keep winning. No. 2 vs.No. 5 and we won. That’s our statement.”
The Hurricanes have three games remaining – home to Pittsburgh, at Syracuseand home to Syracuse.
“I want to get there badly,” Moss said of reaching the title game. “Thisis my last year. We’ve just got to keep on winning. … We’re on our way.”
Dave Meyer, a fifth-year senior, started in place of Vick but was unable tomove the Hokies in the first three series. Vick, wearing a custom-made brace,walked onto the field with left in the first quarter and the Hokies alreadybehind 14-0.
The 6-foot-1, 214-pound Heisman Trophy contender was clearly hampered by theinjury. Even when the Hokies made a first down, Vick walked up the field to thehuddle.
Vick called 19 plays and accounted for 14 yards – three carries for 5 yards,2-of-5 passing for 9 yards. He fumbled once – setting up Miami’s thirdtouchdown – and threw an interception. His final play was taking a knee to endthe first half with the Hurricanes leading 21-0.
Meyer, who was 13-of-25 for 225 yards and a touchdown, played the secondhalf.
“I thought our best chance at that point was to get a healthy quarterbackin there,” Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “He couldn’t function at full speed.It’s not fair to him and not fair to us. Throwing he was 85-90 percent. Runninghe was about 10 percent.”
Miami joins Oklahoma in beating the No. 1 and No. 2 teams this season: Miamibeat then-No. 1 Florida State 27-24 on Oct. 7, the Sooners beat then-No. 2Kansas State 41-31 and then-No. 1 Nebraska 31-14.
Miami, which leads the nation in scoring at 45 points per game, scored fiveof its six touchdowns on plays of 42 yards or longer. The Hurricanes led 28-0before the Hokies finally scored on the first of two TD runs by Lee Suggs – a1-yarder 2:37 into the fourth period. Suggs carried 23 times for 121 yards.
Dorsey, disappointed with himself after three interceptions in last week’swin over Louisiana Tech, completed 11 of 23 passes for 283 yards, including TDpasses of 42 and 80 yards to Moss and 44 yards to tight end Jeremy Shockey.Moss had four catches for 154 yards.
“I was out of character the last couple of weeks trying to force ball,”Dorsey said. “I think everyone saw the real me tonight.”
Jackson had a 17-yard TD run, Najeh Davenport a 50-yard scoring run andEdward Reed returned the second of his two interceptions 44 yards for a TD with7:35 left in the game. At that point, oranges were thrown on the field by someof the fans in the Orange Bowl crowd of 77,410.
Miami coach Butch Davis, who entered his sixth season with an 0-10 combinedrecord against the Seminoles and Hokies, now has a win over each. But he couldcare less.
“We haven’t accomplished anything we set out to accomplish,” Davis said.”We’re three games away from that. This is just one step along the way.”
Without Vick, the Hokies were not even close to competitive with theHurricanes. Last season, a healthy Vick led Virginia Tech to a 43-10 win overMiami, this year it was the Hurricanes’ turn to dominate a team averaging 42points – fifth in the nation.
Dorsey took Miami 63 yards in six plays on its first possession, finishingthe drive with his 42-yard TD pass to Moss 4:35 into the game.
Later in the period, Dorsey connected with Shockey for 41 yards to theHokies’ 36. At the same time, Vick began warming up behind the Hokies’ bench.Two plays later, Jackson took a pitchout from Dorsey and looked to pass, butcut back to his left and ran 17 yards for a touchdown with 2:53 left in theperiod.
Vick entered the game but was clearly hurting. He failed to move the team onhis first two series, and then started making mistakes when he needed to comeup with one of his patented big plays. On third-and-9 from the Miami 29, Vicktried to run left but Lewis stripped the all from behind and linebacker ChrisCampbell recovered at the 27.
Miami cashed in quickly. Dorsey hit Moss for 18 yards, Jackson carried threetimes for 16 yards and then Dorsey hit Shockey with a 44-yard TD pass with 3:30left in the half.
Vick tried again, but this time his pass was overthrown and Reed made theinterception at the Miami 19.
By then, the Hurricanes had the game well in hand, and the Hokies were leftto wonder what would have been if Vick was healthy.