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Recap: Miami Loses in Thriller, 38-35

Recap: Miami Loses in Thriller, 38-35

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Logan Thomas ran 19 yards for a touchdown with 56 seconds to play Saturday, capping a wild fourth quarter as No. 21 Virginia Tech beat Miami 38-35.

The Hokies (5-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) rescued their chances of contending in the Coastal Division with the dramatic rally, and may have killed the hopes of Miami (2-3, 0-2).

They did it less than 2 minutes after Lamar Miller scored on a 30-yard burst for the Hurricanes, giving them a 35-31 lead and forcing Thomas and the Hokies to respond.

Thomas did, with a big assist from tailback David Wilson, driving the Hokies 77 yards in eight plays, and capping the drive with a fourth-down run on which he went virtually untouched for the score.

It erased a remarkable comeback by Miller, who ran for 166 yards on 18 carries, Jacory Harris and the Hurricanes, who trailed 21-7 early in the third quarter before getting hot.

And getting help.

On a third-and-4 from his own 23, Harris looked for Travis Benjamin deep and rover Eddie Whitley tried to break on the ball for an interception. He missed, and Benjamin went 77 yards for the score.

That made it 21-14, and defense seemingly took the rest of the game off.

The Hokies drove to the Miami 11 before Cody Journell kicked a 28-yard field goal.

Miami answered by going 89 yards in 12 plays. Harris hit Clive Walford for 25 yards on a flea flicker, and the only third-down conversion in the drive came on a 2-yard run by Mike James from the Hokies’ 6. On the next play, Harris hit Tommy Streeter for the touchdown, beating All-American cornerback Jayron Hosley in one-on-one coverage the left corner of the end zone.

With the crowd suddenly very quiet, Thomas loosened them back up, finding Jarrett Boykin downfield on the first play after the kickoff went out of bounds for a 60-yard scoring play.

The play rebuilt the Hokies’ lead to 31-21, but also put their defense back on the field.

Miller went 37 yards on the first play, but the Hokies appeared to have Miami facing a fourth-and-20 at their own 38 after J.R. Collins sacked Harris. Collins, however, was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, a 15-yard penalty and automatic first down, and Miami had life again.

Miller went for 18 yards, and on a second-down play from the 16, Harris lateraled to Phillip Dorsett, who then hit a wide-open Miller on the far side of the field for the touchdown.

That made it 31-28, and Miami followed by holding Virginia Tech without a first down.

After Michael Branthover’s punt was downed at the Hokies’ 42, Miami drove to the 6, but then went backward thanks to a holding call and a personal foul against Seantrel Henderson.

Facing second-and-goal from the 30, however, Miller broke through the right side of the line and scored easily, giving the Hurricanes their first lead with just 2:51 remaining.

That put the heat back on Thomas, who was sharp all day, and on Wilson.

Stats | Photos |Notes

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Miami 0 7 7 21 35
VT 7 14 3 14 38

Team Stat Comparison
1st Downs 26 21
Rushing 1st Downs 11 11
Passing 1st Downs 14 9
Net Yards Rushing 172 236
Rushing Attempts 38 38
Avg Per Rush 4.5 6.2
Rushing TDs 2 1
Net Yards Passing 310 283
Cmp-Att-Int 23-25-0 14-22-0
Avg Per Attempt 12.4 12.9
Avg Per Completition 13.5 20.2
Passing TDs 3 4

Individual Stat Leaders
Passing Leaders
  Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Lng
L. Thomas 23-25-0 310 3 60
J. Harris 13-21-0 267 3 77

Rushing Leaders
Miami No Yds TD Avg
  L. Miller 18 166 1 9.2
  M. James 10 65 0 6.5
  D. Wilson 23 128 0 5.6
  L. Thomas 11 28 2 2.5

Receiving Leaders
Miami No Yds TD Lng
  C. Walford 4 66 0 25
  A. Hurns 3 63 1 41
  J. Boykin 7 120 1 60
  D. Coale 5 91 1 40

Wilson, who finished with 128 yards on 23 carries, had an 18-yard run on the drive, but the Hokies still faced fourth-and-1 from the 19 with 1:01 left when Thomas faked a handoff to Wilson, freezing the defense just enough, and then bolting through a hole to score easily.

It capped a great afternoon for Thomas, who was getting criticism after the Hokies managed only 258 yards last week and went without a touchdown at home for the first time since 1995 in a loss to Clemson.

Thomas finished 23 for 25 for 310 yards, and his only two incompletions were a short pass that Wilson dropped, and a pass that Thomas threw away after picking up a bungled snap.

Harris was good, too, going 13 for 21 for 267 yards with three TDs.

The Hurricanes looked sharp at the start. Harris hit Clive Walford for 24 yards on their second play of the game, and later hit Tommy Streeter for 26 yards as Miami drove to the Hokies’ 14. But on fourth-and-1, the Hurricanes tried a fake field goal and Virginia Tech stuffed it.


Final Notes


– Was the third consecutive against Virginia Tech.
– Dropped Miami’s conference record to 0-2 on the year.
– Forced Miami into its second consecutive road loss, and the third loss in a row away from Sun Life Stadium dating back to last season.

– The Canes now have a 17-12 advantage in the all-time series against the Hokies, with their first ever meeting coming in 1953.
– Miami has not won in Blacksburg since 2005. – Since both joining the ACC, the Canes have gone 2-6 against Virginia Tech.

Redshirt sophomore running back Lamar Miller ran for 166 yards – the fifth-straight game he eclipsed the 100-yard mark, becoming just the fourth Hurricane to accomplish the feat. Only Edgerrin James (7), Willis McGahee (6) and Clinton Portis (6) have accomplished the feat.

In the fourth quarter, Miller caught his first career touchdown on a trick play from freshman wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.

Jacory Harris and Travis Benjamin recorded career-best marks when Harris hit Benjamin with a 77-yard TD strike on the Canes’ first drive of the second half, cutting the Virginia Tech lead to 21-14. The play was the longest pass since Nov. 13, 2010, when Stephen Morris found Leonard Hankerson for a 79-yard TD against Georgia Tech.

Miami’s senior quarterback Jacory Harris was 6-of-9 passing in the first half for 129 yards. The last time he passed for at least that many yards in an opening half was at Duke (10/16) last season, when he was 9-of-24 for 135 yards.

Junior safety Ray-Ray Armstrong made his presence felt immediately in his first game since returning from a four-game suspension. In the first half, Armstrong recorded six tackles and recovered a Logan Thomas fumble in the second quarter. For the game, Armstrong was in on seven tackles

With Miami facing a 3rd-and-18 from their own 44 yard line, Jacory Harris hit Allen Hurns with a 41-yard strike that was ruled and incompletion, but was then overturned after review. On the very next play, Harris again hit Hurns in the back of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown that held up under review.

The catch by Hurns was a career-long and the touchdown catch was the third of the season for the Miami native.

Senior linebacker Sean Spence ended the game with a game-high 13 tackles. It was the second time in the last four games the Miami native has accumulated double-digit tackles.

With his third quarter sack of Logan Thomas, freshman defensive end Anthony Chickillo now has the team lead with 3.5 on the season. For the game, Chickillo finished with eight tackles.

Redshirt freshman tight end Clive Walford came into today’s game with three catches on the season. Today, two of Walford’s four grabs went for over 20 yards. A 24-yard reception in the first quarter and a 25-yard gain on the last play of the third quarter.

As a team, Miami chalked up 236 yards on the ground, with 166 of those coming from Lamar Miller. It was a season second-best rushing effort as UMiami gained 240 on the ground against Ohio State.

Junior wide receiver Tommy Streeter now has 14 catches on the season; four of those have gone for 25-yards-or-more. Harris hit the 6-5 Miami, Fla. native for a 26-yard gain on Miami’s opening drive and later connected with Streeter for his fourth TD reception of the season in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore running back Eduardo Clements made just his third career reception and second of the season in the second quarter. The Miami, Fla. native had a big run after the catch, gaining 24 yards – a career-best.

Miami’s offensive starters today were: Jacory Harris (QB), Travis Benjamin (WR), Allen Hurns (WR), Chase Ford (TE), Brandon Washington (LT), Harland Gunn (LG), Tyler Horn (C), Brandon Linder (RG), Jon Feliciano (RT), Clive Walford (TE) and Lamar Miller (RB)

Starting for Miami on defense was: Anthony Chickillo (LDE), Micanor Regis (LT), Adewale Ojomo (RT), Marcus Robinson (RDE), Sean Spence (WLB), James Gaines (MLB), Jordan Futch (SLB), Mike Williams (CB), Vaughn Telemaque (FS), JoJo Nicolas (SS), Brandon McGee (CB).

Seniors Jacory Harris, Travis Benjamin, JoJo Nicolas, Sean Spence and freshman Denzel Perryman are serving as Miami’s captains today.

Today’s weather at kick-off: Sunny; 72 degrees; Wind from the SSE at 5 mph; 57 percent humidity.