Miami vs. Virginia Tech
The Hurricanes were a team looking for an identity headed into Virginia Tech week. The Canes had just lost 41-14 to the Florida State Seminoles and had just lost the ‘face of the program’ Duke Johnson for the season after losing Phillip Dorsett a few weeks earlier. The Hurricanes dropped to 11th and after the VT game there were sure to drop further.
Virginia Tech came into the Miami game 6-3 with losses to Alabama, Duke, and Boston College. The Hokies had lost two in a row and it appeared that this game would be one that the Canes could get healthy on. But instead, the Canes dropped the contest 42-24 in their home stadium. The hangover was real in a rainy Sun Life Stadium.
Believe it or not, Miami actually stopped VT on its opening drive and Miami hit freshman sensation Stacy Coley for an 81-yard screen pass TD on the 2nd snap from scrimmage to take an early 7-0 lead. Miami actually forced a 3 AND OUT but Stacy Coley fumbled after a 23-yard return and the Hokies retained possession. VT’s Logan Thomas lead the drive to tie the game 7-7.
Miami’s Artie Burns created the 2nd special teams mistake of the afternoon for the Canes when he fumbled a long return over to the Hokies which led to another Logan Thomas led TD drive and a 14-7 Hokie lead. Both of Virginia Tech’s Touchdowns at this point should have been Miami possessions but special teams gaffes took the possession away.
Catastrophe hit when a low snap caused Miami Punt Pat O’Donnell to go down to get the ball when his knee hit and gave the ball over to the Hokies at the 17-yard line. VT quickly scored on two rushes from Trey Edmunds for a 21-7 lead. That’s 21 points off turnovers if you are counting at home. Miami finally got it together and got the game back to a one possession contest with a huge pass play from Morris to Allen Hurns and then Dallas Crawford finished it off to get to 21-14. But Logan Thomas struck right back with a scoring drive of his own extending the lead to 28-14 on the first feature length drive of the game for the Hokies. The TD was inexplicable tackling by Miami who let Joshua Stanford free despite having him wrapped up by at least 3 Miami defenders. 28-14 Hokies.
The game was relatively quiet until the Canes got a 35-yard rush from Dallas Crawford that set-up a 49-yard Field Goal for Matt Goudis to bring the Canes to a 28-17 deficit. But the Hokies weren’t going to be silent much longer and Logan Thomas hit Willie Bryn on a wide open crossing pattern for a 48-yard TD reception (was actually fumbled into endzone and recovered by VT) to take a 35-17 lead.
Miami was not ready to go away and Stephen Morris hit a HUGE play to Allen Hurns over the reaching fingers of a VT defender for an 84-yard TD to draw within 35-24. Miami, however, couldn’t stop the Hokies on the ensuing possession when Logan Thomas & Trey Edmunds just dominated the Hurricanes on a 10-play, 75 yard drive to push the lead to 42-24. Miami would go 3 AND OUT, the Hokies put together another LOOOONNGGG Drive which ended on a 4th and 1 at the 3 (no score) and took 9 minutes. Miami’s final drive ended when the clock expired and the Canes had lost their second in a row.
What Can We Take Away?
In this game, Miami couldn’t stop Virginia Tech. They couldn’t stop them when they needed to, they couldn’t stop them when they had to, they couldn’t get off the field. Miami’s defense played 39:30 of 60 minutes. Virginia Tech got everything they wanted. This game was at home. Va Tech had a decent year, but nothing to write home about. Clearly Miami was affected by the loss of their top playmaker in Duke Johnson, but the trend of not being able to get off the field and costly turnovers continued in this game.
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