Late Score the Difference as No. 23 Virginia Tech Downs Miami
Nov. 4, 2006
MIAMI (AP) - Coming off consecutive 200-yard efforts, Brandon Ore found little running room against Miami's defensive front.
Yet when things mattered most, Ore found a way to deliver for Virginia Tech.
Ore finished with 79 yards on 28 carries and scored both of his team's touchdowns, including an 8-yard game-winner with 1:39 remaining that lifted the 23rd-ranked Hokies past Miami 17-10 Saturday night.
"Give Miami credit. They're a great bunch," Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon said. "But we made plays when we had to."
The loss spoiled a dominant defensive effort by Miami, which allowed only 139 yards - and was simply suffocating in the second half.
Virginia Tech (7-2, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) ran 28 plays in the final two quarters, managing only 19 yards - but still found a way to win on Miami's home field for the second time in as many visits. The Hokies won 16-10 at the Orange Bowl in 2004 to claim the ACC title, and this one may have hurt Miami even more.
"It's a travesty to lose that football game giving up 139 yards," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "Our defense played a great football game, especially in the second half. A phenomenal job."
Tyrone Moss had 103 yards on 13 carries, including a 50-yard touchdown run to tie the game in the fourth quarter, for Miami (5-4, 2-3), which hasn't endured a four-loss season since 1999. Jon Peattie kicked a 55-yard field goal, aided by a stiff breeze, in the third for the Hurricanes, who trailed 10-0 at halftime.
"When Peattie hit that, it ignited everybody," Miami linebacker Tavares Gooden said.
Still, Miami flamed out down the stretch.
Both of Ore's scores were set up by Miami interceptions, one thrown by Kirby Freeman in the second quarter, the other off a deflected Kyle Wright pass with 3:33 left. Brandon Flowers had two interceptions, including another against Wright with 1:21 left to seal the Hokies' win.
"This is special for me, playing in front of my friends and family, getting a win against Miami, getting two picks," said Flowers, a native of Delray Beach, Fla., about a 75-minute drive from the Orange Bowl. "It's like a dream."
Wright completed only 14 of 29 passes for 84 yards.
"He obviously didn't play well enough to win," Coker said. "Didn't get us in the end zone."
Moss, who became Miami's primary back after starter Javarris James left early in the second quarter with a hip pointer, got the Hurricanes' lone touchdown on a spectacular play.
On third-and-1 from midfield, Moss went up the middle and was met by Virginia Tech linebackers Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi. But Moss kept his legs moving, spun to his left off the mass of bodies and found a clear path all the way into the end zone, tying it at 10 with 11:10 remaining.
"There were some funky plays," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "On that touchdown, I thought he was stopped, then he came out of there. I thought the whistle had blown. And that field goal, that was a long rascal."
After netting only 25 yards in their first 16 plays - and with a regular stream of boos raining down after Miami failed to convert any of its first four third-down opportunities - the Hurricanes sent Freeman in to replace Wright at quarterback.
And it paid immediate dividends - sort of.
Freeman ran 31 yards on his first play, going around the left side and then cutting back toward the middle of the field to more than double Miami's total yardage to that point.
But three plays later, when Freeman dropped back for his first pass, he was intercepted by Flowers and after a 24-yard runback the Hokies took over at Miami's 36.
From there, it didn't take long for Virginia Tech to deliver the game's first touchdown.
On the opening play of the possession, Glennon found Josh Morgan - who broke through three Miami tacklers and rumbled about 10 more yards before getting hauled down by two more Hurricanes at the 6. Ore went in from the 2-yard line two plays later, and Virginia Tech was up 10-0.
Wright went back in on Miami's next possession, but the Hurricanes' luck stayed largely the same until the fourth quarter. Miami came in with one touchdown in its last 20 offensive series, and that streak extended into a 1-for-29 drought until Moss' fourth-quarter burst.
The Hokies opened the scoring with 7:21 left in the half on Brandon Pace's 32-yard field goal. It was his 16th straight successful kick, tying the second-longest streak in ACC history.
And Virginia Tech went on to win its 26th consecutive game when scoring first.
"To come in here and win this football game is real special," Beamer said. "Our football team found a way to do it."