Miami 41, Virginia Tech 21
November 4, 2000
by Will Stewart, HokieCentral.com
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Miami, FL - For the Virginia Tech Hokies, the injuries were too much, and for the Miami Hurricanes, their time had come.
Behind a barrage of big plays, including TD receptions of 42 and 80 yards by Santana Moss, Miami got up early and was never threatened by the Hokies in this one. Tech was limited offensively by injuries to star playmakers Andre Davis and Michael Vick, and although the Hokies' running game worked fairly well, they were never able to generate any punch with their offense.
The Hokies started Dave Meyer at quarterback but quickly pulled him after three series and inserted Vick with 2:53 to go in the first quarter. Vick played the remainder of the quarter and was in the game until half time, but he was severely limited by his sprained ankle and was completely ineffective.
In his four series in the game, Vick fumbled, threw an interception, and didn't lead the Hokies to any points. Meyer played the entire second half and led Tech to three scores in the fourth quarter, after Miami had taken an insurmountable 28-0 lead.
Andre Davis played very little. He caught one screen pass and was helped off the field to the sideline after the tackle caused his the bursitis he is suffering from to flare back up.
The Hurricanes buried the Hokies with an onslaught of long plays, scoring on plays of 42, 17, 44, 50, and 80 yards, and adding a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The Hokies were led by Lee Suggs, who had 121 yards rushing on 23 carries. Meyer was 13-25 for 225 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception. For the game, Miami only outgained Tech 466-396, but they held a 267-146 advantage in the first half, when they took a 21-0 lead and put the Hokies into a hole from which they couldn't recover.
Miami's Ken Dorsey was 11-23 for 283 yards, and the Canes were led in rushing by James Jackson, who carried the ball 28 times for 145 yards. For the game, Miami had 183 yards rushing to Tech's 162 yards.
The loss ends Tech's Big East season at 6-1. The Hurricanes are now 4-0 in the league, with home games against Pittsburgh and Boston College remaining, and a road game at Syracuse. For the Hokies to be Big East champions for the second year in a row, Tech must hope that Miami loses at least two of those games.
Tech plays at Central Florida next week before taking a week off and finishing with Virginia at home.
The Hokies started off well, with Meyer throwing a 28 yard flanker screen to Emmett Johnson that took Tech to midfield, but the drive fizzled on a Meyer incompletion. Bobby Peaslee, who would struggle early in the game, kicked an 11-yard punt, and Miami took over on their own 39-yard line.
The Hurricanes scored in 6 plays, finishing with a 42-yard pass from Dorsey to Moss, who ran a deep slant and was wide open at the Tech 10 yard line when he caught the ball. Moss ran in untouched, and Miami led 7-0.
Tech's second possession ended on another Meyer overthrow, and after the Hokies held Miami, Tech's third possession was a three-and-out. When Miami started their next drive from their 37 and scored in just three plays (on a broken halfback option pass that Jackson turned into a 17-yard TD run), the Tech coaching staff brought Vick up from the bullpen.
Vick couldn't put much pressure at all on his gimpy ankle, and he didn't fare any better with the offense than Meyer had. The two teams traded possessions for a while, and although the Hokies weren't generating any points, they held Miami to the 14-0 lead deep into the second quarter.
The wheels started to come off when Vick fumbled on an option keeper with 5:52 to go in the half. Tech had penetrated inside Miami's 30-yard line, but the fumble was recovered by the Canes on their 26. The Hurricanes picked up a couple of first downs, and on third and 8 from the Tech 45-yard line, a simple pattern to tight end Jeremy Shockey in the flat turned into a long touchdown when Tech's Kevin McCadam and Eric Green both missed tackles on Shockey. Shockey rumbled down the left sideline and into the end zone, and Miami led 21-0 with 3:30 to go in the half.
Tech's next drive ended on a deep interception by Vick. The pass was to Emmett Johnson but was intercepted easily by the Miami safety, who was waiting on the ball and caught it unmolested.
Frank Beamer made the decision to go with Dave Meyer for the second half, and although the Hokies started to settle down and show signs of life offensively, they went scoreless in the third quarter. Unfortunately for Tech, Miami did not, scoring on a 50-yard run by fullback Najeh Davenport that turned from a harmless off-tackle run into a back-breaking TD. The score came with 8:52 to go in the third quarter, Miami led 28-0, and the game was over.
Tech was robbed of a touchdown late in the third when a beautiful 39-yard strike from Meyer to fullback Cullen Hawkins was called back due to an offensive pass interference call on Tech's Shawn Witten, who ran into a Miami defender on the other side of the field, far away from the play. According to the NCAA football rule book, the call was technically correct, but Tech fans were dismayed that the flag was thrown, given that it occurred on the other side of the field, between players who were not involved in the scoring play.
The Hokies put up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. A 6-play, 50-yard drive ended in a 1 yard TD run by Suggs, which made the score 28-7 with 12:23 to go.
Miami's response was quick and sweet. On the Canes' next play, Dorsey hit Moss on an 80-yard bomb for a TD. Moss beat Tech's Eric Green, who had a rough day trying to deal with Miami's stellar receiver.
Tech came right back with a 69-yard pass from Meyer to Emmett Johnson to close the gap back to 35-14, but just three minutes later, a pass from Meyer to tight end Derek Carter was tipped by Carter, and Miami's Ed Reed picked it off and returned it 44 yards for Miami's final TD. The Hurricanes were called for unsportsmanlike conduct when their fans threw oranges on the field, and Miami missed the long extra point.
Tech's final score, the one that closed the gap to 41-21, came on a Lee Suggs 3-yard run. The Hokies had taken possession deep in Miami territory after the Canes had bobbled a punt snap that Tech's Cory Bird recovered.
RUSHING: VT-Suggs 23-121, Ferguson 5-20, Ward 2-9, Vick 3-5, Hawkins 2-4, Meyer 5-4, Kendrick 2-2, E. Johnson 1-(-1). Miami-Jackson 28-145, Davenport 3-57, Portis 6-7, Moss 1-(-4), Capshaw 1-(-22).
PASSING: VT-Meyer 13-25-1-225, Vick 2-5-1-9. Miami-Dorsey 11-23-0-283.
RECEIVING: VT-Wynn 4-58, Johnson 2-97, Ward 2-26, Wilford 2-21, Hawkins 2-14, Ferguson 1-10, Moody 1-8, Davis 1-0. Miami-Moss 4-154, Shockey 3-61, Wayne 1-41, King 1-12, Davenport 1-11, Jackson 1-4.