Miami Hurricanes big second half keys win over Virginia

Annette Crawford
November 19, 2017

Virginia (6-5) happens to be better than those three schools, a team that has experienced its own renaissance this season under Bronco Mendenhall.

Down 14-7 in the second quarter, Homer recovered a punt that Virginia muffed - making him the first offensive player to wear Miami's famed Turnover Chain. Virginia blocked a Miami punt on the first drive of the half.

Malik Rosier passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another and No. 3 Miami survived a dazzling passing display by Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert for a 44-28 victory Saturday. But while the Hurricanes got the job done offensively against Notre Dame both on the ground and through the air, it was Miami's speedy, ball-swarming defense that really set the tone, completely stifling Heisman hopeful Josh Adams (40 yards, 2.5 yards per carry) and the vaunted Irish ground attack, giving up just 109 yards to a unit that came in averaging 324.8. Either way, Miami at times Saturday looked like the team that struggled to eke out wins against North Carolina, Syracuse and Georgia Tech.

Later in the period, after Sean Savoy scored on a 14-yard run to pull the Hokies within 14-9, Fuente passed on the extra point and strangely chose to go for a 2-point conversion.

Benkert threw long touchdown passes on two of the Cavaliers' first three possessions - a 33-yarder to Olamide Zaccheaus and 75-yarder to Joe Reed made it 14-0 quickly.

The total has gone over in four of Virginia's last five games on the road against Miami.

Lawrence Cager caught a nine-yard pass for a score on Miami's next possession, then Johnson had the pick-6 moments later and Miami was on its way. On the first play after the touchdown, Miami safety Jaquan Johnson jumped the route and returned the interception 30 yards for a touchdown to tie the game.

The Hurricanes kicked a field goal late in the the third quarter to give the Hurricanes the lead.

Rosier was 15 of 28 for 210 yards and was intercepted twice.

Homer finished with 96 yards on 17 carries with the touchdown. In fact, Miami's defense has scooped up 16 opposition turnovers over just the last four games. It was also Miami's last season in the Big East Conference.

What is for sure is that Miami won't be overlooking the Panthers on Friday. With 30 straight points, they outlasted the first of two pre-Clemson tests, and survived despite the target on their back.

Kansas State opened the game by moving 71 yards in 10 plays - every one of them runs, majority by second-time starting quarterback Skylar Thompson, who traversed the final 40 yards himself, including a 5-yard score.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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