Miami Hurricanes Freshman linebacker Shaq Quarterman and Freshman Defensive End Joe Jackson returned fumbles for Touchdowns and Freshman Linebacker Michael Pinckney sealed the game with a late interception as Miami won 35-21 at Georgia Tech.
Quarterman and Jackson’s touchdowns came 46 seconds apart in twice in three plays and set the tone for the remainder of the game. It pushed Miami’s lead to 21 points. Georgia Tech rallied to cut the score to 28-21 with touchdowns on their last drive of the first half and second drive of the second half, but never got closer.
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Miami answered with a four-play 75 yards drive culminated by a Brad Kaaya to Stacy Coley 31 yard touchdown. That was preceded by a Kaaya to Ahmmon Richards 31 yard pass. The Miami quick tempo offense worked for the second straight game.
The Hurricanes defense came up big in the fourth quarter to thwart any chance for Georgia Tech to attempt a comeback. The Yellow Jackets had a ten play 53-yard drive to get down to the Hurricanes 21. Rayshawn Jenkins broke up a pass on fourth and two and kept UM up 14.
Miami Forced Georgia Tech into a three and out on their next drive and took over at the Tech 49. Georgia Tech forced a Miami three and out before Pinckney’s interception sealed the game with 3:44 left. The ‘Canes ran out the clock from there.
The Hurricanes set the tone early by getting in the end zone on their first drive for the third time in four games. Michael Badgley missed a field goal on the Hurricanes opening drive against Florida Atlantic.
The Hurricanes marched 85 yards on eight plays in 2:53, culminated by a Joseph Yearby 27 yard touchdown. Mark Richt mixed it up well on the opening drive. The Canes had three passes for 47 yards and five runs for 38.
Miami relied more on the passing game after a dominating running game the first three weeks. They did average 4.2 yards per carry, but after the first drive struggled somewhat. They averaged just 3.5 yards per carry after the opening drive.
Yearby led the ‘Canes with 65 yards on nine carries, Mark Walton who came into the game fifth in the country in rushing yards per game had 15-48. Coley led the ‘Canes with four receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Brad Kaaya has shown over the last two games why he is expected to be one of the first quarterbacks taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. Kaaya was 13-19 for 241 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
The ‘Canes defense held Georgia Tech Quarterback Justin Thomas to 133 yards total offense. Dedrick Mills led the Yellow Jackets with 101 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Kaaya 368 yards, three touchdowns and one interception at Appalachian State two weeks ago. Kaaya faces some tough tests the next three weeks. The Hurricanes face the 39th, 29th and 11th ranked pass defenses when they play Florida State, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech.