Miami Hurricanes Roll Virginia 34-14
The Miami Hurricanes overcame an early turnover and 7-0 deficit, got it together in the second half and routed the Virginia Cavaliers 34-14 Saturday in Charlottesville. The win improved the Hurricanes to 6-4 and make them bowl eligible.
Virginia intercepted a Brad Kaaya pass on Miami’s first play from scrimmage and went 18 yards in five plays take a 7-0 lead 4:31 into the game. The Hurricanes scored 17 unanswered points and held the Cavaliers scoreless over the next 14:49 in the first half to take a 17-14 lead into the break.
The Hurricanes used big plays throughout the game to take control. Miami had eight plays over ten yards on the afternoon and three over 25 yards. None was bigger than a Brad Kaaya to Ahmmon Richards 77 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. It pushed the Miami lead to 27-14 and Virginia never seemed to recover.
After allowing 170 yards in the first half, the Hurricane defense had a dominant second half. The Cavaliers managed only 119 yards after halftime. Fifty-nine of the 119 yards came on a late Virginia drive that ended on downs at the Miami 15 with 3:49 remaining.
Mark Walton topped 100 yards for the second straight game, finishing with 111 yards on 16 carries. The Hurricanes had their best rushing performance since week two. They ran for 222 yards on 42 carries for an average of 5.3 Yards Per Carry.
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As they did earlier in the season, Gus Edwards and Joseph Yearby also had productive afternoons. Edwards finished with 11 carries for 68 yards. In the last six games, Edwards managed just 30 yards on 16 carries. He had 106 yards on seven carries, including a 74-yard touchdown run in the opener against Florida A&M.
Yearby finished with nine carries for 53 yards and a touchdown. He had 32 yards on four carries and a touchdown in the first half. Edwards had four for 33 before halftime.
The running game kept the offense going in the first half with Brad Kaaya struggling. Kaaya was 8-19 for 123 yards and a touchdown in the first half. After halftime, he was 6-10 for 105 yards and a touchdown without an interception.
Kaaya completed passes to seven receivers, led by Richards with three receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. Malcolm Lewis had two receptions for 50 yards and now has eight for 119 yards in his last four games.
Stacy Coley had two for 39 and David Njoku three for 16 and a touchdown. Coley was the Hurricanes big play receiver as a Freshman in 2013 and last season. He has been more of a possession receiver this year but has tied his career high in touchdowns and is just three receptions away from a career high.
The Hurricanes won the game in the second half old school. The played great defense and controlled the clock. In addition to holding UVA to 119 yards in the second half, Miami controlled the clock in the second half.
Miami had the ball for just 11:47 before halftime but had the ball for 18:23 in the final two-quarters. The Hurricanes defense continued to play aggressively. They got into the Virginia backfield for nine tackles for loss and five sacks.
The Hurricanes secondary was exceptional. Four of the five leading tacklers for the U against UVA came from the Miami secondary. That’s usually the sign of a poor team, but it’s the Canes most experienced unit defensively.
Jamal Carter had his best game of the season with nine tackles, Sheldrick Redwine had seven, Rayshawn Jenkins had six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and one pass defended and Corn Elder finished with five tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery. The Hurricanes defense recovered four fumbles on the afternoon.
Miami will play its last road game of the regular season next week when they travel to Raleigh for the first time in eight years to play North Carolina State next week. The Wolfpack broke a four-game losing streak with a 35-20 victory over Syracuse this week.
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