Sports

No Contest Hurricanes blow out Rutgers 34-10 in final home game for seniors

MIAMI-It was a glorious final home game for the seniors as the Hurricanes awoke from their month-long slumber to blow out Rutgers 34-10.
For the first time in four games, the ‘Canes (9-2, 5-1) created points with their offense, defense, and special teams, and had little trouble getting into the end zone. The win puts the Hurricanes in a position to capture the Big East crown if they defeat Pittsburgh this Saturday. Rutgers falls to 4-7 with a 1-5 record in the conference with the loss.
Miami took advantage of turnovers created by the defense and a blocked punt to score four touchdowns in the third quarter, which essentially broke the game open.
“I was encouraged today,” Head Coach Larry Coker said. “We were much more efficient on offense. We had a goal for the week which was to create turnovers and protect the football and not turn it over and we did a much better job of that today. It gave us an opportunity to win the football game.”
Junior quarterback Brock Berlin got the start for the ‘Canes, completing six of 14 passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Derrick Crudup replaced Berlin for a drive in the second quarter and took over permanently in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand. Crudup finished going one for three for seven yards.
Coker was encouraged by the fact that neither of his quarterbacks made mistakes, allowing the defense and special teams to put the Hurricanes in a position to win.
“I thought Brock had a nice day,” Coker said. “I thought he was, all in all, very efficient…There were some errors that both committed, but we will see in the film.”
Former walk-on Javon Nanton led the defense with three and a half sacks, and sophomore tight end Kevin Everett caught a pair of touchdown passes.
The first half was reminiscent of the Hurricanes’ previous three games, as neither team could move the ball down the field consistently. The ‘Canes’ opening drive resulted in a Jon Peattie 25-yard field goal to give Miami a 3-0 lead.
The offenses stalled, trading punts for the next four drives, until Antrel Rolle stepped in front of Ryan Hart’s pass, picking it off and returning it to the Miami 48-yard line. The ‘Canes were able to drive down the field for another Peattie field goal to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Hurricanes.
Rutgers had an opportunity to cut Miami’s lead in half, but Ryan Sands missed a 46-yard field goal attempt and the Hurricanes retained possession. Sands did cash in on a 30-yarder at the end of the half, making the score at the break 6-3.
Looking for a spark at the beginning of the third quarter, Darrell McClover blocked Joe Radigan’s punt, which was recovered by Marcus Maxey at the Rutgers 18 yard line.
It only took Berlin two plays to cash in on the favorable field position, as he found Everett for a 17-yard touchdown, making the score 13-3.
The Hurricanes got the ball back quickly, and the offense only needed two plays again, as senior Jarrett Payton scored an 18-yard touchdown to give the ‘Canes a commanding 20-3 lead.
Payton finished with 82 yards on 13 carries, and was overcome with emotion after the game.
“I said that I was going to do whatever it takes until we get this thing right,” Payton said. “I don’t want to go out like this on my last day at the Orange Bowl. I don’t want to go out with a 6-3 win.”
On the ensuing drive, Hart’s pass was intercepted by Sean Taylor, who dazzled the crowd with a 44-yard touchdown return, and the rout was on.
The Hurricanes finished off the third quarter blitzkrieg with another Everett touchdown catch, which was set up by a 44-yard Ryan Moore reception. Rutgers managed to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the furious third quarter rally by the ‘Canes was too much for the Scarlet Knights, and Miami held on for the 34-10 win.
After the victory, the Hurricanes were thrilled with the performance of each unit and the fact that the seniors were able to enjoy an easy win in their final Orange Bowl appearance.
“Man, these guys [the seniors]have done a lot for this school, a lot for this university,” Crudup said. “You can’t put into words what these guys do. They mean the world to me. They’re my brothers.”
The third quarter performance by the Hurricanes could give them back the confidence they had earlier in the season just in time for this week’s game in Pittsburgh.
“We just want to finish out on a positive note,” Coker said. “We know we have a tough game against Pittsburgh coming up after Thanksgiving. We have a lot of work we need to do.”

November 25, 2003

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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