Hurricanes football was able to ride the resurgent run game and big plays in the pass game to a 34-14 win against the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville.
The turning point of the game came at the 3:25 mark of the third quarter. Standout freshman wide receiver Ahmmon Richards caught a pass on a curl route, spun around his defender and outran all of the Cavalier defensive backs for a 77-yard touchdown, giving the Canes (6-4, 3-3 ACC) its largest lead of the contest at that point. Richards finished with three catches for 100 yards and a score, leading all receivers. This marks his third 100-plus yard receiving game of the season.
Sophomore running back Mark Walton headed Miami’s rushing offense with 111 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. His 15-yard scoring run with 11:17 left in the fourth quarter made the score 34-14, sealing the the victory for the Hurricanes.
Miami’s running game racked up an impressive 222 total yards to Virginia’s 82 (2-8, 1-5 ACC), which made up for the fact that junior quarterback Brad Kaaya struggled for the greater portion of the contest. Kaaya completed just 48 percent of his passes, finishing with 228 passing yards and two touchdowns to one interception.
The Canes defense put pressure on the Cavaliers throughout the game, recording nine tackles for loss, five sacks and four forced turnovers. Arguably the biggest defensive play of the match came on a Virginia offensive drive that was moving down the field and into Miami territory. Senior defensive back Corn Elder sacked Cavaliers quarterback Kurt Benkert on a blindside hit, which forced a fumble that was recovered by the Hurricanes. This ended what was the last bit of momentum exhibited by Virginia.
Senior defensive back Jamal Carter Sr. led the Miami defense with nine total tackles while junior defensive lineman Chad Thomas had a strong performance with six total tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.
Miami will look to win its third-straight game in a faceoff against NC State at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium.