Sophomore tailback Frank Gore tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the first quarter of play against West Virginia Thursday night at the Orange Bowl. Gore, who had four carries for 15 yards, went down clutching his knee after making the first first down of the game for Miami. He will not return this season, according to ESPN.com. Gore leads the Hurricanes in rushing with 468 yards. He had a similar injury to his right knee in 2002, sidelining him for much of the season. Strong safety Maurice Sikes also was hurt, spraining his right knee during the second quarter of play. Sikes is listed as day-to-day but will not have to undergo surgery. The already injured Baraka Atkins was replaced Thursday by freshman Bryan Pata, who had three tackles.
PEATTIE BREAKS RECORD WITH GAME-WINNER
Red shirt freshman kicker Jon Peattie kicked five field goals against the Mountaineers to set a Hurricane record. The ‘Canes had successfully kicked four field goals in a single game 10 times in their history. Peattie had kicked five field goals this season prior to Thursday’s game. The third kick of the game was 43 yards, Peattie’s career-best, made with 3:11 remaining in the third quarter. His other kicks were 22, 32, 30, and 23 yards long. His last field goal gave the Hurricanes the victory with 11 seconds left in the contest. He also added an extra point after Miami’s sole touchdown of the evening.
“I never expected it at all,” Peattie said. “I just felt like I couldn’t miss.”
BERLIN’S SHAKY START WEAKENS THE STORM
Berlin had a less-than-explosive performance, throwing two interceptions and completing 37 of 54 passes. He converted on a key fourth-and-13 play, connecting with Kellen Winslow for a first down late in the fourth quarter with West Virginia leading 20-19. Berlin utilized many different receivers, completing passes to nine teammates, including Jason Geathers for a 22-yard touchdown.
“We’ll take a win any way we can,” Berlin said. “We’re excited about Florida State and we’ll be ready.”
Miami fumbled three times, turning the ball over to West Virginia once. The ‘Canes went five-for-15 on third down conversions. The Mountaineers fumbled twice, losing both to UM. WVU went one-of-10 on third downs and were penalized 12 times for a total of 93 yards. The Hurricanes rushed for just 88 yards on 28 carries, while the Mountaineers gained 170 on 37 carries. WVU’s Kay-Jay Harris had five kickoff returns for 122 yards. Miami’s Darnel Jenkins retuned five for 98 yards. Roscoe Parrish had three punt returns for 20 yards.
WINSLOW’S CATCH SETS UP WIN
Facing fourth and 13 with 1:10 remaining in the game, Winslow hauled in a high pass from Berlin, landing in first down territory. This set up the rest of the drive that included a pass completion to Jarrett Payton for 16 yards, one to Ryan Moore for nine, and a third to Kevin Beard for 11 yards and a first down. Berlin’s pass on first-and-10 was incomplete to Beard, but a shower of flags for pass interference moved the ball 15 yards to the West Virginia six yard-line, setting up the Peattie game-winning field goal after three consecutive Mountaineer time-outs.
Despite the win, Head Coach Larry Coker was not convinced the ‘Canes were playing to their potential after a bye-week.
“I really didn’t see the rhythm I hoped to see with the time off [that we had],” Coker said.
Under Coker, the ‘Canes are 14-1 in night games…They are 1-0 vs. West Virginia on ESPN’s Thursday Night College Football…Miami last played the Mountaineers in the Orange Bowl on Thursday October 25, 2001 and are 45-3 all-time against WVU…ESPN analyst Lee Corso had few nice words to say about the ‘Canes all night during the telecast, as usual…Hurricane alum Ray Lewis graced the sideline and was greeted by a nice ovation from the crowd…Sikes was caught using a cellular phone from the sideline but later cleared up the controversy with Coker…The ‘Canes face cross-state rival and soon-to-be conference rival Florida State this Saturday at noon in Doak Campbell Stadium.