The No. 10 Miami Hurricanes got exactly what the doctor ordered last Saturday, getting back on the winning track by defeating Virginia 25-17.
Quarterback Kyle Wright looked like a different player than one who got sacked seven times against Georgia Tech. In the win over the Cavaliers he completed 23 of 30 passes for 248 yards. Wright also set up the Hurricanes’ final touchdown of the night by running 31 yards down to the one-yard line. Charlie Jones’ one-yard touchdown run made sure the Hurricanes had their ninth win for the sixth consecutive season.
On Senior Day at the Orange Bowl, 18 seniors were playing in their final regular season games. Senior tailback Quadtrine Hill made the most of his last home game by catching a career high seven passes out of the backfield.
Jon Peattie opened the scoring by connecting on a 40-yard field goal midway through the first quarter to give Miami a 3-0 lead. The lead didn’t last for long, however, thanks to some trickery by the Cavaliers.
Virginia quarterback Marques Hagans handed off to wide receiver Emmanuel Byers, who instead of running, sprinted wide right and threw to an open Deyon Williams, who ran 91 yards into the end zone, giving Virginia its first lead of the game at 7-3.
Connor Hughes made a 24-yard field goal on the Cavaliers’ next possession to give them a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter. But Miami fought right back, as Jones scored from four yards out to make the score 10-9 before Peattie missed his first of two extra points on the night.
The Hurricanes took the lead before halftime when Sinorice Moss caught his final touchdown in the Orange Bowl, taking a pass from Wright and making a couple of nifty moves to scamper 17 yards into the end zone.
Also playing in his final game at the historic Horseshoe was offensive lineman Eric Winston.
“This is the closest team I’ve been on since I’ve been here,” Winston told the Miami Herald. “Everybody was there for each other. Everybody loved each other. That’s what I’ll remember most.”
Jones finished with 88 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in front of a rather disappointing crowd of 37,629.
The Hurricanes are now in wait-and-see mode. It is yet to be determined where Miami will play its bowl game. It seems like the Hurricanes will end up in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2 against Louisville. The Cardinals gave Miami fits last year at home, and the teams will play next year in Louisville.
Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org