The Miami Hurricanes (5-4) fell to N.C. State (4-5) in overtime, 19-16, losing their Homecoming game despite 314 rushing yards and 144 all-purpose yards from senior Darnell Jenkins.
Quarterback Kirby Freeman’s lackluster performance once again plagued the Hurricanes who were unable to overcome their offensive woes. Freeman finished the day with 1-for-14 for 84 yards, completing only seven percent while throwing three interceptions. His only completion was a six-yard toss to Jenkins, who scored the lone touchdown for the Canes mid-way through the second quarter.
Kicker Darren Daly missed crucial field goals throughout the game, including a 27-yarder that would have given Miami the lead in overtime. The Wolfpack capitalized on the Canes’ miss and cashed in the clinching field goal to end the game with a three-point victory.
“It was a tough loss today on Homecoming,” Coach Randy Shannon said. “It was a big-time tough loss. We had opportunities in the game to come out with a victory. Two missed field goals, couldn’t throw the ball and two long plays on defense were the key [to the loss].”
On the Canes’ third possession, scoring commenced when running back Derron Thomas broke an elusive 54-yard run to set up a field goal for the Hurricanes giving them an early 3-0 lead.
On Miami’s next drive, Freeman threw his first interception of the day, leading to a missed Wolfpack field goal.
Midway through the second quarter, the Canes found the end zone when Freeman found a wide open Jenkins to give Miami a 10-0 lead.
N.C. State answered with a determined drive that ended in a one-yard quarterback sneak to cut the lead to 10-7. This was the first time Miami has allowed the opponent to score in the first half at the Orange Bowl this season.
On the first offensive play of the second half for the Hurricanes, Freeman threw his second interception of the game. Fortunately, the Wolfpack was unable to capitalize.
N.C. State then captured their first lead of the game when Freeman threw his third interception, leading to another Wolfpack field goal that would end the game.
On the Hurricanes’ final drive, the team put the workload on their running backs to lead them down the field. Cooper and sophomore Javarris James carried the load down the field, combining for 70 yards and many crucial first downs. Eventually, the Hurricanes had to settle for a field goal.
In overtime, the Canes received the ball first, but failed to get any points on the board by missing an essential field goal.
N.C. State shattered Miami’s hopes of a second overtime when they nailed the decisive field goal.
The strong running game, led by James with 103 yards, was not enough for the Canes to secure the sixth win that would make them bowl eligible.
Shannon believes he has to get a little more out of his team.
“If we don’t win ACC games, we won’t go to a bowl game,” Shannon said. “We didn’t get the job done.”
Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.