The Miami Hurricanes were not out shined by the No. 14 Virginia Tech but instead shot themselves in their own foot.
There will be no shot at a ACC Championship for the Miami Hurricanes this season as the Hurricanes lost to rival Virginia Tech, 31-17, at Sun Life Stadium Saturday evening.
Virginia Tech extends their winning streak to nine straight and the Hokies clinched the ACC Coastal Division title with the win. The Hurricanes walk away with nothing.
Head coach Randy Shannon preached to his team all week do not turn the ball over against Virginia Tech and who ever wins the turnover battle was going to win the game.
“Tough loss,” said Shannon, whose team had three critical turnovers in the fourth quarter. “They made the plays and we didn’t. The key was we turned the football over and they didn’t. We couldn’t capitalize on big plays, they capitalize on big plays. You can’t turn the ball over against Virginia Tech. This is the nut of it.”
Things just unraveled for the Hurricanes in the fourth quarter as they were plagued with penalties, breakdowns, missed opportunities, and turnovers.
Tied 17-17, the first play of the quarter true freshman quarterback Stephen Morris completed a 25-yard pass to senior captain Leonard Hankerson to the Virginia Tech 44 yard line but was whipped away with a Miami holding penalty. After the penalty the Hurricanes had to punt.
On Virginia Tech first play, redshirt sophomore running back Ryan Williams ripped off an 84-yard run giving the Hokies a 24-17 lead.
On the Hurricanes next possession, Morris found junior receiver Travis Benjamin on a fly route but Benjamin was unable to come down with a game-tying touchdown.
The next three series, Morris forced passes and threw three interceptions.
Shannon said not one individual is to fully blame for the problems in the fourth quarter.
“No matter how you call it, it’s not individuals,” Shannon said. “It’s not this person or that person. We had opportunities. We didn’t capitalize. ”
“We didn’t make enough plays to come out with a win,” Hankerson said who passed Michael Irvin with the most receiving touchdowns ever with 12 with his touchdown reception in the first quarter.
The Hurricanes came out so strong. The Canes scored on their opening drive and were in the red zone on their second drive. A challenge canceled a first and goal and the Hurricanes turn it over on fourth down.
Virginia Tech couldn’t be stop Miami’s rushing attack as they gained 262 yards rushing. Redshirt freshman running back Lamar Miller had a career high 163 yards on 15 carries and he set a school record for rushing yards for a freshman.
The Hurricanes just caught the turnover bug as they committed a season high six turnovers. In their four losses this season they have 17 turnovers, four at Ohio State, two against Florida State, and five against Virginia.
“If we don’t turn the football over we’ll beat Virginia Tech,” Shannon said. “They won the battle tonight.”
Players said they squandered the opportunity to beat the Hokies not Shannon.
“It’s not his fault I missed my blocks, it’s not his fault I fumbled the snap,” redshirt junior center Tyler Horn said. “It’s [the players] fault. I ride and die with Randy Shannon.”
Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.