In the dismal rain, the Miami Hurricanes (No. 24 AP as of Sunday) failed to preserve their perfect home record and fell to the Virginia Tech Hokies, 42-24.
With Saturday’s loss, the Hurricanes drop to 7-2 overall, 3-2 in the ACC and squandered their best chance to clinch the Coastal Division title.
The game began with promise for the Canes, with an 81-yard touchdown reception from senior Stephen Morris to freshman Stacy Coley in the first quarter.
But Miami had more miscues than highlights, primarily on special teams. The Hurricanes fumbled two kicks that handed the Hokies possession, and also turned the ball over on a low snap to punter Pat O’Donnell, whose knee hit the ground and ended the play.
“To start out the game like that, I don’t think there’s anybody in this business that would see that coming,” coach Al Golden said. “There’s just no way that should happen. I’m really disappointed there.”
Trey Edmunds quickly cashed in for the Virginia Tech offense, scoring three rushing touchdowns in the first half.
“There are a lot of things we need to fix,” Golden said. “We had too many guys open, we didn’t tackle well enough, we didn’t get off the field, we didn’t get a red-zone stop, and we didn’t get enough pressure on the quarterback.”
Miami had scattered success throughout – a 2-yard rushing score for Dallas Crawford, a 49-yard field goal from Matt Goudis and an 84-yard touchdown catch for Allen Hurns – but could not catch up to the Hokies.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas recorded 366 passing yards, averaging 11.8 yards per throw with two touchdowns. Edmunds led all rushers with 74 yards and 4 touchdowns on the night.
Morris remains confident that Miami can overcome dysfunction on offense and defense that did not appear until recently.
“I’m not worried. This is a resilient team, a tough team. We’ve been through a lot,” he said.
Georgia Tech now leads the Coastal Division over a host of challengers with two conference losses. Miami faces Duke next week in a must-win situation.
The Canes could have secured another date with Florida State in the ACC Championship Game with a win over VT.
“We’re going to go to work tomorrow, like I just told the team … They have to decide which direction they want to go. There’s a lot of football left. They have to get their minds right and move on,” Golden said.