No. 10 Miami pulls off first ranked win of season, defeats No. 13 Virginia Tech 28-10

UM safety Sheldrick Redwine celebrates following his game-sealing interception by writing "Ball Game" on a whiteboard to show off to the home crowd. The No. 10 Hurricanes beat the No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies 28-10 Nov. 4 at Hard Rock Stadium. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Sheldrick Redwine
UM safety Sheldrick Redwine celebrates following his game-sealing interception by writing "Ball Game" on a whiteboard to show off to the home crowd. The No. 10 Hurricanes beat the No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies 28-10 Nov. 4 at Hard Rock Stadium. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian

Miami huddled together on the field at the end of the third quarter. Holding an 11-point lead going into the final 15 minutes, the Hurricanes motioned their hands in the air to pump up the crowd of 63,932 fans who had been so electric all night.

It was a sign for UM.

This was going to be the fourth quarter where it made a statement against one of the best teams in the country and prove to doubters that the Canes are a legitimate contender in college football.

No. 10 Miami extended its lead in the fourth quarter off a 13-yard Malik Rosier touchdown rush, and the Hurricanes went on to defeat the No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies 28-10 Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium.

“It just feels great,” Miami linebacker Shaq Quarterman said after the game. “Every week, it doesn’t matter who we play, we’re always picked to lose. When we come out with a win, tonight it was just amazing. Both sides of the ball, all three phases of the ball – offense, defense, special teams. We just put it together, and it’s almost magical.”

After winning their previous four games by a combined total of 18 points, the Canes (8-0, 6-0 ACC) finally got a win by double-digits in undoubtedly their best played game beginning to end this season. They controlled the momentum and pace throughout the entire contest.

The Miami offense and defense were clicking at the same time – something head coach Mark Richt had been wanting for weeks.

“We were going to be aggressive the whole game,” Richt said. “We weren’t going to flinch. We knew we couldn’t, because if you get conservative with them, they’ll swallow you up. I thought, really, both sides of the ball played pretty well.”

Rosier threw for just 193 yards but made both of the UM second-half touchdowns happen with either his arm or his legs. He racked up 84 yards and a touchdown on the ground on 13 carries, and his mobility in and out of the pocket was the key on offense. He finished throwing two touchdowns but also had three interceptions.

“Every pick I had, Chad Thomas, Shaq Quarterman – those guys would come up to me and say, ‘You’re fine, we’ll get you the ball back don’t worry,'” Rosier said. “For an offense, for that to happen, most defenses hang their heads or the offense would hang their heads. But for us, they kept their heads high and kept fighting and gave us the ball back. For us, that was huge momentum.”

Sophomore running back Travis Homer led the Canes on the ground with 95 yards rushing and a touchdown on 14 carries. The score came off a 64-yard cut-back run down the middle that gave the Hurricanes a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.

Virginia Tech (7-2, 3-2 ACC) came into the game ranked No. 9 in the country in yards per game allowed, giving up just 285 yards of total offense a night. Miami racked up 429 total yards Saturday night.

UM’s defense looked about as ferocious as it has all season, forcing four turnovers, eight tackles for loss and four sacks. It held Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson – who had already thrown for more than 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season – to just 197 yards passing with two interceptions and no scores through the air.

“I was just telling the guys, ‘What are we waiting for?'” junior safety Jaquan Johnson said. “Let’s go dominate these people. Let’s go take the will from them.”

Miami now has 13-straight wins dating back to last season – the most in the FBS – and stays the frontrunner to win the Coastal Division. The Canes need just one more win or a conference loss by Virginia to clinch a spot in the ACC Championship game for the first time in their history.

“The student section brought it, and the fans brought it,” defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said of the energy in the stadium.

Next weekend, the University of Miami will be getting a visit from College GameDay, and the Hurricanes will stay at home in another primetime matchup – this time against the dangerous No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Nov. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium.

“When Game Day comes, that means something good is happening at your school,” Richt said. “I hope they enjoy it. I hope we live up to the expectation of that type of a game. We need a packed house. I believe we’ll get it.”


For the third-straight game, Miami forced four turnovers by the opposing team.

UM’s defense was led by sophomore cornerback Malek Young, junior safety Jaquan Johnson and sophomore defensive end Joe Jackson. Young recorded seven total tackles, Johnson had seven total tackles, a one-handed interception and a forced fumble, and Jackson totaled two tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries and a sack.

“That’s what he does,” Diaz said about Johnson. “The guy is unbelievable, and he’s the heart and soul of our secondary. When you need a guy to make a play, that’s the guy.”

Virginia Tech went just 3-14 on third downs.

Hurricanes tight end Christopher Herndon has scored a touchdown in three consecutive games.

Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios caught three balls for 50 yards and a touchdown. His seven total touchdowns on the season leads the team.

“We finally came out firing – we finally clicked early,” Berrios said. “It felt great to be on top, and the defense was absolutely killing it. To be on top and know we have that defense to rely on, it’s momentum that they really couldn’t get back.”

The Canes will now be ranked in the AP top 10 for the fourth-straight week for the first time since 2005.

“When you take the job, you dream of these moments,” Richt said. “You dream of these games. You dream of these type of seasons. We’re having a really good one right now. Who knows how it ends up?”

UM will be hosting Notre Dame for the first time since 1989.