NCAA Game Summary - Miami-Florida at Virginia|
(Saturday, October 30th)
Final Score: Virginia 24, (22) Miami-Florida 19
Charlottesville, VA (Sports Network) - Corey Mosley and Chase Minnifield each
had two interceptions to lead a ferocious Virginia defense, as the Cavaliers
recorded five interceptions and knocked Jacory Harris out of the game before
fighting off a Hurricanes rally in a 24-19 victory over 22nd-ranked Miami-
Rodney McLeod also picked off a pass for Virginia (4-4, 1-3 ACC), which
snapped a nine-game conference losing streak after recording five
interceptions for the first time since 1994 against Virginia Tech.
The Cavaliers, who nearly blew a 24-0 fourth-quarter lead, also
recorded their first win against a ranked Miami team, having lost the first
four such games.
Keith Payne led an efficient running attack with 17 carries for 81 yards and a
pair of scores, while Marc Verica completed 19-of-27 passes for 176 yards with
a touchdown and an interception for Virginia in the win.
Harris passed for 85 yards on 7-of-13 attempts before getting knocked out of
the game on a hard hit in the second quarter, as Miami (5-3, 3-2) had a three-
game road win streak snapped.
Spencer Whipple threw only six passes and was intercepted twice before giving
way to true freshman Stephen Morris, who completed 9-of-22 passes for 162
yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Morris also ran for a score.
"When you have a guy like Jacory [Harris], the leader of this football team,
go down like he did, it takes a little bit out of you," said Miami head coach
Randy Shannon. "Spencer [Whipple] came in and threw the ball down the field,
but we had turnovers in the red zone. We went to Stephen Morris in the second
half to give us an opportunity. We turned the ball over, but we made some
plays to bounce back at the end."
Trailing, 24-0, early in the fourth quarter, Miami staged a near-improbable
Leonard Hankerson caught a 29-yard touchdown pass with 10:34 left to ensure
the Hurricanes would not be shut out, but the two-point conversion attempt
failed after a five-yard penalty was assessed.
Morris ran for a nine-yard score with 4:54 to play to pull the Hurricanes to
within 12, and the extra point attempt was no good, leaving Miami without an
opportunity to tie the game with a touchdown, two-point conversion and field
The Hurricanes were forced to go for an onside kick, which they recovered at
their own 40. On the next play, Morris his Travis Benjamin down the right
sideline, and he was able to race all the way to the end zone after a
cornerback slipped and fell for a 24-19 contest with 4:39 to go.
The Cavaliers, though, were finally able to fend off the comeback on their
next drive. After two rushes totaling seven yards, Verica hit a wide-open Matt
Snyder for a six-yard completion and a key first down. Another two rush
attempts went for two yards, as Miami took its first two timeouts with just
over two minutes to go.
Faced with 3rd-and-8, Virginia could basically seal the outcome with a first
down, and Verica was able to convert, finding Kris Burd downfield for a 15-
yard gain. The Cavs were able to run out the rest of the clock from there.
Miami looked to get on the board on the game's opening drive, electing to go
for it on 4th-and-3 from the UVA 31. Harris' pass attempt, however, fell
incomplete to end the series.
Neither team got deep into opposing territory for the remainder of the
quarter, until Virginia began a drive at its own 26 following an interception,
which knocked Harris out of the game.
Consecutive completions of 10 and nine yards, respectively, began the drive,
and a holding penalty on Miami on 3rd-and-4 from the Hurricanes' 48 extended
the drive. Like their opponents earlier in the contest, Virginia elected to go
for it on 4th-and-3 from the 16, and the move paid off when Verica hit Colter
Phillips for a touchdown.
"We wanted to send the message that we are going to call plays to win the
game," said Virginia head coach Mike London. "When you have a team that has
taken its lumps, the only way to bring them out of that mindset is to say 'I
have enough faith in you that we are going to go for it and we are going to
get it.' That's the only way you create the mindset that you want to be
physical and you want to compete. Why not?"
Miami ran the ball four consecutive times on its ensuing touch and got down to
the Cavaliers' 15, then ran its first passing play with Whipple under center.
Virginia capitalized, as Mosley intercepted the throw at the eight-yard line
to halt the momentum.
Mosley returned the ball all the way to the Hurricanes' 48, and the Cavaliers
moved the length of the field in six plays, culminating on Payne's 30-yard
scamper into the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 1:14 to play in the first half.
Virginia tacked on three more points midway through the third quarter on
Robert Randolph's 32-yard field goal.
Miami seemed as though it would finally get on the board with a first down on
the UVA 15, but Minnifield made a spectacular acrobatic interception in the
end zone, keeping one foot barely in bounds to give possession back to
Virginia with a minute left in the third quarter.
On the Hurricanes' next offensive play, Mosley picked off Morris yet again,
weaving his way in and out of defenders all the way down to the Miami five-
yard line. Payne ran it into the end zone on the next play for a 24-0 score
with 12 minutes to play.
The Cavaliers had lost each of their three previous conference games by
12 or more points...Miami still leads the all-time series, 5-3...Burd finished
with seven catches for 104 yards.
10/30 18:05:53 ET