Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Colleges

Miami loses to Virginia Tech

MIAMI — A fumbled punt return. A fumbled kickoff return. A punting miscue.

Trey Edmunds and Virginia Tech cashed in on each massive Miami blunder, and all of a sudden, the Hokies look very capable of another ACC Coastal Division title.

Edmunds ran for four touchdowns Saturday night, the first three set up by Miami mistakes, and Tech knocked off the 14th-ranked Hurricanes 42-24.

"We ran the ball really hard, had some holes to run in. One of our better offensive performances in a while," Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "On defense, we played well, had a couple long plays."

Edmunds had scoring runs of 10, 2, 4 and 1 yards for the Hokies. Logan Thomas completed 25 of 31 passes for 366 yards.

The Hokies outgained Miami 549-352 and had 26 first downs to Miami's 12.

Most important, every time the Hurricanes gave Virginia Tech a gift, the Hokies made them pay. Miami wore new jerseys with the phrase "Deserve Victory" — a favorite of coach Al Golden's — stitched along the collar.

"Really disappointed," Golden said. "We didn't deserve to win."

The result clogged the division race. Georgia Tech is 5-2 in the ACC with Virginia Tech a half-game back (but owning the tiebreaker over the Yellow Jackets), Miami and Duke at 3-2, North Carolina 3-3 and Pitt 2-3.

Florida State clinched the Atlantic title and spot in the ACC title game Dec. 7 with Saturday's victory over Wake Forest.

Stephen Morris completed 16 of 29 passes for 324 yards for Miami, which saw its seven-game home winning streak end. Morris had an 81-yard touchdown to Stacy Coley and an 84-yarder to Allen Hurns, but it wasn't nearly enough.

"Like I was telling the team in the locker room, it's not over for us," Morris said. "We've got a lot to still work for."

The Hurricanes made it too easy for Virginia Tech by bad ballhandling on a rainy night.

Up 7-0, UM was primed to get the ball in Hokies territory after a punt. But Coley fumbled it away at the Hokies 45 — after getting hit by punter A.J. Hughes, no less. Five plays later, Edmunds scored his first touchdown to tie it.

Artie Burns fumbled the ensuing kickoff near midfield, Edmunds scored five plays later once again, and the Hokies had the lead.

It became 21-7 not long after the third Miami blunder, when punter Pat O'Donnell's knee was on the ground as he fielded a low snap at the Miami 17.

"Can't let them get 21 points like that," Golden said. "Inexcusable."

Miami's defense had a chance at a big play when defensive back Ladarius Gunter punched the ball away from receiver Willie Byrn around the 5-yard line after Byrn made a catch. The ball bounded into the end zone, where Virginia Tech receiver Demitri Knowles recovered it for a 35-17 lead.

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