MIAMI GARDENS — Going back to World War II, only three coaches had won their first two games with Miami.
Brad Kaaya returned from a one-game absence with a concussion to pass for 286 yards and two touchdowns, Stacy Coley had 132 receiving yards with a score and Miami topped Virginia 27-21 on Saturday. The Hurricanes moved to 2-0 under interim coach Larry Scott, who joined Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson and Larry Coker as the only coaches in the past 70 years to have such a start with Miami.
"It's about the kids," Scott said. "It's about giving them an opportunity to have success. They work hard. They've been through a lot. It's all about everything we can do in our power to make sure they have the feeling they have right now each and every week."
David Njoku had a 5-yard touchdown catch to open the scoring and set up Mark Walton's 1-yard fourth-quarter scoring run with a 58-yard grab for Miami (6-3, 3-2 ACC), which is bowl-eligible and still in the race for the Coastal Division title.
"Felt great getting back out there," said Kaaya, who was cleared by Miami doctors Friday night.
Matt Johns was 29-of-42 for 280 yards for Virginia (3-6, 2-3), which lost its 14th straight road game and needs to win out to reach a bowl for the first time since 2011. The Cavaliers had a fourth-quarter touchdown nullified by an offensive pass interference penalty and were clearly steamed about the call.
"Just ask me another question," coach Mike London said when asked about the play.
Virginia's Canaan Severin had what would have been a 4-yard score wiped out when tight end Charlie Hopkins was flagged on the play. Hopkins didn't make any effort to hide his frustration after the game, saying he was in "disbelief" when he saw the flag.
"That's a play we've had in since fall camp," Hopkins said. "It's a great play. … For me to get called on a pass interference on my guy, that makes no sense."
Ian Frye kicked a field goal on that drive and finished with four, including a 47-yarder that made it a six-point game with 35 seconds left. But Miami recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.
The Cavaliers were down 14-5 in the second quarter then put together 10 straight points for the lead. It lasted all of 2 minutes, 20 seconds.
Michael Badgley hit a field goal then Kaaya found Njoku on a long catch-and-run to set up Walton's touchdown run, allowing the Hurricanes to exhale.