Saturday, September 22, 2018

Miami bowl eligible

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — First-year Miami coach Mark Richt never talked to his team about qualifying for a bowl game with a victory at Virginia, figuring the Hurricanes had three games left to ensure a .500 record.

When Brad Kaaya passed for two touchdowns and Mark Walton ran for 111 yards and another score Saturday, leading Miami to a 34-14 victory against Virginia and bowl eligibility, his players admitted to be delighted and to wanting to keep the wins coming.

"It's awesome. Awesome," right guard Danny Isadora said. "Got to keep winning."

The Hurricanes did it for the first time at Virginia with a balanced attack that produced 222 rushing yards and 228 through the air.

Kaaya hit David Njoku for a 7-yard score and Ahmmon Richards for a 77-yarder, the latter making Kaaya the second quarterback to throw for more than 9,000 yards in his career at Miami. Only Ken Dorsey, with 9,565, has more.

Richards' touchdown, on a short third-down route, gave the Hurricanes a 27-14 lead, and the defense did the rest.

"It feels great, honestly," the freshman said of qualifying for the postseason. "You work so hard and you want to have a payoff."

NO. 5 LOUISVILLE 44, WAKE 12: The host Cardinals trailed 12-0 late in the second quarter and 12-3 at halftime before scoring 44 in a row.

Brandon Radcliff rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns, and Heisman Trophy candidate Lamar Jackson 153 yards rushing and 145 passing yards, including a 2-yard touchdown throw to Cole Hikutini for Louisville, which moved into first place in the Atlantic Division after Clemson's loss to Pittsburgh.

The Cardinals entered the weekend sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings but could move up with Clemson's loss and Washington's loss to USC.

GA. TECH 30, NO. 18 VA. TECH 20: Backup quarterback Matthew Jordan rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns to lead the visiting Yellow Jackets to the upset.

Jordan, who made his first career start in place of an injured Justin Thomas, helped make Georgia Tech bowl eligible. He carried the ball 32 times and scored on runs of 53 and 3 yards.

Marcus Marshall added 143 yards rushing and a score for the Yellow Jackets, who rushed for 309 yards.

Virginia Tech, which was looking to clinch the Coastal Division crown, played its worst game of the season. The Hokies turned the ball over four times, botched a short field-goal attempt and had a terrible snap right before halftime that set up Jordan's 3-yard touchdown run.

N.C. STATE 35, SYRACUSE 20: After several tough losses, including an overtime heartbreaker against Clemson, the Wolfpack is poised to go to a bowl.

All it needs is one more win.

Matt Dayes ran for 108 yards and three touchdowns, and visiting North Carolina State held the Orange to 218 yards.

"The resiliency of our football team, losing four of our five games by a possession, they've been able to stick together. I'm really proud of them," Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. "This gets that carrot in front of their nose for the bowl opportunity. You want to feel the pleasure of your work, and you can't do that by almost winning. This gives them the satisfaction of the grind, and they needed that."

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