ATLANTA — When Miami last played at Georgia Tech in 2008, Sean Spence remembers walking off after the game with his head down and tears in his eyes.
Saturday, the junior came off the field at Bobby Dodd Stadium with "my head high and chest out."
The Hurricanes routed the Yellow Jackets, 35-10, scoring the final 21 points of a win they had to have to keep their ACC title hopes alive.
"That's a big game. That's the game," center Tyler Horn said. "Next week has been circled. We've got that on our radar. We're going to start studying (Saturday night) for that game."
Miami (7-3, 5-2 ACC) hosts Virginia Tech (8-2, 6-0) Saturday. To win the Coastal Division, the Hurricanes will have to beat the Hokies, then hope Virginia Tech also loses Nov. 27 vs. Virginia.
But all that mattered in the Miami locker room was the dominant win on the heels of a nail-biter against Maryland.
"We got beat in pretty much every facet of the game," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said.
The 'Canes racked up a season-high 507 yards of offense, including a season-high 277 rushing and four touchdowns.
Freshman Stephen Morris was 10-of-18 for 230 yards with no interceptions and one touchdown — a 79-yarder to Leonard Hankerson. Coach Randy Shannon said Jacory Harris, on the sideline Saturday, still is the starter whenever he returns from his concussion. For the second consecutive week, Morris wasn't made available after the game.
Meanwhile, UM's defense, while allowing 308 yards on the ground, recorded as many tackles for loss as points allowed.
"The biggest thing was when they came with a big play and hit us with a long run, we had a short memory," said linebacker Colin McCarthy, a former Clearwater Central Catholic standout.
The Yellow Jackets, who trailed 14-0 early, got within 14-10 on Kevin Cone's 22-yard touchdown catch 2:59 into the second half.
On the next play from scrimmage, Morris threw about a 10-yard pass to Hankerson, who roared down the middle of the field for the longest touchdown of his career. His thought the whole way?
"Not get caught," Hankerson said, grinning. "My teammates are always getting on me about my speed."