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NO. 22 SYRACUSE AT NO. 25 MIAMI // Ferguson hits milestone _ 1,000

Running back Danyell Ferguson earned a piece of history Saturday night, becoming the first Hurricane back to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since Ottis Anderson in 1978.

Ferguson entered the game with 904 yards. He went over the 1,000-yard mark in the second quarter on a 7-yard run.

By halftime, Ferguson had 103 yards in 20 carries. He also scored both Miami touchdowns in the first half. It was the fourth time this season that Ferguson gained 100 yards in a game.

QUICK HITS

Ugly tie: The Big East Conference, stung by criticism about how its champion is determined, likely will have a tiebreaker in place next season, commissioner Mike Tranghese said.

The Big East has no formula to determine a champion in the event of a tie. That happened this season, with Miami finishing as co-champion with Virginia Tech.

The conference came under fire because Virginia Tech isn't the clear preference of the Bowl Alliance. The Orange Bowl was prepared to select Miami, even though the Hurricanes entered with a lower ranking than Virginia Tech and lost the regular-season meeting.

The conference's athletic directors met last week in Newark, N.J., and mapped out a tiebreaker policy. The procedure is expected to be approved in February and go into effect next season.

Virginia Tech officials cried foul in recent weeks. The Hokies beat both Miami and Syracuse and had a higher ranking, yet had no assurance of receiving a Bowl Alliance spot.

"I feel bad for Virginia Tech, but there's nothing we could do, in retrospect," Tranghese said. "If anyone is to blame for this, it's my fault."

Senior farewell: Miami honored nine seniors who played their final regular-season game at the Orange Bowl. They were: Kevin Brinkworth, fullback; Ryan Collins, quarterback; Mike Crissy, punter; Derrick Harris, fullback; Daniel Mitan, quarterback; Jim O'Brien, quarterback; Dane Prewitt, kicker; Alan Symonette, guard; and Syii Tucker, tight end.

Local flavor: Syracuse's roster is dotted with players from Tampa Bay. Included: defensive back Kevin Abrams, Tampa Hillsborough; receiver Deon Maddox, Tampa Jefferson; defensive back Phil Nash, Clearwater; and receiver Sir Mawn Wilson, Tampa Catholic.

That's exposure: Miami made its 24th appearance on ESPN. Coming into the game, the Hurricanes were 20-3 on the network.

_ CHARLES MULLING

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