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Miami benefits from just the right bounce

Mike Rumph's left knee is the reason No. 1 Miami is still in the running for the national championship.

The Hurricanes parlayed a pass ricochet off Rumph's knee in the final seconds into an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown and an 18-7 victory against Boston College on Saturday.

"That's one for the history books," Ken Dorsey said of the game-clinching play that involved three Miami players. "We're tested now. Everybody who thinks we're an untested team well now we're tested."

Miami survived four interceptions by Dorsey, a top Heisman Trophy contender coming into the game, but not before the Eagles threatened to pull out their biggest win since upsetting then-No. 1 Notre Dame in 1993. They nearly did it, without William Green, the nation's leading rusher who was suspended for the game for breaking team rules.

With Miami clinging to a 12-7 lead in the final minute, BC quarterback Brian St. Pierre _ with no timeouts _ moved his team from its 30 to the Hurricanes 9. With 38 seconds left, St. Pierre dropped back and tried to hit wide receiver Ryan Read at about the Miami 5.

But the low pass shot off Rumph's knee and into the hands of 262-pound defensive tackle Matt Walters at the 10. The lineman ran 10 yards before Ed Reed grabbed the ball from him at the 20 and outraced running back Derrick Knight to the end zone.

"I heard him saying, "Give it to me, give it to me,' " Walters said. "I was going to fall and I gave it to him."

Knight tried to bring down Reed, but the safety eluded him at the 20 and made it to the end zone.

"I don't think it was a smart play at all," Reed said of taking the ball from Walters, "but in the moment you never know what will happen."

On the decisive drive, BC took over after Miami's fifth turnover _ a fumble by Frank Gore recovered by free safety Ralph Parent with 2:09 left at the BC 30. St. Pierre figured a win was in the works.

"I told the guys at the start of the drive, "We're winning the game.' I had no doubt," St. Pierre said. "This is by far the worst loss I've ever been in."

St. Pierre hit Knight for 15 yards to midfield. On fourth and 10, he hit Dedrick Dewalt for 21 yards to the Miami 9. On the next play, the ball bounced Miami's way, and the Hurricanes knew they were more lucky than good.

"When they have the ball inside the 10 with 40 seconds to go, nobody talks about BCS or polls or anything like that," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "We were only thinking about winning the football game."

UM's Todd Sievers, who had four field goals, missed the extra point, but the damage was done.

"We're a very disappointed football team," BC coach TomO'Brien said as the Eagles lost their 20th in a row to a ranked team. "We played very hard. We were in position to win the game in the fourth quarter.'

Miami extended the nation's longest major-college win streak to 18 games and beat Boston College for the 12th time in a row.

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