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MIAMI SNUFFS UCF'S UPSET BID

The No. 9 Hurricanes jump out to a 17-0 lead and hold on against their pesky in-state rivals.

Compiled from Times wires

ORLANDO - By the end, about 5,000 fans were all that remained from the biggest crowd ever to see a game in UCF's stadium.

Seemed as if all of them were from Miami.

Jacory Harris survived six sacks to complete 20 of 26 passes for 293 yards and a touchdown, Javarris James rushed for a score on the way to topping the 2,000-yard mark for his career, and the No. 9 Hurricanes methodically pulled away to beat the Knights 27-7 on Saturday night in front of the record crowd of 48,453 at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Damien Berry added a fourth-quarter touchdown run for the Hurricanes (5-1), who matched their best start since 2005.

"We're on the right track," Harris said.

Brett Hodges threw for 163 yards for UCF (3-3), but the team's top rusher - former Largo High standout Brynn Harvey, who was coming off a 219-yard effort against Memphis - was held to 25 yards on 12 carries.

UCF is now 0-20 against teams in the Associated Press Top 25 since moving to Division I-A in 1996. Miami nearly doubled UCF in time of possession, had 26 first downs to UCF's 11 and outgained the Knights 363-229.

"Our defense did a great job of keeping us in the game," UCF coach George O'Leary said. "But offensively, we just did not capitalize."

It was a pretty good day for Miami in the ACC: Not only did the Hurricanes win their third straight, they got help in the ACC race when Georgia Tech knocked off Virginia Tech. Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech now all have one ACC loss with Virginia (2-0) leading the Coastal Division.

"Kind of made me smile a little bit," James said, acknowledging that he checked the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.

But the Hurricanes aren't at the level where they can look ahead to the postseason. They will likely need to focus on the issues at hand, including an offense that appeared to be inconsistent.

Although Miami scored the game's first 17 points, getting past UCF wasn't easy, not with Harris getting chased so often.

UCF had chances, none better than getting the ball at the Miami 2 midway through the third quarter after a snap sailed over punter Matt Bosher's head.

UCF tried one option pitch for a loss. Hodges said he probably should have held onto the ball instead of tossing it to Harvey, who lost 4 yards.

On second and goal at the 6, Hodges tossed an incomplete pass toward A.J. Guyton.

And on third and goal, Jared Campbell got to Hodges just as his arm was going forward, and the easy pop fly was intercepted by Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy. Hodges badly bruised his elbow on the play, and the Knights' momentum was deflated.

"Offensively, I thought it was a bad series of calls myself," said O'Leary, shifting the blame to offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe.

Bosher kicked a 46-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, putting Miami up 20-7.

The outcome wasn't in doubt again.

"We got a positive out of something that could have been negative," Miami coach Randy Shannon said. "Tough situation for the defense, but they held in there and got the turnover. Those sort of changes are really big for us right now."

Until Hodges' 8-yard touchdown pass to Rocky Ross with 9:15 left in the third quarter, the Knights had been scoreless in all 21 of their offensive possessions against Miami. UCF's two touchdowns in last year's 20-14 loss came off interception and kickoff returns.

That streak nearly ended much earlier - and might have changed UCF's fortunes, too.

Hodges connected with Kamar Aiken for a 35-yard gain on UCF's first possession, getting to the Miami 18. But the drive stalled, Nick Cattoi's 32-yard field goal try was wide left, and the game remained scoreless.

"We had a lot of missed opportunities," O'Leary said.

From there, Harris was surgical.

He completed his first seven passes, got the scoring going with a 23-yard pass to Leonard Hankerson, and the Hurricanes were on their way.

And early in the third quarter, Harris was at his best.

He found LaRon Byrd for 32 and 14 yards on Miami's first two plays of that drive, and James went in from 5 yards out on the next play for a 17-0 lead.

"We concentrated more," Harris said. "We tried to stay focused. We tried to pay attention to what we had to get done and just executed our plays, made the right reads and made the right blocks."

James finished with 65 yards on 17 carries, giving him 2,032 for his career. He's seventh all time at Miami but still No. 2 in the family: Cousin Edgerrin James rushed for 2,960, topped only by Ottis Anderson's 3,331.

"It's a good accomplishment," he said. "But I'm happy we won. I'm more excited with the win."

Information from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel was used in this report.

No. 9 UM 27

UCF 7

.Fast facts

In-state struggles

UCF hasn't fared well against Florida's Division I-A teams. A look at the Knights' record vs. the best of the Sunshine State:

vs. Florida 0-2

vs. FSU 0-1

vs. Miami 0-2

vs. USF 0-4

Total 0-9

BCS blues

UCF's home record against opponents whose leagues have automatic bids to the BCS:

vs. Miami 0-1

vs. Pitt 0-1

vs. Purdue 0-1

vs. Syracuse 0-1

vs. Texas 0-1

vs. USF 0-2

vs. Virginia Tech 0-1

vs. West Virginia 0-1

Total 0-9

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