Miami got off to a high flying start. Then the roof caved in. In the second half, the 'Canes fought all the way back in a game that had more ups and downs then Six Flags' Kingda Ka. Mike James just wouldn't go away, and the Miami Hurricanes rallied with 17 unanswered 4th quarter points and the only score in OT for a remarkable 42-36 win. In a game that could define UM's season, Stephen Morris finished with a career best 436 yards passing and the senior James provided the game-tying and game-winning scores in an instant classic.
Stephen Morris connected with Phillip Dorsett on a perfect 65 yard bomb to get things started. Miami's second score was set up by another connection between Morris and Dorsett for 34 yards. Jake Wieclaw hit a 38 yard FG three plays later for a 10-0 lead. The 'Canes then caught a break on the ensuing kick off when Orwin Smith inadvertently crossed the plane with ball, then took a knee hoping for a touch-back, resulting in a safety. On the next drive, Miami moved the ball methodically down the field. An unfortunate injury to Malcolm Lewis took away some of the luster, but Mike James nonetheless plunged in from one yard out, and suddenly it was a 19-0 lead as the first quarter ended.
Things went awry for Miami almost instantly after. The Yellow Jackets started moving the ball, and got on the board with an 8 yard Orwin Smith TD. Following a fumble by Dorsett, on a long catch and run, the Yellow Jackets capitalized and drove quickly down the field again, culminating in a 2 yard Tevin Washington run. Miami went 3 and out on their next possession and a long punt return by Jamal Golden (no relation to Al), set up another Washington score, giving GT its' first lead.
Just like that Miami's great start was completely wiped away.
GT scored 2 easy TD's on the first 2 possessions of the second half building the lead to 36-19. In all GT reeled off 36 consecutive points.
The game seemed to be lost, but Miami knew better.
The 'Canes stopped the bleeding with a Jake Wieclaw FG, following a long 17 play drive. Determined to show resolve the Hurricanes finally got their 1st second half stop on GT's next drive. Miami took advantage of the stop. An all out 15 yard effort by Mike James, capped a 10 play drive to cut the lead to 36-29. Suddenly a comeback was within reach.
Another gritty stop by the D that was sparked by Anthony Chickillo opened the door again for the 'Canes offense. Miami drove the ball all the way to the GT 5 yard line but a couple of overthrows by Morris and a missed chippy by Wieclaw resulted in no points. Miami, still, didn't quit.
After an agonizing 3 minute drive by Tech was stopped at midfield, and following the punt Miami took over at their own 9.
Stephen Morris then went to work. In a drive for the ages, Morris marched UM to the equalizer with just 27 seconds left with a screen pass to Mike James from 10 yards out, James' 3rd TD of the day! The 'Canes had seized the momentum.
In OT the Yellow Jackets got the ball first and drove inside the 5. But on 4th and inches, Eddie Johnson stuffed Washington for no gain. On Miami's 1st possession of the OT, Mike James capped his career day off with a 24 yard TD to win it, in what has to be one of the greatest comebacks in Miami history.
Let the celebration begin!!!
Reminiscent of the opener at BC, Miami started out in hurry up on offense.
James Gaines started in place of injured MLB Denzel Perryman, and made a couple of real nice plays early on. Sophomore CB Thomas Finnie had a huge hit on GT's opening series, annihilating Orwin Smith on 4th down.
Nantambu-Akil Fentress saw some action at OLB.
Miami out-gained Ga Tech 191-39 in the 1st quarter. However in the 2nd quarter it was 176-46 in GT's favor.
Anthony Chickillo had 7 tackles including 3 tackles for loss and a sack.
Mike James finished with 15 carries for 89 yards, 3 TDs on the ground, as well as 3 catches 24 yards and another score. Duke Johnson was solid with 13 carries 72 yards to go with 4 catches for 38.
Dorsett finished with 9 catches for 184 yards and a score.
Freshman (not named Duke Johnson) Notes:
Ereck Flowers got the start at RT. He continued to split time with Seantrel Henderson. Deon Bush continued to see major time at safety and had a tackle for loss. DT Corey King saw some time in the 2nd half.
Freshman WR Malcolm Lewis left the game after being twisted awkwardly following a catch and run., resulting in a serious injury. Al Golden sprinted on to the field to comfort Lewis following the play. Miami's players also joined in prayer. Early reports are that Lewis suffered a dislocated ankle.
Punter Dalton Botts sprained an ankle, and was replaced by kicker Jake Wieclaw.