When talking about the Butch Davis era at Miami, many point to the 1998 win over UCLA as the turning point for the Hurricanes. Some would say the win in 2000 over then #1 FSU was the biggest win and they’d be right. However, two weeks after beating FSU, the Cane would face a crucial test in surging #2 Virginia Tech, led then by Michael Vick.
The Hokies were undefeated at 8-0 having ripped through the Big East before they headed to the Orange Bowl to take on then #3 Miami led by up and coming Ken Dorsey. UM had lost 3 straight years to VTech and this game was billed by some as the highest profile game between Big East teams.
That hype was short lived as the Hurricane swarming defense led by Ed Reed kept the Hokies scoreless until the 4th quarter. With the Canes up 28-0 Virginia Tech would start a late rally on a Lee Suggs touchdown but ultimately Miami would prove to be too much and would end up with a 41-21 victory.
The game showcased the talents of several future ProCanes as Santana Moss scored two touchdowns of 42 and 80 yards, James Jackson rushed for 128 yards and a TD, Najeh Davenport had a 50 TD run, Ed Reed returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown late in the 4th to seal the win.
Playing on a gimpy ankle, Vick saw action on just 19 plays and accounted for a meager 14 yards and spent the entire second half watching from the bench as Miami’s defense were like sharks attacking a wounded seal.