MIAMI (AP) -- Third-ranked Miami was ready for Michael Vick, whether he was healthy or hurt.
"We wanted to show him," linebacker Dan Morgan said, "that he
wasn't going to work his magic against us."
Hobbled by a sprained right ankle that limited him to 19
first-half plays, Vick sat on the bench with a white towel draped
over his head in the second half and watched the Hurricanes beat
No. 2 Virginia Tech 41-21 on Saturday.
"It was disappointing. This was a big game. It determined our
season," Vick said. "It hurt me inside -- deep inside."
Ken Dorsey threw three long touchdown passes -- two to Santana
Moss -- and James Jackson ran for 145 yards and a score as Miami
(7-1, 4-0 Big East) took a giant step toward playing for the
national championship back in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3.
Virginia Tech (8-1, 6-1) saw its 19-game regular-season winning
streak end along with its bid to return to the title game. The
Hokies were beaten 46-29 by Florida State in last season's
championship game at the Sugar Bowl.
In ending a five-game losing streak to Virginia Tech, Miami is
poised to replace Virginia Tech at No. 2 in the polls, while the Hurricanes hope to move up in the Bowl Championship
Series standings, where they were in fifth place. The Hokies were
second in the standings that will determine who plays in the BCS'
|Santana Moss caught four passes for 154 yards, including two touchdowns for Miami.|
"Whatever they're going to do in the BCS, they're going to
do," Miami defensive tackle Damione Lewis said. "All we can do is
keep winning. No. 2 vs. No. 5 and we won. That's our statement."
The Hurricanes have three games remaining -- home to Pittsburgh,
at Syracuse and home to Boston College
"I want to get there badly," Moss said of reaching the title
game. "This is my last year. We've just got to keep on winning.
... We're on our way."
Dave Meyer, a fifth-year senior, started in place of Vick but
was unable to move the Hokies in the first three series. Vick,
wearing a custom-made brace, walked onto the field with 2:43 left
in the first quarter and the Hokies already behind 14-0.
The 6-foot-1, 214-pound Heisman Trophy contender was clearly
hampered by the injury. Even when the Hokies made a first down,
Vick walked up the field to the huddle.
Vick called 19 plays and accounted for 14 yards -- three carries
for 5 yards; 2-of-5 passing for 9 yards. He fumbled once -- setting
up Miami's third touchdown -- and threw an interception. His final
play was taking a knee to end the first half with the Hurricanes
Meyer, who was 13-of-25 for 225 yards and a touchdown, played
the second half.
"I thought our best chance at that point was to get a healthy
quarterback in there," Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "He couldn't
function at full speed. It's not fair to him and not fair to us.
Throwing he was 85-90 percent. Running he was about 10 percent."
Miami joins Oklahoma in beating the No. 1 and No. 2 teams this
season: Miami beat then-No. 1 Florida State 27-24 on Oct. 7; the
Sooners beat then-No. 2 Kansas State 41-31 and then-No. 1 Nebraska
Miami, which leads the nation in scoring at 45 points per game,
scored five of its six touchdowns on plays of 42 yards or longer.
The Hurricanes led 28-0 before the Hokies finally scored on the
first of two TD runs by Lee Suggs -- a 1-yarder 2:37 into the fourth
period. Suggs carried 23 times for 121 yards.
Dorsey, disappointed with himself after three interceptions in
last week's win over Louisiana Tech, completed 11 of 23 passes for
283 yards, including TD passes of 42 and 80 yards to Moss and 44
yards to tight end Jeremy Shockey. Moss had four catches for 154
"I was out of character the last couple of weeks trying to
force ball," Dorsey said. "I think everyone saw the real me
Jackson had a 17-yard TD run, Najeh Davenport a 50-yard scoring
run and Edward Reed returned the second of his two interceptions 44
yards for a TD with 7:35 left in the game. At that point, oranges
were thrown on the field by some of the fans in the Orange Bowl
crowd of 77,410.
Miami coach Butch Davis, who entered his sixth season with an
0-10 combined record against the Seminoles and Hokies, now has a
win over each. But he could care less.
"We haven't accomplished anything we set out to accomplish,"
Davis said. "We're three games away from that. This is just one
step along the way."
Without Vick, the Hokies were not even close to competitive with
the Hurricanes. Last season, a healthy Vick led Virginia Tech to a
43-10 win over Miami; this year it was the Hurricanes' turn to
dominate a team averaging 42 points -- fifth in the nation.
Dorsey took Miami 63 yards in six plays on its first possession,
finishing the drive with his 42-yard TD pass to Moss 4:35 into the
Later in the period, Dorsey connected with Shockey for 41 yards
to the Hokies' 36. At the same time, Vick began warming up behind
the Hokies' bench. Two plays later, Jackson took a pitchout from
Dorsey and looked to pass, but cut back to his left and ran 17
yards for a touchdown with 2:53 left in the period.
Vick entered the game but was clearly hurting. He failed to move
the team on his first two series, and then started making mistakes
when he needed to come up with one of his patented big plays. On
third-and-9 from the Miami 29, Vick tried to run left but Lewis
stripped the all from behind and linebacker Chris Campbell
recovered at the 27.
Miami cashed in quickly. Dorsey hit Moss for 18 yards, Jackson
carried three times for 16 yards and then Dorsey hit Shockey with a
44-yard TD pass with 3:30 left in the half.
Vick tried again, but this time his pass was overthrown and Reed
made the interception at the Miami 19.
By then, the Hurricanes had the game well in hand, and the
Hokies were left to wonder what would have been if Vick was
Sat, November 4
Virginia Tech was obviously affected emotionally by the absence of Michael Vick. The Hokies' defense did not fly around and they made no big plays on special teams. Offensively, running the option made no sense for them. They needed to play to Dave Meyer's strength -- throwing downfield.
Probably the most discouraging moment for the Hokies was the long, third down pass by Vick that hit Emmett Johnson in the numbers and bounced away. It was only 14-0 at the time and might have created momentum and emotion. It was the one decent play Vick made when he came in the game and it would have given the Hokies a huge lift. Instead, Johnson couldn't hang on and the Canes buried them.
You have to give credit to Miami. They took advantage of the fact that the Hokie secondary was squatting on pass routes. Ken Dorsey was able to get deep balls behind them. And the Hurricane offensive line gave Dorsey all the time he needed to throw.
When you think about Virginia Tech you think about Michael Vick, great special teams play and a pressure defense that produces sacks. None of those were present today.
College Football Scoreboard
Virginia Tech Clubhouse
Miami (Fla.) Clubhouse
Not so true to form Vick can't overcome injury vs. Miami
Ken Dorsey says Miami has proved itself as one of the top programs in the country.
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Dan Morgan says Miami knows it has a good team.
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Ronyell Whitaker wishes Miami luck in bringing the national title back to the Big East.
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