Hurricanes find swagger in win over Hokies

Written by Brian Pohl
​Miami, FL- The battle for control of the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal division was settled in Hard Rock Stadium as the undefeated 10th ranked Miami Hurricanes are looking for national respect after their 28-10 victory over the 13th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies.

Miami head coach Mark Richt asked for Miami fans to bring the noise and did they ever bring it. An announced crowd of 63,932 packed in to Hard Rock stadium to show the world if “The U” was really back and on a national stage, they showed out. Donning all black uniforms for a #MiamiNights game, along with the newest sensation in the turnover chain, the Canes seem to have found their swagger. Richt spoke about tonight’s crowd during his post-game press conference saying, “There’s no doubt in my mind our fanbase helped us get it done. There’s no doubt in my mind that playing here helped us get it done.”

The first quarter was scoreless, as both defenses were able to keep each other out of the end zone. The second quarter, though, was a different story, as the big play ability of the Miami offense began to find success. Miami quarterback Malik Rosier would provide the first spark with an eight-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Braxton Berrios and a 64-yard rushing touchdown by running back Travis Homer would put the Canes up 14-0 early. The Canes would take a 14-3 lead into halftime, looking to build in the second-half.

After an early interception by Rosier and a quick rushing touchdown by Hokie quarterback Josh Jackson, momentum looked to be slipping from the Canes. Miami answered right back though with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Rosier to tight end Christopher Herndon, which pushed the score to 21-10 and give the Canes the final momentum they needed. A final touchdown on a 13-yard Rosier rushing touchdown would deflate the Hokies comeback chances for the final time, and the Hurricanes would walk away victorious, by a final score of 28-10.

The Hurricanes offense finished the game with 429 yards of total offense with a strong balance both on the ground and through the air. Rosier had an up and down performance though, completing 10 of his 21 passes for 193 yards and three interceptions. He was able to get the job done and throw two touchdowns to lead his team to another victory and inch closer to Miami’s first Coastal Division title and ACC championship game. Rosier did find success running the ball, as he rushed 13 times for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Homer continues to be a major weapon for the offense. Taking over starting duties for the injured former starting running back Mark Walton, Homer has blossomed as the starter and was successful again tonight, rushing 14 times for 95 yards and the long 64-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

The major story of the game was the Miami defense and the continued significance of the turnover chain. The Hurricanes forced four turnovers in the game, with two fumbles and two interceptions. Each turnover seemed to make the crowd scream louder until it hit a fever pitch in the fourth quarter.

Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz spoke about the turnover chain and how the fan base has embraced it. “We didn’t anticipate [the embrace], but what it did was it created a connection with our community.”

The connection could be seen as many fans brought home-made turnover chains to the game and a new turnover chain shirt could be seen throughout the crowd as well. Richt spoke of the shirts that were littered throughout the crowd joking, “Yeah, we probably should have trademarked that.”

Miami’s quest for national respect will face another tough test next week as the Hurricanes take on 3rd ranked  Notre Dame. The clash will be the site of ESPN’s College Gameday in what will surely be another chance for Miami to showcase themselves on the national stage.

Miami and Notre Dame will kick-off at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

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