Miami Hurricanes take Cavaliers best shot, deliver knockout

The Hurricanes came back from their largest deficit in five years, fueled by a 30-0 run in the second half to defeat Virginia 44-28. Miami moves to 10-0 on the season and hold the longest winning streak in the FBS at 15 games.

In front of a great home crowd for a noon kickoff, the Miami Hurricanes came out of the gate slow against Virginia. The sellout crowd at Hard Rock Stadium would have been right to expect a bit of a letdown, after last week when Miami announced their return to the upper echelon by dismantling Notre Dame from start to finish. Cavaliers quarterback Kurt Benkert looked like an NFL prospect early on and Miami went into the locker room down 21-14.

Virginia would add another touchdown to make it 28-14, then Miami decided they had enough.

Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier had another up-and-down performance, he has been more susceptible to interceptions in recent weeks and added another two in this one. When it mattered most in the second half Rosier once again made winning plays. First he hit Lawrence Cager for the nine yard score to bring Miami within seven 28-21.

Rosier wouldn’t be done but first the Turnover Chain had to even things up.

JaQuan Johnson’s pick-6 knotted the score at 28 and then Miami put the hammer down. Johnson has now sported the Turnover Chain in five straight games. A Michael Badgley field goal would give the Hurricanes a 31-28 advantage, their first lead of the game and one that would not be relinquished.

Rosier added an eight yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Travis Homer was bottled up early in the game but put the game on ice with a 19 yard touchdown. He finished with 96 yards on 17 carries and the touchdown. Homer also became the first offensive player to rock the Turnover Chain when he recovered a fumble on punt coverage in the second quarter.

Rosier completed 15 of 28 passes for 210 yards, 3 touchdowns and two interceptions. Ahmmon Richards paced the Hurricanes receivers with 51 yards on four receptions, including a 10 yard score for Miami’s first points of the day.

It seems that the Hurricanes find a different gear in the second half while at the same time not panicking. Despite his mistakes Rosier has shown time after time that he has the mindset to overcome adversity. Homer has been able to move the chains late in games to keep the clock moving once Miami gets a lead. These ingredients, along with an opportunistic defense, give the Hurricanes a winning formula. This game should serve as a wake up call, anticipate a quicker start for Miami next week when they travel to Pittsburgh.

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