Missed opportunities doom Cavs
Most of the second half was played on Miami’s side of the 50. When the ‘Canes finally got on the plus side of the field, they made things happen.
“Unbelievable,” UM coach Randy Shannon said after his team’s improbable 24-17 come-from-behind win at UVa. on Saturday in Charlottesville, in a game that the Cavs seemed to control throughout.
Virginia (5-4, 3-2 ACC) led 17-10 at the half and maintained that lead into the late stages of regulation, but missed two golden opportunities to extend its lead after picking up turnovers in Miami territory in the third quarter, the second of which resulted in an unsuccessful 38-yard Yennick Reyering field goal. Reyering also missed in the fourth quarter from 47 yards out, and the ‘Hoos gave up another chance to try to put points on the board in the fourth when quarterback Marc Verica was sacked on a third-and-two at the Miami 27 that put UVa. out of field-goal range.
A Jimmy Howell punt pinned the Hurricanes (6-3, 3-2 ACC) at their own 5, but backup quarterback Jacory Harris led a 15-play, 95-yard, seven-minute-plus drive that tied the game at 17 with 44 seconds left on a 27-yard pass from Harris to Laron Byrd.
Miami got the ball first in overtime and scored on a nine-yard pass from Harris to Aldarius Johnson. Virginia tailback Cedric Peerman fumbled on the first play of the Cavs’ OT series, and Bruce Johnson recovered to end it.
“We had our opportunities to take the game, but we didn’t do so in all three phases and, as a result, the game eventually got away from us,” Virginia coach Al Groh said. “We had multiple opportunities to make plays but didn’t come up with many of them. We played hard, but we missed opportunities,” Groh said.
Peerman had 78 yards rushing on 15 carries for Virginia. Verica completed 27 of his 41 pass attempts for 240 yards and a touchdown.
– Story by Chris Graham