Final: UVa. 41, Miami 40
A Michael Rocco-to-Jake McGee 9-yard pass with six seconds left completed a fourth-quarter Virginia rally as the Cavs upset Miami 41-40 on Saturday in Charlottesville.
The TD came at the end of a 16-play, 87-yard drive aided by two fourth-down conversions.
Rocco connected with Dominique Terrell on a 28-yard pass to move the ball past the UVa. 41. The ‘Hoos kept the drive alive with a fourth-down completion to Jennings that moved the ball past midfield.
A defensive-holding penalty on a fourth-down pass a few plays later kept the drive alive and set up the Cavs with a first down at the Miami 20 with 1:00 to go.
A Rocco quarterback sneak gave UVa. first-and-goal at the 9 with 17 seconds left.
At the start of the fourth, Stephen Morris broke off a 22-yard run on a quarterback draw, but fumbled at the 2, and the fumble was recovered by Maurice Canady to give UVa. the ball back deep in their own territory.
The ‘Hoos were unable to get a first down, though, and Miami got the ball back on the punt at the UVa. 48.
Two plays later, Stephen Morris connected with Phillip Dorsett on a 35-yard TD pass that extended the lead to 38-28 at the 11:38 mark of the fourth.
Virginia scored on its next drive, taking the ball down the field 71 yards on 12 plays in 6:05 before scoring on a third-and-goal pass from Michael Rocco to Darius Jennings that cut the Miami lead to 38-35.
Duke Johnson returned the ensuiing kickoff from two yards deep in the end zone to the UVa. 41. But the Virginia defense stiffened, forcing a three-and-out to get the ball back for the Cavs’ offense at their own 11 with 4:27 on the clock.
On second down on the next UVa. possession, Rocco threw an incomplete pass that the game officials deciding, upon further review, was intentional grounding in the end zone, despite the fact that Rocco was clearly in the field of play when throwing the pass. The call was somehow confirmed on instant replay, and the two points gave Miami a 40-35 lead with 4:15 left.
Virginia’s D stopped Miami again on its next possession, forcing a UM punt that Khalek Shephard fair-caught at the UVa. 13 at the 2:38 mark.
End of 3: Miami has taken control of what has become a pitched battle, leading 31-28 at the end of three and driving to add to the lead.
After each team came up empty on their first possessions of the second, Miami struck first, driving 52 yards in seven plays, with the drive culminating in a 9-yard pass from Stephen Morris to Clive Walford that gave the ‘Canes a 31-28 lead at the 7:52 mark.
Virginia seemed poised for an answer, but its next drive stalled at the Miami 34, and facing a fourth-and-10 from there, London elected to punt, pinning UM at their own 3.
The gambit didn’t pay off in terms of field position, though, as the ‘Canes gained three first downs, one on a controverial pass-interference penalty that allowed Miami to move the ball past midfield.
Half: The pace slowed a bit in the second quarter as Virginia went into the halftime break up 28-24 over Miami.
Miami struck first in the second quarter, with a Stephen Morris-to-Allen Hurns 12-yard TD pass capping a 5-play, 87-yard scoring drive that knotted the score at 21-21 four seconds into the quarter.
Virginia made the first mistake of the day, when Perry Jones was intercepted on a halfback-option pass by Brandon McGee, who returned the ball to near midfield.
Miami drove the ball into the red zone, but the Virginia defense held, and all the ‘Canes could get from the turnover was a 30-yard Jake Wieclaw field goal that gave them the lead at 24-21 at the 8:16 mark.
Michael Rocco returned to lead Virginia on a 9-play, 76-yard drive keyed by a 17-yard Rocco scramble on a second-and-12 at the UVa. 21. Kevin Parks finished the drive with a 3-yard TD run that made it 28-24 Virginia at the 4:00 mark of the second quarter.
End 1: Virginia leads Miami 21-14 after a wild, wild first quarter in Charlottesville.
Virginia got on the board first, capping an eight-play, 75-minute drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Michael Rocco to Miles Gooch four minutesi in.
Miami answered on its first drive, getting a big 51-yard run from Duke Johnson to set the ‘Canes up with a first-and-goal, then scoring when Johnson connected with Allan Hurns on an 8-yard halfback-option pass that knotted the score at 7-7 at the 8:32 mark.
The UVa. offense continued its torrid pace on its second possession, using a big play of its own, a 45-yard pitch-and-catch from Rocco to Tim Smith, to set up a 6-yard TD pass from Rocco to Darius Jennings that made it 14-7 Virginia with 5:33 left in the first.
Miami was next to respond, with Duke Johnson taking the ensuing kickoff back 95 yards for a Hurricanes touchdown that tied the score at 14-14 with 5:21 to go.
The madness continued, tihs time with Phillip Sims at quarterback leading a nine-play, 52-yard drive capped by a 6-yard TD run by Sims that made it 21-14 Virginia with 1:34 left in the quarter.