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Virginia Tech wins wild one at Miami, 42-35

Virginia TechVirginia Tech, for a moment, looked like it was going to blow a 28-0 lead, but Hendon Hooker, in his first career start, led the Hokies on a 63-yard scoring drive, and the Tech defense stopped Miami on two plays inside the 10 in the final seconds to preserve a wild 42-35 win.

The Hokies (3-2, 1-2 ACC) took advantage of four first-half Miami turnovers to go up 28-0, but the ‘Canes (2-3, 0-2 ACC) got on the board on the final play of the first half, on a 38-yard Hail Mary from backup quarterback N’Kosi Perry to Mark Pope.

Perry connected with Brevin Jordan on a 6-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to 28-14 at the 9:38 mark in the third.

Down 35-14 in the fourth, Miami scored touchdowns on three straight drives, the final one coming on a 62-yard DeeJay Dallas run that tied the game at 35.

The Hurricanes actually had a chance to take the lead, because they had converted a two-point try earlier in the quarter, but placekicker Bubba Baxa missed the extra point in a driving rainstorm to keep the game knotted at 35 with 3:16 to go.

Tech’s next drive was aided at the start by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty assessed against Miami after the tying touchdown.

Hooker took over from there, connecting with Damon Hazelton on a 29-yard fade on the first play of the drive.

On third-and-five at the Miami 29, Hooker hit Dalton Keene on a wheel route for 26 yards to get the ball to the UM 3.

Deshawn McClease scored on the next play to put the Hokies back on top, 42-35, with 1:03 left.

Miami had one timeout at that point, and Perry got the ‘Canes to the doorstep, connecting with K.J. Osborn for a 16-yard gain that, coupled with a personal foul penalty on the Hokies, moved the ball to the Tech 10 with five seconds left.

Perry threw incomplete on the first-down play, and the clock appeared to expire, but after a review, one second was put back on the clock, giving Miami one more chance.

Another Perry pass toward the end zone was knocked down at the goal line as time expired.

Hooker was 10-for-20 passing for 184 yards and three touchdowns, and also had 76 yards and a touchdown on the ground, on 16 carries.

Perry threw for a career-high 422 yards, completing 29 of his 47 pass attempts, with four passing touchdowns and one interception.

Miami starter Jarren Williams was 4-for-7 passing for 67 yards and three interceptions before he was lifted for Perry.

Miami outgained Virginia Tech 563-337, but also committed five turnovers, while the Hokies, who’d had 11 turnovers combined in their first four games, didn’t commit a turnover in this one.

Story by Chris Graham

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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