It was one of the biggest wins Virginia has seen in years. It was an emotional, well-deserved win for first-year coach Mike London, and as fans and students rushed the field following the Cavaliers' 24-19 upset of No. 22 Miami, it was a scene in Charlottesville that has been sorely missing.
London managed to bring it back before November.
Virginia intercepted three Miami quarterbacks a total of five times, and the defense held off a fourth-quarter rally to preserve the win. The Cavaliers snapped their four-game losing streak against ranked Miami teams, and knocked off their first ranked opponent since beating No. 18 UNC on Oct. 18, 2008.
Unfortunately for Virginia, what it did will be overshadowed by what Miami didn't do -- anything of relevance this year.
With the loss, the fourth season under coach Randy Shannon will likely fade into the background with his first three. Losses to ranked opponents Ohio State and Florida State are one thing. A loss to a team that was winless in conference play is another. Yes, Miami is not the same team without starting quarterback Jacory Harris healthy and in the lineup, but the Canes' defense opened the door for Virginia. The Cavaliers had the nation's 78th best rushing offense, with 139 yards per game. They finished with 185.
It was a valiant effort by Miami freshman quarterback Stephen Morris, who added three fourth-quarter touchdowns (two pass, one run), but it was too little, too late. Instead of taking another step forward, Miami took a step back and joined Georgia Tech and North Carolina with two ACC losses, leaving the Hokies undefeated in league play and with a comfortble lead in the Coastal Division standings.