<
>

Miami finishing strong under interim coach Larry Scott

play
Miami defender delivers devastating stiff-arm (1:06)

Miami's Ufomba Kamalu forces and recovers a fumble, and while returning the ball he stiff-arms Georgia Tech QB Matthew Jordan to the ground. Kamalu loses the ball at the 1-yard line, but it's recovered by teammate Jermaine Grace for a touchdown. (1:06)

While banners flew over Sun Life Stadium advocating for Butch Davis as Miami next coach, Larry Scott moved to 3-1 in the interim with a 38-21 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday.

What the win means for Miami: Scott said the goal was to finish 8-4 instead of settling for bowl eligibility, and the Hurricanes are moving toward that. It looked as if the season could take an ugly turn after the 58-0 loss to Clemson and again after a getting blown out last week by North Carolina, but Scott has rallied this group to three wins in four games. The Canes’ defense was fortunate Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas missed most of the game, but they created some key turnovers and took advantage of them.

What the loss means for Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets now have eight losses on the season. They actually had more fumbles Saturday against Miami -- nine. A massively disappointing season gets worse with another loss and the injury to star quarterback Thomas. What was supposed to be a season that might end with a conference title and playoff bid now will go down as the second-worst year in Paul Johnson's head coaching career, which dates to 1997. Would a win over Georgia next week provide much solace for a fan base that expected the team to build on an 11-win season from 2014?

The game turned when: On the second drive of the game, Thomas was injured and Matthew Jordan was inserted into the lineup. Jordan’s second drive was off to a solid start, and the Yellow Jackets were set up at the Miami 4-yard line. But Jordan fumbled, Miami recovered and six plays later the Hurricanes were finishing off a 97-yard touchdown drive. They never looked back.

Top play: Jordan knew it would be tough running the option while filling in for an injured Thomas, but he probably didn’t think he’d be asked to tackle 297-pound defensive linemen, too. After Patrick Skov fumbled, Ufomba Kamalu picked up the ball and began charging down the sideline. When Jordan attempted to impede Kamalu’s progress, he was forcefully shoved to the ground with a punishing stiff arm.