Miami brings rude end to Virginia Tech's title dreams

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Miami swaggered into Virginia Tech as

underdogs and took a huge bite out of the Hokies' national title


The fifth-ranked Hurricanes put the clamps on Marcus Vick,

forcing him into six turnovers, and blew the Hokies right out of

the national title picture with a stunning 27-7 victory on Saturday


The third-ranked Hokies (8-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) had

hoped an impressive win over Miami would not only take them a step

closer to their second straight ACC title, but also give them a

boost in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

Virginia Tech was in third place behind Southern California and

Texas in the BCS standings, with designs on making a late-season

run to the Rose Bowl.

Instead, Miami (7-1, 4-1) helped clear the clutter at the top of

the BCS and ensure that Virginia Tech won't be this season's Auburn

-- perfect but left out of the national title game.

The day started with five unbeaten teams in major college

football, but the Hokies and UCLA fell. Texas and Alabama stayed

perfect and USC was trying to do the same against Stanford.

Miami had lost two straight and seven of 10 to its former Big

East rivals, but now the Hurricanes control the Coastal Division

race in the ACC and could play in the conference's first title game

in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 3 by winning out.

The Hurricanes turned four lost fumbles by Vick and two

interceptions into 17 points.

Pinned deep in their own territory late in the third quarter,

the Hokies couldn't hold out the Miami rush and Vick was swarmed

under by Javon Nanton and company. The ball squirted loose and

Kareem Brown jumped on it in the end zone to give Miami a 27-0


The score made Lane Stadium -- one of the rowdiest in the country

and a place where Miami lost 31-7 two years ago -- sound like a


Vick finished 8-for-22 for 90 yards against the top-ranked

defense in the country, the worst performance of his college

career, by far. He ran for a 2-yard TD in the fourth quarter, to

keep the Hokies from being shut out for the first time since 1995.

Offensively, Kyle Wright and Miami were just the opposite of

Vick and the Hokies -- efficient and opportunistic.

Wright was 13-for-22 for 146 yards with a 9-yard touchdown pass

to Darnell Jenkins in the third quarter after the Hurricanes

recovered a fumbled snap by Vick.

Charlie Jones ran for 97 yards and a touchdown and the

Hurricanes put up more points against the No. 1 scoring defense in

the country than the last three ACC opponents combined.

The Hurricanes were a rare 6{-point underdog, and none too

pleased about it. Looking for respect, they refused to be the foil

in the Hokies' national title scenario and even made themselves a

dark horse in the Rose Bowl race.

Miami took the crowd out of it early and made the type of plays

on defense that Virginia Tech usually makes to overwhelm opponents.

The first strike came from Thomas Carroll, who came off the

blind side to strip the ball from Vick in the first quarter and

Miami recovered at the Virginia Tech 29. The Hokies limited the

damage to a 27-yard field goal by Jon Peattie.

Miami made it 10-0 in the second quarter, putting together a

17-play, 82-yard drive that was aided by a personal foul called on

Hokies defensive end Darryl Tapp, and capped off when Jones blasted

into the end zone on a fourth-and-goal from the 1.

The Hurricanes lost leading rusher Tyrone Moss for the game to a

sprained knee on the drive and Wright was also knocked out of

action on the helmet-to-helmet hit by Tapp.

Wright returned and the first-year starter helped Miami snap

Virginia Tech's 11-game ACC winning streak and 16-game streak in

regular-season games.

The loss was just the second in 30 games by Virginia Tech with

Marcus or Michael Vick starting at quarterback.