MIAMI (AP) -- Blitzing on almost every play, Georgia Tech was in
Kyle Wright's face all night. And when he threw the ball up for
grabs with the game on the line, the Yellow Jackets were there,
They sacked Wright seven times and made two late defensive
stands, intercepting his final pass to upset the third-ranked Miami
Hurricanes 14-10 Saturday night.
"Not anyone believed it could happen," Georgia Tech coach Chan
KaMichael Hall had two sacks and made a fourth-down stop to end
a Miami threat midway through the fourth quarter. Wright moved the
Hurricanes 62 yards to the Georgia Tech 27 with 1:46 left before he
was intercepted by Dennis Davis, and the Yellow Jackets ran out the
"With any quarterback, if we keep pressuring him, he's
eventually going to fold," defensive end Eric Henderson said. "He
can't keep getting hit like that all night. No quarterback can."
The Hurricanes (8-2, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) were
eliminated from contention for a berth in the national championship
game. They lost for the first time since the season opener at
"We played about as bad as we could have played," said Wright,
who threw for five scores a week ago at Wake Forest but managed
just one touchdown pass against the Yellow Jackets' relentless
blitzing. "They were doing things we prepared for. They just did a
good job of doing it."
The Hurricanes' loss could also keep them out of the ACC title
game Dec. 3 in Jacksonville. If Virginia Tech beats North Carolina
next weekend, the Hokies will represent the Coastal Division
against Florida State, with the winner earning an automatic berth
in the Bowl Championship Series.
The Yellow Jackets (7-3, 5-3) bounced back from a loss a week
ago to Virginia. They also shook off an NCAA decision this week to
place the school on two years' probation for using 17 academically
ineligible athletes in four sports, including 11 in football.
"These guys have a tremendous ability to compartmentalize -- put
all the junk to the side and play the game," Gailey said. "All
the other stuff they can't control. What we can control is what
happened out there."
Georgia Tech mounted touchdown marches of 68 and 61 yards
against the nation's No. 1-ranked defense, and Miami penalties
contributed to both drives.
Interference on Marcus Maxey negated an interception in the end
zone three plays before Tashard Choice scored the game's first
points on a 2-yard touchdown run. A penalty for excessive
celebration led to the Yellow Jackets' other score on a 16-yard
keeper by Reggie Ball.
Ball went only 11-for-30 for 159 yards, but in key situations he
repeatedly found Calvin Johnson, who had six receptions for 89
Georgia Tech hardly looked like the same team that gave up 51
points to Virginia Tech in September, shutting out Miami in the
second half. The Hurricanes converted one of 14 third-down
situations and totaled 30 yards rushing.
Wright went 14-for-31 for 207 yards and netted minus-35 yards
"It's pretty obvious tonight we got it handed to us," coach
Larry Coker said.
Still, a fumbled punt by Georgia Tech gave Miami a chance to
take the lead midway through the fourth quarter. But on
fourth-and-1 at the 12, Charlie Jones was thrown for a 3-yard loss
The Hurricanes had one last chance, starting at their 13 with
2:37 to go following Ben Arndt's 78-yard punt. Completions by
Wright of 13, 25 and 24 yards gave Miami a first down at the 27,
but he then lobbed a deep pass into heavy coverage, and Davis
pulled it in.
"We didn't need to force the ball," Coker said. "We had
timeouts left and probably could have thrown something
The final minutes would have been less harrowing for Georgia
Tech had Travis Bell not missed earlier field goal attempts of 42
and 44 yards.
Wright looked best on Miami's final possession of the first
half. With the Hurricane trailing 7-3 and starting at their own 10,
he went 3-for-3 for 71 yards to get them into the end zone for the
Ryan Moore made an over-the-shoulder catch for a 37-yard gain,
and Sinorice Moss scored on a 19-yard reception with 57 seconds
left in the half to put Miami ahead 10-7.
The excessive celebration penalty on linebacker Rocky McIntosh
helped the Yellow Jackets escape a third-and-4 situation, setting
up Ball's run to put them ahead to stay.
It was a tough end to an embarrassing week for the Hurricanes. A
lewd rap song performed by a group including several current and
former players surfaced on the Internet, prompting athletic
director Paul Dee to apologize on behalf of the school.
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