When Miami needed a big play, it went to Darrell Langham once again.
Trailing Georgia Tech 24-22 with 42 seconds to go, Miami faced a fourth and 10 from the Yellow Jackets’ 43. Langham, who caught the game-winning touchdown to give the No. 11 Hurricanes a win over rival Florida State last week, was in single coverage. Malik Rosier looked his way and Langham made an excellent play.
Langham somehow caught the ball off a deflection as he fell backward to the turf for a 28-yard gain.
Langham’s clutch play put Miami in field goal range. A 12-yard run from Travis Homer made sure it would be a short one, and Michael Badgley drilled the game-winner from 24 yards out.
The come-from-behind win means Miami is still undefeated at 5-0. The Hurricanes’ unbeaten record was in serious jeopardy for most of the afternoon.
Georgia Tech jumped out to an early 14-3 lead, but Miami cut it down to 14-13 at halftime thanks to a Rosier touchdown pass to Homer just before the break.
Perhaps trying to capitalize on the positive momentum to end the half, Miami attempted an onside kick to open the third quarter. It went poorly.
Badgley’s kick did not go 10 yards. Instead of just hopping on the ball for an illegal touching penalty, Miami stood around and watched as Georgia Tech’s Lamont Simmons scooped it up and ran 42 yards untouched for a Yellow Jackets touchdown, increasing the lead to 21-13.
Later in the third, after a GT field goal, Miami finally began to chip away at the lead. A 70-yard deep ball to Jeff Thomas set up a chip shot field goal for the Hurricanes, making it 21-16. Miami then forced a punt before embarking on a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive. It was Homer, starting at running back for an injured Mark Walton, who scampered in for a 27-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion would have tied it, but it was knocked away, allowing the Yellow Jackets to maintain a 24-22 lead.
After a combined five punts, Miami regained possession deep in its own territory with 2:24 to go. Rosier led his team on a 15-play drive, eventually resulting in the heroics from Langham and Badgley.
The story of Langham is especially remarkable, considering he appeared in just two plays against FSU. His second snap was the winning touchdown. On Saturday he had a bigger role, finishing the game with five catches for 100 yards. Elsewhere, Homer finished with 170 yards rushing while Rosier finished 23-of-37 for 297 yards.
Next for Miami, which is firmly in the College Football Playoff mix, is a visit from Syracuse, which is fresh off a home upset over No. 2 Clemson.
Miami, the last unbeaten team remaining in the ACC, can’t afford to overlook the Orange.
– – – – – – –