No. 9 Miami scored 12 straight points in the second half to flip a 24-13 deficit into a 25-24 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday.
The Hurricanes (7-1) took the lead with 5:59 to go when QB D’Eriq King found Mark Pope for a 36-yard TD. The two-point conversion to stretch the lead to three failed, but it ultimately didn’t matter as Virginia Tech couldn’t get in position for a potential game-winning field goal on its last drive of the game.
The loss is the second consecutive defeat for Virginia Tech, which fell to 4-4. The Hokies lost in incredibly improbable fashion a week ago to Liberty after a game-winning blocked field goal return for a TD didn’t count because Virginia Tech had called timeout before the kick. That paved the way for Liberty kicker Alex Barbir to hit a 51-yard field goal two plays later for a 38-35 win.
Miami stays alive in the ACC
Miami needed the win to have any chance of making the ACC championship game. The Hurricanes currently sit third in the conference behind Notre Dame and Clemson. Though Miami and Clemson are tied in the loss column, the Tigers beat Miami earlier in the year and have the tiebreaker. Miami needs another loss from the Tigers and two losses from Notre Dame.
King was once again Miami’s best offensive player on Saturday. He was 24-of-38 passing for 255 yards and a score and also rushed for another score. His performance came on a day where Miami was missing 13 players. Three of those players absent — guard Jakai Clark, defensive tackle Jared Harrison-Hunte, linebacker Zach McCloud — are starters.
Virginia Tech’s up-and-down season
No team in the ACC has vacillated between looking great and looking so-so like Virginia Tech. The Hokies have wins over NC State, Duke, Boston College and Louisville. But Virginia Tech has also been blown out by North Carolina and lost to Wake Forest in addition to the losses to Liberty and Miami.
It’s hard to see the roller coaster ending before the season is over. Virginia Tech finishes the season with games against Pitt, Clemson and Virginia. The Hokies could conceivably be an underdog in all three of those contests.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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