Virginia Tech vs. Miami score: Hokies blow 28-point lead but hold on to beat Hurricanes
Miami fell 0-2 in ACC play with the home loss to Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech entered Saturday's game at Miami as a two-touchdown underdog facing the potential of an 0-3 hole in ACC play, so when the sudden 28-0 lead it acquired started to disappear, there was a sense of dread among the Hokies faithful. The Hurricanes not only cut into that lead but took the Hokies down to the final moments of regulation before falling short in a 42-35 loss.
Miami quarterback Jarren Williams had three interceptions before being replaced by N'Kosi Perry, and the Canes' backup went on to lead an incredible comeback in the second half. Perry had career highs in yards passing (422) and touchdowns (four), but his final effort -- leading UM to the Virginia Tech 10-yard line with 5 seconds remaining -- fell just a few yards short.
One of the highlights of Perry's performance was an excellent job of extending the play before throwing a deep pass into the end zone at the end of the first half.
The Hokies entered the game with a heightened sense of urgency around the program following a blowout home loss to Duke last Friday night. Justin Fuente, off to an 0-2 start in ACC play, turned the offense over to new starting quarterback Hendon Hooker. In his first career start, the sophomore had three touchdowns passing, one more rushing and no interceptions. Hooker also led the team in the rushing
Virginia Tech's lead was thanks in part to its defense, which forced four turnovers on Miami first four possessions.
The fast start was a breath of fresh air for the Hokies, but the near-collapse brought back many of the same frustrations with this year's team. On the Miami sideline, Perry's early success and shaking off the stun from the turnover-prone start took some time, but a win felt real when Deejay Dallas got loose for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter with Miami down six.
The only problem? Bubba Baxa's extra point was missed. The Hurricanes were not in the lead, as many believed when Dallas crossed the goal line. The game was tied, and Hooker led the Hokies down the field quickly for the go-ahead score five plays later.
Miami has had a strange start to the 2019 season; the "what if's" of the missed extra point and the start to the Manny Diaz era are just additional layers. Miami began the season early in Week 0 with a disappointing close loss to Florida in Orlando. It hen had a week off, another close loss at North Carolina and then finally back-to-back nonconference wins to enter its second off week with a 2-2 record.
Diaz said he was excited to get back into the rhythm of a regular routine, but there was nothing regular about the 28-0 hole, the furious comeback, and the missed extra point from the Hurricanes in their first game back in ACC play.
Virginia Tech picked up a much-needed win for its morale, and now Miami faces a short week before hosting No. 23 Virginia with its own heightened sense of urgency.
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