Miami Sports Day

ACC: Hurricanes Fall at Georgia Tech, 27-21

ATLANTA – The University of Miami held Georgia Tech to its second-lowest total yardage of the season, but could not leave Atlanta with a victory, falling 27-21.

It was 40 degrees at kickoff, but that did not deter 48,217 loud and proud Georgia Tech fans from packing Bobby Dodd Stadium to watch the Yellow Jackets extend Miami’s losing streak to four straight games.

The Hurricanes limited Georgia Tech to 304 total yards of offense, its second-lowest output of the season, but three turnovers by the Canes led to 13 points for Tech and Miami could not make up the difference.

Miami (5-5, 2-4 ACC) got off to a fast start, as quarterback N’Kosi Perry connected with Jeff Thomas for a 27-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage. The duo connected against on third-and-12 from the 50 for a 19-yard gain that pushed Miami to the GT 31 and gave Miami a fresh set of downs.

The Hurricanes converted again on third down, who DeeJay Dallas rushed for and eight-yard gain to the GT 5 and three plays later Dallas pounded the ball into the end zone from one yard out to give Miami a 7-0 lead with 9:25 left in the opening quarter.

The Yellow Jackets (6-4, 4-3 ACC) answered with an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended with a 28-yard touchdown run by quarterback TaQuon Marshall. Tech had a couple big plays that helped move them down field, including a 20-yard completion from Marshall to Jalen Camp on third-and-5 from the GT 41.

Miami had GT on fourth-and-7 from the UM 36, but Gerald Willis III jumped offside to move the Yellow Jackets to a more manageable fourth-and-2 that Marshall converted before bursting to the end zone one play later to even the game at 7-7 with 3:10 remaining in the first quarter.

Georgia Tech got some major momentum when Dallas fumbled as he was being tackled on the ensuing kickoff return. The Yellow Jackets’ Ajani Kerr recovered the loose ball, and returned it to the Miami 23 to give GT possession deep in UM territory.

Three plays later, Marshall sprinted eight yards to the end zone for his second rushing score and the Yellow Jackets took a 14-7 lead just 1:29 after they evened the score at 7.

Miami drove near midfield on its next possession, but the Yellow Jackets forced a punt and appeared poised to try and add to their lead. The Hurricanes’ defense had other plans, forcing a three-and-out and Georgia Tech’s first punt of the game.

But the momentum was short-lived, as Perry fumbled the snap on third-and-1 from the UM 40 and Georgia Tech’s Charlie Thomas recovered possession to give the Jackets the ball at the Miami 39. The Canes’ defense responded to the sudden change and held Georgia Tech to a 38-yard field goal by Wesley Wells, but the Yellows Jackets lead grew to 10, 17-7, with 3:55 left before halftime.

The Hurricanes started their next possession of the opening half with their best field position, as Thomas sprinted for a 52-yard return to the GT 43. But a rash of penalties backed the Canes up to their own 38, putting them at third-and-24 from the Miami 35.

Perry hit Thomas for an 11-yard gain, but the Canes punted and caught a break as Jack Spicer’s punt hit a Georgia Tech player and Miami’s Shaquille Quarterman recovered on the GT 30 to earn the Canes’ first turnover chain of the night and give Miami the ball with a chance to score before the half.

Three plays later, freshman running back Cam’Ron Davis burst through a hole and sprinted 22 yards for his first career touchdown, bringing Miami within three, 17-14, at the intermission. Davis led the Hurricanes with 48 yards on six carries.

Miami’s defense allowed just 126 yards in the first half, and just 51 yards after Tech put together a 75-yard drive on its first possession of the game. The Hurricanes totaled 156 yards of offense – 67 rushing yards and 89 passing yards – in the first half Saturday night in Atlanta, outgaining Georgia Tech 156-126.

The Hurricanes were led by linebackers Michael Pinckney’s nine tackles, while fellow junior linebacker Shaquille Quarterman tallied eight stops. Miami combined for six tackles for loss on the night.

On Georgia Tech’s opening drive of the second half, Miami’s defense forced its second three-and-out of the game. But Miami’s Thomas muffed a 54-yard punt by Tech’s Pressley Harvin III and the Yellow Jackets recovered the ball at the UM 10.

Miami’s defense once again responded to the sudden change and held firm, limiting Georgia Tech to a 23-yard Wells field goal that gave the Yellow Jackets a 20-14 lead with 11:08 left in the third quarter.

On its next drive, Georgia Tech went to the air for its third touchdown of the game. After running the ball six straight plays, the Jackets had Marshall draw Miami’s defense in with play action and he hit Brad Stewart over the top for a 31-yard touchdown that give Tech a 13-point lead, 27-14.

With the clock ticking down and Miami trailing by 13, Perry hit true freshman Dee Wiggins on third-and-10 from the Miami 35 for a 24-yard gain that gave the Canes a fresh set of downs and moved them into GT territory.

The Canes converted two more third downs to keep the drive alive and Travis Homer finished off the possession with a two-yard touchdown that brought Miami within six, 27-21, with 4:33 left in the game.

On the ensuing possession, Miami had Georgia Tech at third-and-6 from its own 35 when Marshall hurled a 22-yard completion to Camp that moved the Jackets into Miami territory and extended their drive. Tech converted two more third downs and ultimately wound the clock down to zero, completing the victory over the Hurricanes.

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