MIAMI GARDENS — A fumbled punt return. A fumbled kickoff return. A punting miscue. Trey Edmunds and Virginia Tech cashed in on each of those massive Miami blunders and, all of a sudden, the Hokies very much look like a team capable of winning yet another Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division title.
Edmunds ran for four touchdowns, the first three of them set up by Miami mistakes, and Virginia Tech knocked off the Hurricanes 42-24 on Saturday night, handing Miami its second straight loss.
The Hokies outgained Miami 549-352, piled up 26 first downs to Miami’s 12, went 8 for 14 on third downs, compared with a 3-for-12 showing by the Hurricanes, and held the ball for nearly a 2-to-1 margin.
Most importantly, every time Miami gave Virginia Tech a gift, the Hokies made them pay. Miami wore new jerseys with the phrase “Deserve Victory” — a favorite of head coach Al Golden’s — stitched along the collar. “Really disappointed,” Golden said. “We didn’t deserve to win.”
Stephen Morris completed 16 of 29 passes for 324 yards for Miami (7-2, 3-2), which saw its seven-game home winning streak snapped and still hasn’t beaten Virginia Tech consecutive times since 2001 and 2002. Morris had an 81-yard touchdown pass to Stacy Coley and an 84-yarder to Allen Hurns but it wasn’t nearly enough.
“Like I was telling the team in the locker room, it’s not over for us,” Morris said. “We’ve got a lot to still work for.”
Virginia Tech held Miami to 28 rushing yards. And, playing without running back Duke Johnson, out for the season with a broken right ankle, Miami struggled offensively. Take away the two long touchdown passes and the Hurricanes managed only 3.7 yards per play the rest of the night. Plus, the Hokies never made the mistake that Miami would have needed.
The Hokies’ win turns the ACC’s Coastal Division into a muddled mess, with Georgia Tech at 5-2 in conference play, Virginia Tech a half-game back (but owning the tiebreaker over the Yellow Jackets), Miami and Duke at 3-2, North Carolina at 3-3 and Pittsburgh at 2-3. Florida State has already clinched the Atlantic Division title and spot in the ACC title game on Dec. 7. The Hurricanes will next play Virginia at noon Saturday at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.