SAN FRANCISCO — Frank Gore purchased a gray hooded sweatshirt months ago specifically for this day, featuring an upside down teal dolphin in distress: The Miami Dolphin’s mascot, on its head, with a first-aid symbol and an “X” over each eye to boot.
“I said, ‘We’ve got to turn him upside down,’” Gore said.
A Miami man through and through, Gore sure did his part. Gore ran for a 1-yard touchdown and reached 1,000 yards rushing for the sixth time in his career and even took the fake on Colin Kaepernick’s late 50-yard scoring run in the San Francisco 49ers’ 27-13 victory against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Gore, Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree pulled off just the kind of grind-it-out win coach Jim Harbaugh wants to see during the December stretch run.
Gore finished with 63 yards rushing, caught two passes and also matched his mentor, Roger Craig, and late Hall of Famer Joe Perry for the franchise record in rushing touchdowns with 50. And, no, Gore didn’t grow up a Dolphins fan in his native South Florida.
Anthony Fasano made a diving 3-yard touchdown catch for Miami midway through the fourth quarter on a pass from Ryan Tannehill. Fasano’s right knee landed in the end zone as he fell out of bounds under pressure from safety Donte Whitner.
Miami went for it on fourth-and-10 from the 35 with 4:16 remaining but Tannehill overthrew Marlon Moore on the left sideline.
“In the fourth quarter, we had some opportunities to put some more points on the board. We didn’t. We were too generous,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “It’s just a lack of playmaking at critical times. That’s it.”
The 49ers took advantage of a Miami special teams blunder to end a stretch of five quarters and an overtime without a touchdown. Marcus Thigpen fumbled trying to catch Andy Lee’s punt early in the third quarter and C.J. Spillman recovered on the Dolphins 9 to set up Gore’s short TD burst.
Cameron Wake had three first-half sacks to highlight a lackluster day by the Dolphins. On offense, Tannehill faced constant pressure.
Dan Carpenter kicked a 53-yard field goal in the third quarter for the Dolphins and also an earlier 28-yarder. Miami was held to 227 total yards.
Miami now 5-8 has virtually no chance for a playoff spot. With three games remaining in the regular season, the Dolphins will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 p.m. Sunday and the Buffalo Bills at 1 p.m. Dec. 23.
*Pictured above is Frank Gore and Cameron Wake.