Miami Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris threw for two touchdowns and Duke Johnson collected more than 200 yards as Miami's offense breezed past the Virginia Tech Hokies in a key Thursday night ACC meeting, 30-12.
With the home victory, the Hurricanes move to the top of the ACC's Coastal Division at 4-2 in conference play, while the Hokies fall to 2-3 in conference. With North Carolina ineligible for postseason play, the Hurricanes now control their destiny for a berth in the ACC Championship Game, with a showdown with the Duke Blue Devils looming on Nov. 24.
The Hurricanes took control early with the help of Morris and some opportune field position. Miami's first two scores were the result of two 16-yard passes from Morris to Allen Hurns and Mike James. Neither touchdown drive spanned more than 20 yards.
Up 14-3 after the first quarter, Miami's lead was threatened by a 73-yard touchdown run by Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas. Thomas went untouched for his touchdown scamper, his longest of the season. Thomas would finish the night with 199 yards passing and 124 rushing.
After Cody Journell missed the Hokies' extra point, the teams traded field goals, Journell striking from 20 yards out and Miami's Jake Wieclaw hitting from 22 yards and 31 yards. Wieclaw's first field goal of the night was set up by Johnson's 65-yard rush.
Neither team was able to crack the scoreboard in the third quarter, with Virginia Tech getting the best chance but Thomas' fumble at the goal line costing the Hokies a chance to score.
Johnson would score the game's final touchdown in the fourth quarter to help the Hurricanes put the game away, taking it in from 7 yards out to give the 'Canes a 27-12 lead they would add to on one final Wieclaw field goal.
The Hokies' loss ensures Virginia Tech will not win at least 10 games this year, breaking a streak of eight consecutive seasons meeting the benchmark under head coach Frank Beamer.
Box Score Hero: Duke Johnson's 118 yards returning and 99 yards rushing proved key to Miami's win.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither team was ranked headed in to the Thursday night meeting, but Miami, at 5-4, might attract some votes in next week's poll.
But Did They Cover? Virginia Tech was favored by between one and two points headed into Thursday's showdown, and Miami more than made up the difference.
Next Week's Schedule: Miami takes on the Virginia Cavaliers on Nov. 10, while Virginia Tech takes on the Florida State Seminoles a week from today, on Nov. 8.