Miami: News & Notes (9/26)

Miami was just two yards -- only 72 measly inches -- from a comeback victory over Kansas State that would have served as validation for the Hurricanes for their domination of Ohio State the week before.

But they couldn't get them.

A first-down pass fell incomplete when tight end Clive Wolford couldn't quite bring in Jacory Harris' slightly off-target pass, and running back Mike James could get only half the needed distance on two tries.

On fourth down Harris sprinted left, couldn't get the shovel pass to running back Lamar Miller that was his preferred target, and came up agonizingly short on his spring to the end zone.

The replay official's review negated the touchdown signal given by the linesman on the field, and after three kneel downs by quarterback Collin Klein, Kansas State had secured the 28-24 victory.

"A disappointing end," coach Al Golden said after his club fell to 1-2. "I thought our kids fought back and had a chance to win the game, and, obviously, we didn't execute down there from the 2-yard line. Four shots.

"That's on us. We've got to be able to execute down there. We did not."

Though it may have come down to the end, a much bigger factor was K-State's ability to control the game with its rushing attack.

Led by tailback John Hubert (166 yards) and quarterback Collin Klein (93 rushing, 133 passing), the Wildcats pretty much had their way against a Miami defense that had kept Ohio State out of the end zone.

"We didn't tackle well enough on defense," Golden said. "We let them out of the soup too many times on defense. We let them convert on third-and-long too many times. It's hard to overcome that."

Miami was playing the middle game of a three-game stretch at home and will try to get back to even on the season in hosting Bethune-Cookman next.

But after that, the Hurricanes have two road games coming up at Virginia Tech and at North Carolina. Both are ACC Coastal Division rivals.

NOTES, QUOTES
--Miami, which left the Orange Bowl after the 2007 season, fell to 16-8 in Sun Life Stadium (the current name of its home field but always subject to change) with the loss to Kansas State. The Hurricanes were 318-143-7 (.688) in 70 seasons in the Orange Bowl and once won an NCAA-record 58 consecutive games in the facility, which has been torn down to be replaced by a new baseball park for the Florida Marlins.

--The best example of the frustrations of Miami defense came in the second quarter when penalties backed up the Wildcats to their own 6-yard line facing first-and-26. After a three-yard loss on first down, the Wildcats faced second-and-29 -- and ended up getting the first down when QB Collin Klein ripped off runs of 26 and 13 yards the next two plays.

--The Hurricanes were credited with their first blocked field goal since 2004 when DT Darius Smith blocked Anthony Cantele's 46-yard attempt in the third quarter.

KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Phillip Dorsett -- The true freshman caught two passes for 41 yards, including a 31-yarder that put Miami at the K-State 4-yard line to set up a third-quarter touchdown. He has three catches for the season.

LOOKING GOOD: QB Jacory Harris did throw an interception, but overall he was 21-of-31 passing for 271 yards and two touchdowns. RB Lamar Miller went over 100 yards rushing for the third consecutive game, and WR Travis Benjamin had six receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. Miami recorded three sacks (LB Sean Spence, LB Jordan Futch, and DT Marcus Forston).

STILL NEEDS WORK: The Hurricanes ended up with 411 yards of total offense, but needed 412 for the win. They had 139 yards on the ground but couldn't convert what would have been a go-ahead touchdown from a yard out in the game's final minute. The defense had no answer for the bullish runs of K-State QB Collin Klein.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "From the looks up on the screen, I didn't get in." -- Senior QB Jacory Harris, after getting a look at the stadium TV screen showing that his final rushing play came up short.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--Senior LB Sean Spence had one of the most productive games of his career, tying his career high in tackles with 14 stops. He notched his first sack of the season in the third quarter. This was only his second game after sitting out the first game because of an NCAA-mandated suspension.

--Sophomore RB Lamar Miller posted his third consecutive 100-yard rushing day, mostly on the strength of a 59-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Miller ended up with 106 yards on 18 carries.

--Senior WR Travis Benjamin had a 41-yard return on the opening kickoff, the third longest of his career. He had returns of 57 and 42 yards against Florida State in 2008. Benjamin also had a 34-yard reception for a touchdown that gave Miami a 24-21 lead over Kansas State in the fourth quarter.

ROSTER REPORT
--Sophomore OT Seantrel Henderson, who had back surgery in August, was in uniform and went through pregame warmups but did not play against Kansas State. The plan is to get him ready for the upcoming game against Bethune-Cookman.

--Sophomore DE Shayon Green (lower extremity) missed the game, but coaches this week will work on getting him back into the rotation.

--Junior WR Tommy Streeter made his first career start. He had four catches for 31 yards, including a four-yard reception for a touchdown.


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