Canes make big statement in 30-6 win over VT

Miami needed a win in Blacksburg Thursday night in the worst way in order to stay alive in the Coastal Division race. Thanks to an outstanding performance by running back Duke Johnson and a stout defensive performance, they got it.

The Canes needed a win on so many levels. The Canes had yet to win on the road this season. They had yet to beat a quality opponent on the road during the Al Golden era. They needed a win in order to avoid getting pretty much knocked out of the ACC race with more than a month left.

Not only did Miami win the game but they absolutely dominated the Hokies from start to finish.

It was the the Duke Johnson show from the start. Miami's outstanding junior running back finished the game with 247 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries. He also led the team in receiving with 37 yards and a score. Unfortunately, a late scare with what appeared to be a minor ankle injury ended his tremendous night in the fourth quarter.

Johnson wasn't Miami's only productive running back, as backup Gus Edwards turned in a solid performance of his own. The talented sophomore ran it 20 times for 115 yards and a score and also caught a pass for 25 yards. On a night when the team's second running back -- Joseph Yearby -- was unavailable due to injury the Canes still managed to run for 366 yards against what had been a solid Hokie defense defending the run.

An excellent ground game is exactly what Miami needed to take the pressure off freshman Brad Kaaya. The talented freshman quarterback threw the ball just 16 times and completed seven of them for 95 yards and the scoring toss to Johnson.

As good as Johnson and Miami's offense was, its defense turned in their best performance in a long time and perhaps its best since Golden took over the program four years ago.

The Hurricanes held the Hokies to 262 yards and six points. Virginia Tech was just 3-of-12 on third downs and Miami was able to generate three turnovers and multiple sacks. While the Hokies don't exactly have an explosive offense, it was far and away Miami's best defensive performance of the season.

Denzel Perryman led the way with 11 total tackles. He was one of three Hurricanes to cause fumbles in the game, along with Deon Bush and Tracy Howard.

The Hurricanes are right back in the mix in the ACC Coastal Division now with a 2-2 mark. They'll play host to North Carolina next Saturday before having another off week.

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