Refusal To Lose

Seventeen years later, it was Miami's turn to supply a spectacular finish and defeat Boston College.

Safety Edward Reed returned a lateral for a touchdown with 13 seconds left to complete a bizarre 91-yard scoring play and rescue top-ranked Miami in an 18-7 Big East Conference victory over the Eagles.

Todd Sievers kicked four field goals for the Hurricanes, (8-0, 5-0 Big East), who needed a late defensive stand to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 18 games.

"Obviously, this was a typical nail-biter," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "We try to avoid this, tried to program ourselves into thinking this was going to be a tight game."

Boston College moved to the Miami 9 in the final minute thanks to a 21-yard pass from Brian St. Pierre to Dedric Dewalt.

St. Pierre followed with a short slant pass that was deflected by cornerback Mike Rumph to tackle Matt Walters. Walters began running with the ball before the speedy Reed ripped the ball out of his hands and raced 80 yards to the end zone.

"We had double slants called," St. Pierre said. "They guy made a break on the ball, it popped up and they got luckly."

The win kept alive hopes of a national title for Miami, which closes the season with tough games against Syracuse, Washington and Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes moved up to second in the latest Bowl Championship Series ratings.

"With about 40 seconds remaining, no one was thinking about the BCS polls," Coker said. "We were only thinking about stopping Boston College."

Boston College (6-3, 3-2) was forced to go for the touchdown after Kevin McMyler missed a 28-yard field goal earlier in the fourth quarter.

Boston College has lost 12 straight games in the series and has not defeated the Hurricanes since Doug Flutie launched his famous last-second "Hail Mary" touchdown pass in 1984.

The Eagles nearly pulled off the huge upset even without William Green, the nation's leading rusher who was suspended for violating an unspecified team rule.

A strong defensive effort helped Miami overcame a shaky showing by Heisman Trophy candidate Ken Dorsey, who completed 20-of-41 passes for 222 yards with a career-high four interceptions.

"I played like crap," Dorsey said. "When you go out and play like this you've got to be honest with yourself. I did not play very good today."

The Hurricanes were held without an offensive touchdown for the first time since a 47-0 loss to Florida State on October 4, 1997, a span of 52 games.

Another huge mistake, a fumble by Frank Gore, nearly cost Miami the game.

The Hurricanes took over at their own 10-yard line with 6:09 left and seemed to be in the process of running out the clock. A A 15-yard run by Clinton Portis on 3rd-and-13 and a pair of third-down completions by Dorsey helped the Hurricanes move to the Eagle 31 before Gore fumbled with 2:09 left.

St. Pierre, who completed 12-of-29 passes for 162 yards, patiently moved the Eagles downfield in the drive that ended in the score by Reed. Bringing up memories of Miami's defiant past, Reed spiked the ball in the end zone for a personal foul.

Portis rushed for 160 yards on 36 carries.

The Hurricanes took a 9-0 halftime lead on field goals of 38, 24 and 43 yards by Sievers in the second quarter.

Dorsey was picked off on two of Miami's first three possessions and again on consecutive possessions in the third.

Following an interception by Josh Ott, the Eagles finally scored late in the third quarter when St. Pierre found Sean Ryan on an eight-yard TD pass in the right corner of the end zone.

Playing in place of Green, Derrick Knight carried 27 times for 78 yards and caught four passes for 55 yards.

"I definitely felt a little bit of pressure, but I wasn't going to try and be somebody else," McKnight said. "I was going out there and trying to make my team win."

Sievers added a 47-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

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