UM Defense Comes To The Rescue

On a day in which starting quarterback Ken Dorsey threw four interceptions and looked nothing like a Heisman Trophy candidate, it was the defense that made sure the Hurricanes left Alumni Stadium victorious.

The defensive unit recovered a Boston College fumble and interceped quarterback Brian St. Pierre on two occasions. The Hurricanes held BC to 293 yards of offense and stopped the Eagles in critical stretches of the game.

None more important than with time running out and the Eagles driving for the winning touchdown. Defensive tackle Matt Walters secured a Miami victory with an interception of St. Pierre after the ball bounced off Mike Rumph's knee. Safety Ed Reed took the ball from Walters and raced 80 yards for the touchdown to provide the final margin of 18-7.

"Nothing surprises me anymore with those guys. They just seem to raise up and make a play whenever we need one," said Rumph, who could off a slant pattern on the play at the Hurricanes 9. "We have a different person step up all the time."

The Hurricanes struggled a bit at the start, allowing consecutive first downs on the Eagles initial offensive series. But the unit rebounded and forced three straight punts. The Eagles had 45 yards rushing in the first half and failed to cross midfield.

"The defense did a super job," said UM coach Larry Coker. "I'm extremely proud of the way they played, especially because they've taken some unfair heat."

William Joseph recorded a sack of St. Pierre, while linebacker Chris Campbell had a game-high 12 tackles. Sophomore Jonathan Vilma added nine tackles.

IN THE CLUTCH

Miami placekicker Todd Sievers accounted for 12 points with four field goals against Boston College, including one in the final quarter that gave the Hurricanes a 12-7 lead.

Sievers, who has nailed seven straight field goals, moved into a tie for field goals made in a season with Danny Miller. Sievers with 16 field goals trails Carlos Huerta by five for the school record. Huerta had 21 in 1988. Additionally, Sievers moved into seventh place on the all-time career field goals list at Miami with 27. Sievers needs five field goals to move into sixth place.

"It's been a great season and hopefully I can keep it up," said Sievers, a junior.

ON A ROLL

Included in Siever's four field goals against Boston College was a career long 47-yarder. Sievers leads the Big East in scoring with 85 points and has missed two field goals all season. Sievers, named the Big East Special Teams Player of the Week, has made 16 field goals and is fifth in the nation in scoring with 10.6 points per game.

"He came through for us, just like he has all season long" said Coker.

BAD TIMING

Portis had his day come to end after spraining his ankle on a run on the Hurricanes final offensive possession. Portis left the game and was replaced by freshman Frank Gore, who fumbled the ball away. Gore finished with four yards on three carries.

MORE PORTIS

With 160 yards on 36 carries, Portis had his 11th 100+ performance of his career at UM and fifth of the season.- his previous career-high was 164 yards earlier this season at Penn State. The 36 carries in the game is also a career-high for Miami and ranks as the second most in school history. Ottis Anderson (1978 vs. Florida) and Edgerrin James (1998 vs. UCLA) hold the mark with 39 rushes in a game.

BOOK ON DORSEY

Before the Eagles contest, Dorsey's only other appearance without a TD pass was in brief outings in 1999 against Pittsburgh and against Virginia Tech…...With 222 yards, Dorsey moved into sixth on the career passing list with 5,548 yards. Dorsey passed Steve Walsh and now trails Bernie Kosar (5,971)…….Dorsey threw a then-high three interceptions in a win over Louisiana Tech last year.

RARITY

The Hurricanes were held scoreless in the first quarter, marking the first time all season they had not scored in the opening quarter and just the third time all year they had failed to score in any quarter. The Hurricanes have played 30 quarters this season……Until BC scored a touchdown in the third quarter, the Hurricanes defense had not allowed a score of any kind since a field goal by Brendan Rauh if West Virginia in the first quarter of that game. The touchdown allowed was the first by the defense since the third quarter against Florida State

CLOTHING

The Hurricanes wore all-white uniforms against Boston College for only the second time ever. In their previous all-white appearance, the Hurricanes defeated West Virginia 47-10 last year……..Before the BC game, the lowest point total for Miami was 10 in a 1999 loss to Virginia Tech.

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