Gore Comes Through

After being restricted to the sidelines for the last 11 months while he healed from a second knee injury, University of Miami running back Frank Gore is still holding off on declaring himself 100 percent healthy. But the Seminoles might have a different opinion.

Gore, playing in his first game since last October, scored on an 18-yard run in overtime to give the Hurricanes a come-from-behind 16-10 victory over Florida State on Friday night in the Orange Bowl.

With Miami facing a second-and-three from the Seminoles' 18 yard line on their first possession of OT, Gore took a handoff and followed a short block on the right side of the line before breaking away towards the end zone untouched. Gore gained seven yards on the Hurricanes first play of the extra session.

"It felt great to be in there with everything on the line," said Gore, who was mobbed by teammates as he tried making his way to the locker room. "I never had any doubt in my mind that I would be in this position again."

Gore finished with a modest 89 yards on 18 carries - an average of 4.9 yards a carry - and struggled at times against an aggressive Florida State defense. But after enduring two knee surgeries to repair ACL injuries, Gore was the subject of rave reviews by night's end as he delivered in a crucial spot for UM.

"You just can't say enough about Frank," said UM coach Larry Coker. "A lot of guys would give up after one of those (knee surgeries) - let alone two - but he just kept fighting and working to get back. I couldn't be happier for the young man."

Despite an impressive fall camp that elevated his confidence, there were still plenty of questions surrounding Gore as he prepared to face Florida State. Would the same burst of speed still be there? How would he react to getting hit? Could he hold up for an entire game?

Gore, who was forced to sit out Miami's two victories over FSU last season after tearing his right ACL against West Virginia, didn't have his way entirely against the Seminoles, however he showed the same kind of flashes that made him one of the nation's top freshmen running backs in 2001.

Looking elusive and quick, Gore gained 28 yards on three carries, including a 13-yard burst right through the middle of Florida State's defensive line during Miami's initial offensive possession of the game. Gore also added a game-high 20-yard run on a first-down play midway through the second quarter.

Gore, who checked in at 220 pounds this summer, also displayed an ability to fight off tackles and pick up additional yardage in heavy traffic.

"Frank just kept digging deep and getting some tough yards," said UM quarterback Brock Berlin. "He showed us what he is made of."

The Hurricanes finished with 109 rushing yards as a team.

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