Canes Fall 16-10 on Senior Day

MIAMI, Fla. - An invitation to spend New Year's Eve in Atlanta is likely on the way for the Hurricanes. With an Atlantic Coast Conference championship and automatic BCS bowl berth on the line No. 9 Miami (8-3) fell to No. 10 Virginia Tech 16-10 in front of 62,205 in the Orange Bowl Saturday afternoon.

The Hurricanes, who in all probability will be formally invited by the Peach Bowl to face Florida Dec. 31 in Atlanta, were plagued by poor offensive play and costly turnovers in falling out of the BCS mix.

The Hokies improved to 10-2, while clinching a spot in the Sugar Bowl.

"I would definitely size it up as a disappointment because we had a chance to lock down a BCS bowl berth and we couldn't get it done," said UM coach Larry Coker. "Obviously a lot of things went wrong for us - you have to get people stopped and we didn't do that."

Miami mustered just 190 yards of total offense as the Hokies constantly put pressure on quarterback Brock Berlin. Berlin, playing in his final game in the Orange Bowl, finished 16-for- 31 for 139 yards and an interception. Berlin was sacked three times.

Virginia Tech running back Cedric Humes had a game-high 124 rushing yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Tied 10-10 with 11:38 left in the fourth quarter Hokies quarterback Bryan Randall found Eddie Royal for a 39-yard touchdown play. But the Hurricanes could not answer on any of their last three offensive possessions of the game.

After finding little room to operate on their first two offensive possessions the Hokies put things together - with an assist from senior defensive back Eric Green. Green intercepted Berlin - who had not thrown an interception in 163 consecutive pass attempts - in the end zone on a pass intended for Roscoe Parrish.

Consecutive pass plays from Randall to David Clowney positioned the Hokies at the UM 28 before Cedric Humes ran the ball three straight times to set up a first and goal at the seven yard line. Two plays later, Randall found a wide-open Jeff King on a three-yard touchdown pass to give the Hokies a 7-0 lead with 13:46 remaining in the second quarter.

Sophomore Brandon Pace hit a 45-yard field goal with time expiring in the first-half to give the Hokies a 10-7.

"The guys just kept fighting and found a way to get it done," said Virginia Tech quarterback Bryan Randall, who was 11 for 18 for 148 yards and two touchdowns while adding 63 rushing yards on 13 carries. "A lot of people might say it wasn't very pretty, but the bottom line is we're going bowling, baby."

The Hurricanes, forced to punt on two of their four first-half offensive possessions, were held to 95 total yards in the first half as the Hokies came up with a pair of critical turnovers to halt drives.

Miami moved to the VT 35 on eight plays midway through the second quarter as Berlin completed three of four passes for 40 yards, including a nine-yard completion to Kevin Everett. But the senior was picked off by Green on the next play

Hurricanes defensive end Javon Nanton forced a fumble that was recovered by Leon Williams to give UM possession of the ball at the Hokies 18-yard-line with 7:28 remaining in the first half. But the Hurricanes gave it back two plays later as Berlin fumbled after being hit by James Anderson.

"You can't have those types of things happen in key moments like that and expect to come out on top," said Coker. "We just didn't do enough things to allow ourselves to win the football game."

"We never got any rhythm on offense and never made the big plays. The penalties were disastrous for us and we were never able to switch ends of the field."

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