Canes Heat Up in Second Half, Win 34-16

MIAMI, Fla. - The #6 Miami Hurricanes defeated North Carolina 34-16 in front of 30,618 in attendance. The 'Canes put together a solid performance in the second half scoring 27 unanswered points. Tyrone Moss carried the ball 24 times for 195 yards and four touchdowns, both career-highs.

"I think I had a pretty good game, but the offensive line deserves all the credit," Moss said. "Those guys up front opened up some big holes and I just did my job, got through them, and did what I had to do."

Moss came into the game averaging 80 yards per game, but the Tar Heels did not have an answer for the 5-foot-9 junior from Pompano Beach, Fla. The offensive line often featured an unbalanced line, which gave the Tar Heel defense troubles.

Miami (6-1, 3-1) also got an outstanding defensive effort allowing just 18 yards on 33 plays in the second half. North Carolina finished the game with 188 total yards.

Things looked good in the beginning from the North Carolina standpoint.

Ronnie McGill rushed for a 1-yard touchdown on 4th down during the Tar Heels first drive of the game. North Carolina received excellent field position after a 31-yard return with a 15-yard face mask penalty on the opening kickoff.

Trailing 7-0, Miami's first possession ended when Trimaine Goddard intercepted a Kyle Wright pass thrown deep intended for Sinorice Moss. The ball was under thrown and Goddard jumped to make the catch giving the Tar Heels their second possession of the game.

Tyrone Moss added a 1-yard touchdown for the Hurricanes with 1:52 left in the first quarter. Jon Peattie made the extra point to tie the game at 7-7. On the drive, Moss rushed seven times for 43 yards.

North Carolina (3-4, 2-2) added two points on a safety when a fumbled snap went over the head of quarterback Kyle Wright. Wright was unable to recover the fumble and Lombardi semifinalist Eric Winston kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone resulting in a safety after North Carolina declined an illegal kicking call.

Miami special teams continued to struggle as the Brian Monroe kickoff went out of bounds giving the Tar Heels the ball at midfield with a 9-7 lead.

North Carolina took full advantage of the great field position as McGill scored his second touchdown of the game on a 7-yard run.

Trailing 16-7, Miami turned the ball over for the third time when Wright threw his second interception of the game on just his seventh pass.

Unfortunately for the 'Canes it didn't take long for Wright to throw his third interception of the game. The following possession, Wright threw a deep ball up for grabs intended for Darnell Jenkins that Goddard came up with again.

Wright finished the game 11-of-16 passing with 111 yards and three interceptions.

At halftime, Miami trailed 16-7. On the six first-half possessions, the Hurricanes turned the ball over four times, scored a touchdown on the other, and time ran out at the end of half.

To make matters worse, senior captain wide receiver Sinorice Moss suffered a shoulder sprain and offered words of encouragement to his fellow receivers late in the second quarter indicating he was done for the game.

The lone bright spot for the 'Canes in the first half was Tyrone Moss who rushed for 110 yards on 14 carries.

The second half was a different story as the Hurricanes played with fire and a lot of energy particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

"At halftime, we said for us to win it would have to be offense, defense, and special teams," Miami head coach Larry Coker said. "All three contributed greatly in the comeback in order to win the football game."

Moss added his second touchdown of the game when he rushed for a 1-yard touchdown with under 10 minutes left in the third quarter to close the gap to 16-14.

With the defense providing the team with energy it was the special teams that got the big play.

Quadtrine Hill blocked a punt and recovered in the end zone with 2:19 left in the third quarter. Leading 20-16 after the touchdown, head coach Larry Coker elected to attempt the 2-point conversion. The pass attempt was incomplete and the Hurricanes had to settle with a four-point lead.

With the second-team defensive line on the field, Javon Nanton sacked Matt Baker and forced a fumble that was recovered by Eric Moncur recovered the ball on the North Carolina 5-yardline.

Tyrone Moss scored on the next play with a 5-yard run, his third touchdown of the game. Peattie made the extra point and the 'Canes led 27-16.

Moss's day wasn't finished as he rushed for his fourth touchdown in the game during the fourth quarter on a 15-yard run up the middle breaking tackles and making defenders miss.

"Tyrone Moss was phenomenal," Coker said. "He was the big difference in the game."

Miami's next game is November 5 at #3 Virginia Tech (8-0, 5-0)

NOTES: DE Bryan Pata returned to the starting lineup after missing one game due to a sprained knee...LB Willie Williams delivered a huge hit in the first quarter during a punt return on D.J. Walker who suffered a right shoulder stinger...in the second quarter the Orange Bowl security guards cleared out the upper deck and forced the fans to move to the lower deck due as a precautionary because of 30 mph wind gusts according to Miami athletic director Paul Dee.

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