UM Barely Escapes, 20-15 Over Duke

With about three seconds left in the game and Duke at the UM six yard line, safety Willie Cooper intercepted the ball at the goal line to secure the 20-15 win for the University of Miami.

The game was closer than it should have been, but with UM committing 15 penalties for 156 yards, Miami extended many of Duke's drives and stopped many of their own drives.

Under a new spread attack, Miami quarterback Kyle Wright finished 23-for-41 for 297 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Lance Leggett led all receivers with 131 yards on 6 receptions. Tyrone Moss led all rushers with 12 carries for 34 yards.

Miami was in total control of the game until Duke scored two touchdowns with less than 10 minutes in the game to bring the game to 20-15.

The UM defense forced five turnovers in the game, with Kenny Phillips finishing with three interceptions in the game.

Wright came out firing on all cylinders in the first half, finishing 16-24 for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

Receiver Sam Shields made two nice plays in which he outraced the Duke secondary into the end zone. His first touchdown of the game came on an 18 yard post route. Shields plucked the ball out of the air and ran into the end zone.

On his second touchdown, Shields caught a 26-yard touchdown from Wright in which he ran across the width of the field and beat the defense to the corner of the end zone.

Miami probably should have put more points on the board in the first half, but due to penalties several of the promising drives ended in punts. UM finished with 7 penalties for 55 yards in the first half.

Defensive backs Kenny Phillips and Lovon Ponder each forced a turnover in the first half—with the Miami offense converting each turnover into a touchdown.

Duke scored their first points of the game on a high snap during a punting situation to punter Darren Daly.

Daly recovered the punt and made the smart decision to punt the ball through the end zone rather than give Duke good field position for a touchdown. Daly averaged 37 yards on his punts for the game.

David Lake can be reached at

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