Miami (11-0, 6-0 Big East) extended the nation's longest winning streak to 33 games and needs only to defeat Virginia Tech next Saturday to lock up a date with second-ranked Ohio State for the national title on January 3 in Tempe, Arizona.
The Hurricanes, who clinched at least a share of their eighth
Big East Conference title, were threatened by Pittsburgh last
week before holding on for a 28-21 victory. There was no such
tension Saturday at the Carrier Dome, where Dorsey completed TD
passes of 23 yards to Ethenic Sands and four yards to Andre
Johnson as Miami rolled up 565 total yards.
"It was a great team performance. The offense was clicking,"
Dorsey said. "We wanted to build some momentum ending the season.
We have a tough game next week. I felt very comfortable out there.
We had a great game plan and guys were getting open."
Dorsey enhanced his chances for the Heisman Trophy by completing
16-of-25 passes without an interception. His favorite target
was Johnson, who caught six passes for 181 yards.
"I said all season that Ken Dorsey is the best quarterback in the
country and I think you saw that today," Syracuse coach Paul
Dorsey had to share the spotlight with another Heisman candidate
as McGahee had touchdown runs of 61 and 51 yards despite
playing with what appeared to be a slight knee injury.
McGahee, who carried 14 times for 134 yards, has rushed for 21
touchdowns this season to extend his own school record and went
over the 100-yard mark for the ninth time this season.
The Hurricanes posted their 23rd straight Big East win, while
coach Larry Coker improved to 23-0 in his two years at Miami.
Coker, always a diplomat, refused to endorse either player for
the Heisman Trophy.
"If we win as a team, the individual honors will take care of themselves
and I hope that happens this year," Coker said. "I don't want to
downplay that, but it's not for me to decide."
The Hurricanes also extended their road winning streak to 17
Syracuse (4-8, 2-5) completed its worst season in 12 years under
Pasqualoni, who has come under fire despite a
129-63-1 record at the school. The Orangemen endured their
worst season since 1982, when it was 2-9, and the end of the
year did not nothing to ease the pain.
"I don't feel relieved at all. I don't feel good," Pasqualoni
said. "It kind of makes you sick to your stomach."
Miami set the tone early. Dorsey completed a 19-yard pass to
Andre Johnson on Miami's first play from scrimmage and McGahee
followed with a 61-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0.
Dorsey led the Hurricanes on a seven-play, 85-yard drive later
in the opening quarter. Dorsey completed a 34-yard pass to
Johnson and capped the drive with a scoring strike to Ethenic
The advantage grew to 21-0 early in the third quarter when
Dorsey completed passes of 33 yards to Johnson and 19 yards to
Jason Geathers before finding Johnson for a three-yard TD pass.
"We knew we had the potential for some very good matchups," Dorsey
said of the Syracuse secondary.
One of the few bright spots for Syracuse came late in the first
half when it blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt by Todd
Sievers and marched downfield for a one-yard touchdown run by
Reyes carried 15 times for 110 yards. Troy Nunes completed
18-of-29 passes for 145 yards.
Any chances of a Syracuse comeback ended early in the third
quarter when Dorsey lofted a 68-yard pass to Johnson to set up a
two-yard TD run by Quadtrine Hill.
McGahee soon exploded on a 51-yard TD run to make it 35-7 in the
middle of the second quarter.
In a curious move, Coker called for a fake out of punt formation
with the game well in hand as punter Freddie Capshaw threw a
47-yard TD pass to Sean Taylor.
Maurice Sikes capped the scoring with a 53-yard interception
return for a score.
One Down - One To Go
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