Michael Rocco connected with Jake McGee for the game-winning touchdown with six seconds to play as Virginia upset Miami, 41-40, on Saturday. The TD pass was Rocco's fourth of the day and gave Virginia (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) its second consecutive victory following a six-game losing streak. It was the Cavaliers' third straight win against the Hurricanes.
The Cavaliers still need to beat North Carolina on Thursday night and then Virginia Tech to become bowl eligible. The team is building confidence, after blowing out North Carolina State, 33-6, last week and rallying against the Hurricanes Saturday afternoon.
Miami (5-5, 4-3) lost despite three touchdown passes from Stephen Morris and a brilliant performance by Duke Johnson. The freshman ran for 150 yards on just 16 carries, returned a kickoff for a touchdown and threw a TD pass.
The victory also means the Hurricanes need to win at Duke on Nov. 24 to claim their first Coastal Division title, and a spot in the ACC championship game. The school is still determining whether it would accept the berth, or self-impose a postseason ban for the second season in a row while an NCAA investigation into its compliance practices continues.
Rocco, who again shared QB duties with Phillip Sims, led a 16-play, 87-yard drive. He kept it going with a 9-yard completion to Dominique Terrell on fourth-and-7 from his own 44. The Cavaliers also got officiating help in the form of a very late flag for holding against cornerback Thomas Finnie on another fourth down pass that Terrell did not come up with at Miami's 20.
Four plays later, Rocco found the 6-foot-5 McGee in the back of the end zone for the game-winner.
Miami's Johnson would have stolen the show in the first half if the Hurricanes could have stopped Virginia. Johnson ripped off a 52-yard run on the Hurricanes' opening possession, stiff-arming at least three defenders along the way. Two plays later, he threw a perfect 8-yard halfback option pass to Hurns for the touchdown.
But the day belonged to Rocco.
He completed 18 passes in a row at one stretch and finished 29 of 37 for 300 yards. Rocco threw touchdown passes of 7 yards to Miles Gooch, and 6 and 5 yards to Darius Jennings. The second one to Jennings pulled Virginia within 38-35 with 5:33 left in the game.
Morris threw for 179 yards with three touchdowns: a 12-yarder to Hurns, 9 yards to Clive Walford and a 35-yard strike to Phillip Dorsett, which gave the Hurricanes a 38-28 lead early in the fourth quarter. Then Virginia coach Mike London ditched the quarterback rotation he had been using all day, put the ball back in Rocco's hands and the junior's pinpoint passing led two touchdown drives.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:21 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:21:59 GMT
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:05:57 GMT
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Monday, May 20 2013 12:44 AM EDT2013-05-20 04:44:37 GMT
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Monday, May 20 2013 12:35 AM EDT2013-05-20 04:35:48 GMT
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Monday, May 20 2013 12:26 AM EDT2013-05-20 04:26:41 GMT
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