- The Washington Times - Friday, November 14, 2008

MIAMI | Javarris James ran for a touchdown, Matt Bosher kicked three field goals, and Miami got a huge defensive stand in the final minutes to beat Virginia Tech 16-14 on Thursday night and move into first place in the ACC’s Coastal Division.

Marcus Robinson had three sacks and a big third-down tackle for a loss with 2:27 left to help the Hurricanes win their fifth straight.

Robinson’s stop on Dustin Pickle forced the Hokies, who were out of timeouts, into a fourth-and-3 - and Allen Bailey sacked Tyrod Taylor to seal the win for the Hurricanes, who knelt three times to run out the clock.

Taylor ran for two touchdowns, including a 6-yarder with 3:28 remaining for the Hokies (6-4, 3-3), who had won four of the last five meetings against the Hurricanes, but now essentially need a miracle to stay in the ACC title picture. Darren Evans, who rushed for a school-record 253 yards last week, was held to 43 yards on 17 carries.

“Tremendous game tonight,” said Miami coach Randy Shannon, whose team will finish the league slate with trips to Georgia Tech on Thursday and North Carolina State on Nov. 29. “Unbelievable. … It was nip-and-tuck, which way would it go, you didn’t know.”

So for now, Miami (7-3, 4-2) holds the outright lead in the ACC Coastal, a half-game ahead of North Carolina, which will need to win Saturday at Maryland to keep pace in the race for a trip to the league title game in Tampa, Fla.

“Right now, it really doesn’t mean anything,” James said. “We still have two games to go.”

Robert Marve threw for 121 yards and rushed for 44 more for the Hurricanes, who won just five games total last season and started 0-2 in the ACC this year - yet have been the league’s hottest team since.

And it was the defense that carried the Hurricanes once again.

Miami ran 20 plays from scrimmage in the third quarter, compared with six by Virginia Tech - which never advanced the ball farther than its own 18 in that period, adding to the Hurricanes’ run of defensive dominance after halftime.

Over the last five games, the Hurricanes’ defense has been on the field for 76 plays in third quarters and given up a mere 139 yards, a paltry 1.8 yard-a-play average. And with defense like that, Miami didn’t necessarily mind settling for field goals to stretch the lead.

Bosher connected from 21 and 31 yards in the third quarter, then added a 23-yarder early in the fourth for a 16-7 Miami advantage.

Needing two scores at that point and with time running short, the Hokies looked for a big play - and nearly got it.

Taylor’s pass to Dyrell Roberts on a stop-and-go route was perfect, but Roberts dropped the ball inside the Miami 20 with 7:34 left, a play where he could have easily beaten Chavez Grant for a touchdown.

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