- Associated Press - Saturday, November 7, 2015

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Another road trip, another disappointment for Virginia.

Now, the Cavaliers’ hopes of reaching their first bowl game since 2011 are in deep trouble.

Virginia couldn’t hold a third-quarter lead, had what would have been a fourth-quarter touchdown nullified by a debated offensive pass interference call and wound up falling, 27-21, to Miami on Saturday.

It was the 14th consecutive road loss for the Cavaliers, who now need to win their final three games to have a shot at a postseason game.

“It’s been a season of close games, back and forth, and you want to be on the other side of that,” Virginia coach Mike London said. “We came up short today.”

Virginia (3-6, 2-3 ACC) had beaten Miami in four of the last five years, and looked very much it had a shot at adding to the Hurricanes’ frustration. But Miami (6-3, 3-2 ACC) pulled off a comeback win for the second consecutive week, albeit one in far less dramatic fashion than the eight-lateral kickoff return on the final play to top Duke last Saturday.

Brad Kaaya returned from a one-game absence as he recovered from a concussion to throw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, while Stacy Coley had 132 receiving yards and a touchdown. The Hurricanes moved to 2-0 under interim coach Larry Scott, who joined Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson and Larry Coker as the only coaches in the last 70 years to have such a start with Miami.

“It’s about the kids,” Scott said. “It’s about giving them an opportunity to have success. They work hard. They’ve been through a lot. It’s all about everything we can do in our power to make sure they have the feeling they have right now each and every week.”

David Njoku had a five-yard touchdown catch to open the scoring and set up Mark Walton’s one-yard, fourth-quarter scoring run with a 58-yard grab for Miami, which is now bowl-eligible and still in the race for the Coastal Division title.

“Felt great getting back out there,” said Kaaya, who was cleared by Miami doctors on Friday night.

Matt Johns completed 29 of 42 passes for 280 yards for Virginia, which was clearly steamed postgame about the pass interference call.

“Just ask me another question,” London said.

Virginia’s Canaan Severin had what would have been a four-yard score washed out when Cavaliers tight end Charlie Hopkins was flagged on the play. Hopkins didn’t make any effort to hide his frustration after the game, saying he was in “disbelief” when he saw the flag.

“That’s a play we’ve had in since fall camp,” Hopkins said. “It’s a great play. … For me to get called on a pass interference on my guy, that makes no sense.”

Ian Frye kicked a field goal on that drive and finished with four in all, including a 47-yarder that made it a six-point game with 35 seconds left. Miami recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.

The Cavaliers were down, 14-5, in the second quarter then put together 10 unanswered points for the lead. Olamide Zaccheaus capped a six-play, 80-yard drive with a three-yard run for a touchdown midway through the third to put the Cavaliers on top, 15-14.

It lasted all of two minutes, 20 seconds.

Miami responded with a field goal from Michael Badgley to reclaim the lead then Kaaya finding Njoku on a long catch-and-run set up the touchdown run by Walton that allowed the Hurricanes to finally exhale.

It’s the first time since 2008 that Miami swept its ACC rivals from the state of Virginia. The Hurricanes topped Virginia Tech, 30-20, earlier this season.

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