Canes fumble chance at ACC championship

There have been gloomy days as of late, but at least there is an opportunity for the clouds to part for the Hurricanes if they make it to the Sun Bowl.

The only chance Miami has of going to Charlotte, N.C. is if they change planes en route to their bowl game.

After Miami’s 31-17 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium, the Canes were eliminated from winning the coastal division. With the Canes’ defeat, Frank Beamer and his Hokie squad won its ninth straight game and will be headed to the Tar Heel State to represent the ACC in the conference title game.

Miami had six turnovers that proved costly and lost to a ranked opponent for the third time this year.

“[Virginia Tech] capitalized on some big plays and we didn’t capitalize,” said Shannon who is now 4-9 versus ranked opponents in his four-year tenure.

The story of the game was the amount of missed opportunities for Miami.

Wide receivers Aldarius Johnson and Travis Benjamin dropped touchdown passes.

Orlando Franklin committed a holding penalty that negated a big play. Matt Bosher missed a field goal.

Damien Berry fumbled the ball on fourth-and-1 inside the red zone.

Tyler Horn snapped the ball too quickly to Stephen Morris which caused a fumble.

Missed tackles led to long runs and prolonged drives.

The game plan was very good. Miami utilized its timeouts well, sacked Tyrod Taylor five times and let the run game take over.

Horn may have summarized Hurricane nation’s thoughts in one quick sentence.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Horn said. “I hate losing, everyone on this team does.”

The sole positive from the game was the fact that Leonard Hankerson broke Michael Irvin’s record for most touchdowns in a single season with 12. But that quickly turned into a negative as soon as Tyrod Taylor mocked Hurricane fans by throwing up the U.

“Right now it don’t mean anything,” said Hankerson, who broke the record that had been in existence for two decades. “If it had been a W it had been different.”

What separates the good from the great is the ability to finish games. Morris threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter and VT outscored UM 14-0.

Virginia Tech has only given up six points in the fourth quarter in its seven ACC games.

Miami looked like FAMU sporting its new Nike jerseys, and in the fourth quarter, they played like FAMU too. The process continues for the Miami Hurricanes.

Justin Antweil may be contacted at