Reeling from a 45-3 blowout at the hands of in-state rival Florida State last weekend, the Miami Hurricanes needed a big win to keep their hopes of bowl eligibility alive – and they got it. The ‘Canes never trailed on their way to a 35-14 victory over Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Miami was missing two key offensive players in starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke and running back Henry Parrish Jr., but it did not matter.
Freshman quarterback Jacurri Brown excelled in his first career start for the Hurricanes, throwing for 136 yards and three touchdowns. He added 87 yards on the ground.
“It felt amazing,” Brown said. “Felt like everything I went through from being younger to up until this point was worth it, all the hard coaching and everything like that, was all worth it.”
The Miami run game dominated the Georgia Tech defense as the combination of Brown and running back Jaylan Knighton proved to be too much for the Yellow Jackets. The ‘Canes rushed for 226 yards, with Knighton leading all rushers with 118. He also scored a touchdown.
Miami’s defense gave the Georgia Tech offense fits all game as it forced four interceptions, three by safety Kamren Kinchens, against quarterbacks Zach Pyron and Zach Gibson.
The Hurricanes’ opening drive went 75 yards on 11 plays and was capped off with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Brown to tight end Will Mallory.
To begin the second quarter, Miami totaled 93 yards on 14 plays as Brown hit tight end Jaleel Skinner for a four-yard touchdown to increase Miami’s lead to 14-0.
Miami punter Lou Hedley pinned Georgia Tech at its own one-yard line with less than five minutes remaining in the first half. However, the Yellow Jackets drove 99 yards to get on the board, as Pyron tossed a nine-yard touchdown to wide receiver Nate McCollum in the back of the end zone.
Still, Miami took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
No one scored in the third quarter, but Miami cornerback Tyrique Stevenson got an interception off a Georgia Tech flea–flicker attempt.
In the final frame, Georgia Tech benched Pyron for Gibson. However, it did not help, as Gibson threw an interception to Kinchens on his first possession.
Soon after, Brown hit receiver Colbie Young for an eight-yard score to extend Miami’s lead to 21-7.
Georgia Tech turned the ball over on downs on its next drive, and the Hurricanes capitalized on their next possession. Knighton capped a four-play drive with a two-yard touchdown to give the ‘Canes a 21-point lead.
Kinchens then snagged his third interception of the game and took it 99 yards to the end zone, putting the game completely out of reach for the Yellow Jackets.
“I think everybody in there is proud of our team for bouncing back the way they did and just being resilient, showing up to work and putting together a really good game, almost a complete game,” head coach Mario Cristobal said.
Next up, the ‘Canes travel to Death Valley, South Carolina, on Nov. 19 to face No. 10 Clemson in their second-to-last game of the regular season. The kickoff time is to be determined.