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MIAMI 27, VA. TECH 7

Tech wrecks hopes for BCS title game

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Miami swaggered into Virginia Tech as an underdog and took a huge bite out of the Hokies' national title hopes.

The fifth-ranked Hurricanes put the clamps on Marcus Vick, forcing him into six turnovers, and blew the Hokies right out of the national title picture with a stunning 27-7 victory last night.

The third-ranked Hokies (8-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) had hoped an impressive win over Miami would not only take them a step closer to their second straight ACC title, but also give them a boost in the Bowl Championship Series standings.

Virginia Tech was in third place behind Southern California and Texas in the BCS standings, with designs on making a late-season run to the Rose Bowl.

Instead, Miami (7-1, 4-1) helped clear the clutter at the top of the BCS and ensure that Virginia Tech won't be this season's Auburn -- perfect but left out of the national title game.

The day started with five unbeaten teams in major college football, but the Hokies and UCLA fell. Texas and Alabama stayed perfect and Southern Cal was trying to do the same against Stanford.

Miami had lost two straight and seven of 10 to its former Big East rival, but now the Hurricanes control the Coastal Division race in the ACC and could play in the conference's first title game in Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 3 by winning out.

The Hurricanes turned four lost fumbles by Vick and two interceptions into 17 points.

Pinned deep in their own territory late in the third quarter, the Hokies couldn't hold out the Miami rush and Vick was swarmed under by Javon Nanton and Co. The ball squirted loose and Kareem Brown jumped on it in the end zone to give Miami a 27-0 lead.

The score made Lane Stadium -- one of the rowdiest in the country and a place where Miami lost, 31-7, two years ago -- sound like a library.

Vick finished 8 of 22 for 90 yards against the top-ranked defense in the country, the worst performance of his college career, by far. He ran for a 2-yard TD in the fourth quarter, to keep the Hokies from being shut out for the first time since 1995.

Offensively, Kyle Wright and Miami were just the opposite of Vick and the Hokies -- efficient and opportunistic.

Wright was 13 of 22 for 146 yards with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Jenkins in the third quarter after the Hurricanes recovered a fumbled snap by Vick.

Charlie Jones ran for 97 yards and a touchdown and the Hurricanes put up more points against the No. 1 scoring defense in the country than the last three ACC opponents combined.

The Hurricanes were rare 6 1/2-point underdogs, and none too pleased about it. Looking for respect, they refused to be the foil in the Hokies' national title scenario and even made themselves a dark horse in the Rose Bowl race.

Miami took the crowd out of it early and made the type of plays on defense that Virginia Tech usually makes to overwhelm opponents.

The first strike came from Thomas Carroll, who came off the blind side to strip the ball from Vick in the first quarter and Miami recovered at the Virginia Tech 29. The Hokies limited the damage to a 27-yard field goal by Jon Peattie.

Miami made it 10-0 in the second quarter, putting together a 17-play, 82-yard drive that was aided by a personal foul called on Hokies defensive end Darryl Tapp, and capped when Jones blasted into the end zone on fourth and goal from the 1.

The Hurricanes lost leading rusher Tyrone Moss for the game to a sprained knee on the drive and Wright was also knocked out of action on the helmet-to-helmet hit by Tapp.

Wright returned and the first-year starter helped Miami snap Virginia Tech's 11-game ACC winning streak and 16-game streak in regular-season games.

The loss was just the second in 30 games by Virginia Tech with Marcus or Michael Vick starting at quarterback.

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