Jacory Harris tied a career best with four touchdown passes — three to Leonard Hankerson — and No. 16 Miami opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 30-21 victory over host Clemson yesterday.
Harris had all four of his scoring throws in the opening half as the Hurricanes (3-1) took a 27-14 lead. Then they called on the ACC’s top-rated defense to hang on.
Ahead, 27-21, cornerback Brandon Harris stopped Andre Ellington on fourth and 1 from Miami’s 20 with 8:20 to go, ending the Tigers’ comeback.
The Hurricanes followed with a mistake-free, 68-yard drive that finished with Matt Bosher’s clinching 29-yard field goal.
“It was just one of those games where I thought our guys really stayed focused and played hard and didn’t stress,’’ Miami coach Randy Shannon said. “Defensively, they really showed a lot of poise in the second half.’’
Clemson (2-2, 0-1) came into the game with the ACC’s fewest turnovers — just two in its first three games. But Miami forced the Tigers into three fumbles and three interceptions.
Harris finished 13 of 33 for 205 yards and two interceptions. His touchdown throws matched his personal high set against Duke in 2008. Hankerson had seven catches for a career-high 147 yards.
Harris and the Hurricanes looked like they had put this one away by halftime after Hankerson’s 7-yard TD catch with 10 seconds left before the break put Miami ahead, 27-14.
But then Harris showed why he can both amaze and frustrate fans of “The U.’’ He was called for intentional grounding near his goal line, forcing Miami to punt from the end zone. Clemson took advantage of the good field position that followed with the last of Ellington’s three touchdowns to cut the deficit to 27-21.
Virginia Tech 41, N.C. State 30 — Tyrod Taylor threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett Boykin with 1:27 left, and the visiting Hokies rallied past the No. 23 Wolfpack.
Taylor finished 12 of 24 for 123 yards with three touchdown passes and rushed for 121 yards to lead Virginia Tech (3-2, 2-0) back from a 17-0 deficit. Darren Evans rushed for 160 yards and two TDs, David Wilson returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, and Jayron Hosley had three interceptions.
Russell Wilson was 21 of 49 for 362 yards with three touchdown passes for the Wolfpack (4-1, 1-1), whose first appearance in the national rankings since 2003 likely will be a short one. Josh Czajkowski’s 42-yard field goal put N.C. State up, 30-28, with 4:42 left.
Georgia Tech 24, Wake Forest 20 — Joshua Nesbitt shook off a rough start with a brilliant fourth quarter, throwing a 9-yard touchdown pass to Correy Earls with 15 seconds left to give the visiting Yellow Jackets a comeback win.
Nesbitt had 6 yards rushing on 19 carries at the start the fourth quarter before leading Georgia Tech (3-2, 2-1) on three scoring drives. He finished with 72 yards rushing and passed for 130 yards and two fourth-quarter TDs.
Josh Adams rushed for 101 yards and a TD and Brandon Pendergrass added a rushing score for Wake Forest (2-3, 1-2).
Florida St. 34, Virginia 14 — Jermaine Thomas ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and the Seminoles routed the host Cavaliers (2-2, 0-1).
Florida State (4-1, 2-0) led, 27-0, at halftime after outgaining Virginia, 294-42. Thomas, who finished with 122 yards on 16 carries, scored on runs of 70 and 10 yards, and Christian Ponder hit Willie Haulstead with a 15-yard touchdown pass.
North Carolina 42, East Carolina 17 — Shaun Draughn scored three second-half touchdowns while Da’Norris Searcy returned an interception for a touchdown in his first game back to help the host Tar Heels drub the Pirates.
Draughn ran for 137 yards for the Tar Heels (2-2) and Johnny White also ran for a career-high 140 yards. North Carolina was without 11 players due to the NCAA review into agent-related benefits and possible academic misconduct involving a tutor. The school had held Searcy — a safety who started every game last season — out of the first three games to determine his eligibility before he was cleared to return Thursday.
Maryland 21, Duke 16 — Tony Logan scored on an 84-yard punt return in the third quarter to give Maryland its first lead, and the Terrapins (4-1, 1-0) held on to beat the visiting Blue Devils (1-4, 0-2). Maryland already has doubled its win total of last year, when it went 2-10 and finished the season with seven straight defeats.