Memo to Miami: The road to the ACC title goes through Blacksburg
A solid hour after the last of his 34 carries last Saturday,
Neither Williams nor his teammates got this week's memo -- the one proclaiming that Miami was back; that Hurricanes quarterback
What the Hokies
They upheld it early and often in a comprehensive butt-kicking that saw the home team -- a tad embarrassed after last week's ragged victory over Nebraska -- dominate in every phase. Miami wasn't the first Top 10 team to leave Lane Stadium wondering what on earth just hit it. No shame in that. But it was the
For long stretches, the home team had a monopoly on passion, on intensity, nastiness -- qualities that Miami was supposed to have been stockpiling. After nine days of hearing about how these Hurricanes were ready to reprise the feats of the great Miami teams of the recent past, it was Williams who ran like
Behind Williams, backup tailback
"You didn't hear a lot about Virginia Tech this week," noted Hokies head coach
When he wasn't composing notes to put in their lockers, Foster was reminding his guys that since Tech joined the ACC five years ago, they'd won its championship three times, including each of the past two seasons. Just because the team from Coral Gables was 2-0 and the darling of the national media didn't change the fact, Foster told his guys, that "the road to the ACC championship still goes through Blacksburg."
He did his part by devising some dastardly pressure packages, including an all-out, eight-man blitz on Miami's fifth play from scrimmage. Coming off the edge unblocked was senior rover
Harris, who'd been sacked once in two games coming into this one, had his world rocked again in the second quarter when Worilds -- who'd been feeding right tackle
"We'd seen him make some great throws," said Worilds, "But how would he respond under duress? The goal was to get in his face, let him know we'd be around all day. I think that made him a little uneasy."
More than a little. Harris completed just nine of his 25 passes, for 150 yards and no touchdowns. That said, the sophomore had his moments. He looked razor-sharp on Miami's first possession of the second half, leading a five-play, 46-yard touchdown drive that turned down the volume in the stadium. Harris looked no less impressive on the next possession -- until 6-foot-8 tight end
Those drops, Shannon agreed, were "crucial." The coach then emphasized that this loss was not on Harris alone. "You gotta point to the whole entire offense, and the whole entire defense." We agree.
It was a cold, wet, miserable reality check for the Hurricanes, who, it turns out, weren't quite ready for prime time, despite all those breathless proclamations to the contrary. (Mea culpa: I've been talking them up all week, myself).
It wasn't long ago that the gregarious Harris confided that he and his teammates would still prefer to be "considered underdogs."
Careful what you wish for, kid. After a dismal afternoon that had some Hurricanes fans wondering whatever became of
In the end, Virginia Tech didn't care that Miami was back. As cornerback