Canes Lack Mental Toughness Against Hokies

For the Hurricanes, speed killed early. Down the stretch, though, grit, endurance and fundamentals prevailed in another Miami and Virginia Tech showdown.

After taking an early 7-0 lead after a quick score, the Hurricanes managed to fumble two special teams returns while two Hokies cough-ups managed to be retained by the visitors. After four quarters, Virginia Tech was on the right side of a rain-soaked 42-24 victory, giving them a huge edge in the ACC Coastal Division race.

One week after Florida State shredded Miami, 41-14, the Hurricanes again started strong, but faded down the stretch.

Emotionally, Miami needed to find a way to move past the loss of starting running back Duke Johnson, but simply couldn’t do it.

Dallas Crawford was effective working as Johnson’s replacement earlier in the season in a comeback win over North Carolina, but was stifled by Virginia Tech. The sophomore reserve running back was limited to 37 yards on 10 carries, while freshman Gus Edwards went for 13 yards on seven attempts. The Hurricanes were held to 28 rushing yards on the night and 352 yards overall.

Defensively, Miami’s woes continued, as they gave up 549 total yards—the second straight week the Hurricanes defense gave up 500-plus total yards.

After shutting down Virginia Tech’s first two offensive possessions, Miami’s special teams let a sound Hokies squad steal momentum.

Wide receiver Stacy Coley, a true freshman who scored an 81-yard touchdown on Miami’s second offensive touch, fumbled a punt return midfield after a 23-yard gain. Virginia Tech scored five plays later. On the ensuing kickoff, Artie Burns, another first-year player, fumbled a 43-yard return—also at midfield—leading to seven more points for the Hokies.

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