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2016 Russell Athletic Bowl

S E A S O N I N R E V I E W UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI 2 0 1 6 R U S S E L L AT H L E T I C B O W L 5 7 TECH TAKES CONTROL OF ACC COASTAL WITH 37-16 WIN Game 7 • Oct. 20, 2016 • Virginia Tech 37, Miami 16 • Blacksburg, VA Miami came up short on Oct. 20 at Lane Stadium, falling to ACC foe and host Virginia Tech 37-16. Virginia Tech’s defense limited Miami to 42 rushing yards and sacked Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya eight times. The Hurricanes (4-3, 1-3 ACC) had won back-to-back games against the Hokies (5-2, 3-1 ACC) dating to 2014, but dropped their third straight game overall in front of 63,507. Miami faced just a seven-point deficit at halftime, but the Hokies outscored Miami 21-7 in the second half to clinch the victory. Kaaya finished 23-for-38 for 323 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Virginia Tech running back Travon McMillian totaled 131 yards on 18 carries, while Hokies quarterback Jerod Evans had 259 passing yards and two touchdowns. Virginia Tech pushed a 23-16 lead to 30-16 on a halfback touchdown pass by Sam Rogers to Steven Peoples. The Hokies outgained Miami 523-365. MIAMI STORMS BACK AGAINST NOTRE DAME; FALLS LATE Game 8 • Oct. 29, 2016 • Notre Dame 30, Miami 27 • South Bend, IN The University of Miami staged an impressive comeback on Oct. 29 at Notre Dame Stadium, but ultimately fell to the host Fighting Irish by a final score of 30-27. The Hurricanes (4-4) scored 27 straight points after trailing by 20 and briefly took a fourth-quarter lead, but the Irish scored on their final two drives – including a 23-yard field goal by kicker Justin Yoon with less than a minute left – to seal the victory. Sophomore defensive back Michael Jackson recovered a fumbled punt in the end zone to put Miami ahead with 6:49 remaining in the fourth. But Notre Dame responded with a touchdown drive that took less than a minute, and clinched the win on their final drive that culminated with Yoon’s third field goal of the game. For the first 20 minutes of the latest chapter in one of college football’s great rivalries, it appeared Notre Dame would cruise to a fourth straight victory. But the Hurricanes, facing a 20-0 deficit with 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter, ripped off 20 straight points to tie the game with 12:30 remaining in the game. CANES SMASH PITT Game 9 • Nov. 5, 2016 • Miami 51, Pitt 28 • Miami, FL Behind a five-touchdown game from junior quarterback Brad Kaaya, Miami snapped a four-game losing streak with a 51-28 win over Pittsburgh on Nov. 5 at Hard Rock Stadium. Kaaya threw for a career high-tying four touchdowns and added just the fourth rushing touchdown of his career, accounting for 373 total yards in the win. The Hurricanes, who outgained the Panthers 534- 417 in an offensive slugfest, beat Pittsburgh for the 10th time in its last 11 head-to-head matchups. Sophomore running back Mark Walton sealed the victory with a 55-yard touchdown run with 2:12 remaining, putting Miami over the 50-point mark for the second time this season in front of 51,796. Kaaya set a career high with 32 completions, nine of them to senior wide receiver Stacy Coley. Leading 27-21 at the half, Miami (5-4, 2-3 ACC) recorded a turnover on the second play of the second half to take momentum. A fumble forced by sophomore Kendrick Norton was recovered by junior Chad Thomas, and three plays later, Kaaya hit Coley on a 3-yard pass in the back of the endzone to give the hosts a two-score lead. Michael Badgley Trent Harris Brad Kaaya


2016 Russell Athletic Bowl
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