Miami lost to Virginia 30-28 on Thursday night in heartbreaking fashion, coming up on the wrong end of a miraculous touchdown grab and having a potential game-winning field goal bounce off the upright in the game’s final seconds.
The Hurricanes defense had come up with numerous stops through the night and did so again with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter and Virginia defending its two-point lead. Tyler Van Dyke, starting place of injured quarterback D’Eriq King, led the Miami offense 75 yards down the field in 13 plays, eating up the clock and making Virginia burn its timeouts along the way. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, playing for the field goal broke the wrong way this time, as the 33-yard attempt by freshman kicker Andy Borregales bounced off the left upright to seal the Virginia win.
Miami fell to 2-3 on the season with the loss in their ACC opener. There were some highlights for Van Dyke in his second career start, including a touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to cut the Virginia lead to 30-28.
Virginia entered the game with the nation’s best passing offense but Brennan Armstrong was limited to just 268 yards on 25-of-44 passing with one touchdown and one interception. That one touchdown just happened to be one of the best plays we’ll see all year, a near-interception for Miami that Virginia wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks was able to snag on his back after a deflection.
The catch may have been unbelievable, but the fact Virginia won was not shocking. The Wahoos outgained Miami on the ground and through the air, did a great job of winning third downs on both sides of the ball and never trailed in the contest. Miami had a field goal attempt with a chance to win thanks to its play in the second half, but if that attempt is good the Hurricanes would be feeling fortunate to have gotten off to a 1-0 start in ACC play. Instead, the Hurricanes fall a game off the pace in the ACC Coastal Division race.
Virginia had lost five of the last six to the Hurricanes and had not won in Miami since 2011, making this a special win for Bronco Mendenhall and his program even after starting the year with a couple of conference losses. If the Wahoos get hot they’ve got a key head-to-head win here and plenty of key games ahead to stay alive in the division race.