MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Despite an offense that was virtually absent for most of the second half, Miami made an eight-point halftime lead stand up for a 30-12 victory over Virginia Tech in a key Atlantic Coast Conference game Thursday night.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Hurricanes (5-3, 4-2 ACC) and put them alone in first place in the ACC’s Coastal Division.
Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3) lost for the second consecutive game and fell under the .500 mark for the season. The Hokies still retain a mathematical shot at getting back to the ACC Championship Game for a third consecutive year, but they will need lots of help.
The Hurricanes were up 20-12 at the half but managed only 3 yards of total offense in the third quarter.
But the Hokies couldn’t capitalize, losing a fumble at Miami’s 1-yard line, missing a 47-yard field goal and then overthrowing an open receiver on fourth-and-1 at Miami’s 39.
Miami finally got a touchdown on Duke Johnson’s 7-yard run and a field goal in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Miami went to the locker room at halftime up 20-12 but both teams lost opportunities to add more to their scoreboard total.
The Hokies had to kick a field goal on second-and-goal from the 2-yard line because they ran out of time. Five seconds remained in the second quarter and they still had a timeout left, but decided not to risk going for the touchdown.
Coy Journell kicked a 20-yard field goal, his second of the first half, as time ran out.
The Hurricanes, on the other hand, also had to settled for field goals following big but non-scoring plays. The first came after Johnson, whose 81-yard kickoff return had set up Miami’s second touchdown, broke off a 65-yard run from scrimmage to Virginia Tech’s 10-yard line.
The second game after quarterback Stephen Morris had completed a pair of passes to wide receiver Rashawn Scott and two more to tight end Clive Walford to move Miami from its own 4 to Tech’s 15. But both times the Hurricanes could no farther.
Miami needed a total of 35 yards for its two first-quarter touchdown drives. Besides Johnson’s kickoff return to Tech’s 19-yard line, the Hurricanes need only 16 yards to for their first score after blocking a punt.
The Hokies’ first-half touchdown came on quarterback Logan Thomas’ 73-yard run through the middle of the Miami defense.
NOTES: Miami rushed for 73 yards in the first half with 65 coming on the one run by Johnson. … The blocked punt was the first given up by the Hokies since the 2010 season opener against Boise State. … Thomas’ 73-yard run was a career-long for the junior.