The Miami Hurricanes won their first ACC conference game of the season.
A win is a win; nevertheless, it was close to becoming disastrous for the season.
N’Kosi Perry threw for a touchdown on the opening drive and ran for another with 2:31 remaining, and the Hurricanes knocked off No. 20 Virginia 17-9 under the lights on Friday night.
Pat Bethel blocked a field goal for Miami (3-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) It was the first block for the hurricanes since Sept. 8 2018 when Jaquan Johnson blocked one against Savannah state.
K.J. Osborn caught four passes for 60 yards. Deejay Dallas rushed for 63 yards on 13 carries and a receiving touchdown reception for the Hurricanes.
“You talk about culture, but the business is you have to win,” Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz said.
Entering the game, the Hurricanes were trying to avoid starting 0-3 in conference play for the first time. It hasn’t happened to Miami in the ACC era that goes back to 2004, or its Big East tenure before that.
Furthermore, Miami started 10-0 in 2017, climbing to No. 2 in the AP Top 25 poll — with the last win in that streak coming against Virginia. It’s been all downhill from there. The Hurricanes are 4-12 against teams from Power 5 conferences since (5-0 against all other schools), 4-8 against members of the ACC, and 1-4 against ranked teams.
In this game, field goal kicking improved. Turner Davidson was 3 for 3 on kicks, an area the Hurricanes needed confidence in. Davidson made his first field goal as a Hurricane in the fourth quarter. Davidson last kicked in a game Nov. 11, 2016, making a field goal for San Antonio’s Ronald Reagan High.
Bubba Baxa missed an important extra point that would have given Miami a late lead last week against Virginia Tech. Baxa missed three field goals of 30 yards or less so far this year, plus two PATs.
This is what it has come down to this season — the field goal kicking.
Perry, playing in place of injured starter Jarren Williams, finished 16 of 27 for 182 yards.
Williams should remain the starter when he returns; however, Perry shows so much potential; accuracy is what needs to be worked on. The team does not have a real starting quarterback.
The beat goes on.
Virginia will host Duke on Oct. 19, Virginia’s first home game since Sept. 21.
Miami will host Georgia Tech on Oct. 19, ending a five-game homestand.