Connect with us


Takeaways from Miami’s Thrilling 29-26 Overtime Victory Against Virginia



The Miami Hurricanes (6-2, 2-2 ACC) battled their way to a hard-fought 29-26 overtime victory over the Virginia Cavaliers (2-6, 1-3 ACC) on Saturday. The star of the day was undoubtedly freshman sensation Mark Fletcher, whose 11-yard touchdown run in overtime secured a memorable win for Miami. Fletcher, who had missed the previous three games, returned in style, amassing 47 yards, with a significant 25 of them coming from three carries during the overtime period. This victory not only lifted the spirits of the Miami faithful but also made the Hurricanes bowl-eligible, marking their first postseason appearance since 2020. The Hurricanes have displayed remarkable resilience, repeatedly overcoming deficits to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Miami’s Resilience

The Miami Hurricanes have demonstrated their ability to stage incredible comebacks in the past two weeks of the 2023 college football season. On multiple occasions, they have found themselves trailing by significant margins, yet they have continued to defy the odds and secure vital victories. This trend was evident once again in the game against Virginia, as the Hurricanes found themselves down by at least 10 points for the third time this season.

Reuben Bain Jr. Continues His Dominance

Rueben Bain Jr. produced 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, one pass breakup, and one quarterback hit. After a crucial sack by Bain Jr., the sixth of the game for Miami, the Hurricanes regained possession with only 27 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter on their own 20-yard line. With two timeouts still at their disposal, Miami made a bold decision to take a knee on the first play, opting to send the game into overtime. This choice, although met with some skepticism, was made despite the fact that Andres Borregales had already converted field goals of 50 and 48 yards, including a game-tying kick with just 1:23 left in the fourth quarter.

Tyler Van Dyke’s Return Was Not Great

Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who returned after a one-game injury absence, threw for 163 yards and two costly interceptions on 20-of-30 passing attempts, despite not being sacked or hit by any of Virginia’s defensive lineman. Miami overcame that with solid defense and by leaning on their running game on offense in the second half.

First Half Struggles

The first half of the game was undoubtedly challenging for the Miami Hurricanes. They were outgained by Virginia, with the Cavaliers amassing 179 total yards to Miami’s 99. Virginia also held an 11-5 lead in first downs as they went into the halftime break with a 10-3 score lead.

Cavaliers’ Offense Struck First

The Cavaliers had a strong start to the game, utilizing a 12-play drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown run by Hollins, granting them a 7-0 lead. Later, a 22-yard field goal by Bettridge, which was set up by a remarkable 64-yard pass from Muskett to Malik Washington, extended their lead to 10-0. This marked the third consecutive game, and the fourth time in the season, that the Hurricanes faced a 10-point deficit.

Miami’s Fightback

Despite their early struggles, Miami managed to mount a comeback. Ajay Allen’s explosive 26-yard touchdown run tied the game at 10. Shortly thereafter, Kamren Kinchens returned an interception 29 yards into the end zone, giving Miami a 17-10 lead.

A Back-and-Forth Battle

The game continued to swing back and forth, with both teams trading blows. Virginia responded with a 15-play drive that ended with a 23-yard field goal by Bettridge, reducing the deficit to 17-13.

Shifts in Momentum

The game took another twist as Tyler Van Dyke suffered his second interception of the day, eliciting a chorus of boos from the 58,503-strong crowd. Virginia capitalized on the turnover, taking a 20-17 lead with a 10-yard touchdown run by Mike Hollins. However, the Hurricanes responded swiftly, with Borregales converting a 50-yard field goal to tie the game at 20 with 9:26 left in regulation.

Andy Borregales Is as Reliable as a Kicker You Could Ask For

Miami kicker Andy Borregales converted three field goals during Miami’s victory, including kicks from beyond 47 yards, and the game-tying 48-yard field goal that sent the Hurricanes into overtime with 1:23 remaining in the fourth quarter. Borregales is almost perfect on the season, having made 15 out of 16 field goals, with his only miss resulting from a block by Texas A&M’s special teams on September 9th.

The Final Minutes

The final minutes of the game were fraught with tension as both teams fought valiantly. Virginia reclaimed the lead, going ahead 23-20 with just 4:20 left on a 32-yard field goal by Bettridge, his third of the game. The Hurricanes, with a chance to level the score, pushed forward to the 50-yard line but were unable to penetrate further. They settled for a 48-yard field goal by Borregales, which tied the game at 23 with only 1:23 left on the clock.

Miami’s Decision-Making

With the game on the line, Miami chose a conservative approach. After tying the game, they forced Virginia to punt and then opted to take no unnecessary risks. They knelt on the ball to end regulation at their own 25-yard line, a prudent decision given the costly mistake that had led to their defeat against Georgia Tech earlier in the season.

Miami’s Offense Will Have to Find Their Footing Again

Despite the loss, Virginia’s performance was noteworthy. The Cavaliers outgained Miami by a significant margin, accumulating 377 total yards to Miami’s 276. Furthermore, Virginia committed no penalties during the game, showcasing their discipline and precision on the field. On the other hand, Miami found the will and a way to squeeze out that victory, but they will have to regain their early-season form, especially on offense, with an upcoming road trip to both NC State and their undefeated in-state rivals in Florida State.



Contact Us

Please fill out the form below to connect with us, or call 878-425-3782.