Losing skid hits 4
Turnovers, penalties too much for the Hurricanes to overcome vs. Jackets
CORAL GABLES — Throughout their miserable three-game losing streak, the Miami Hurricanes have been plagued by a plethora of issues.
Their offense has struggled to score. They’ve often lost the field-position battle. And some early defensive breakdowns have proven too costly and too much to overcome.
Saturday night at Georgia Tech, Miami found two new ways to extend its misery — turnovers and penalties.
The Hurricanes, who committed just 18 turnovers in all of 2017, surpassed that season total on Saturday, their three turnovers against the Yellow Jackets proving costly in what was eventually 27-21 Georgia Tech win.
The Yellow Jackets, who secured bowl eligibility with the victory and denied the Hurricanes the opportunity to do the same, scored 13 points off turnovers and then added another touchdown after a Miami penalty on fourth down extended a Georgia Tech drive.
With the loss, the Hurricanes (5-5, 2-4 ACC) have now lost four straight for the first time since 2016, coach Mark Richt’s first year as coach of his alma mater. And Richt himself saw one of his own streaks come to an end Saturday night, the coach –
who spent 15 years at Georgia before taking over at Miami — losing his first game at Bobby Dodd Stadium, where he’d previously been 9-0.
And now, Miami has to deal with a brutal reality – merely making a change at quarterback, which the Hurricanes did against Georgia Tech when they gave Perry his first start since Oct. 13 at Virginia — won’t solve all of their problems.
Though Perry, who regained the Miami starting job this week, played well and more than once extended Hurricanes drives with his legs, he alone couldn’t win this game, especially not after all the mistakes.
But the redshirt freshman, whom fans have been clamoring to see for weeks as redshirt senior Malik Rosier struggled, tried pretty hard to carry the Hurricanes himself, particularly late in the game.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Perry engineered a 15-play, 92-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run from Travis Homer that cut Georgia Tech’s lead to six.
On that drive, Perry – who finished the game 14-of-23 for 165 yards and who rushed for another 38 yards — twice ran for first downs himself and twice connected on drive-extending third-down passes, once to Dee Wiggins and once to Travis Homer.
But while the 21 points marked Miami’s highest offensive output since a 28-27 win over Florida State on Oct. 6, it wasn’t enough after several of the Hurricanes’ most reliable players committed some uncharacteristic Miami running back DeeJay Dallas escapes from Georgia Tech defender Tariq Carpenter.
Defensive tackle Gerald Willis, who has been a force for the Hurricanes and is among the national leaders in tackles for loss, committed a costly offside penalty on a Georgia Tech fourth down play in the first quarter that led to the Yellow Jackets’ first touchdown, a 28-yard scoring run by TaQuon Marshall.
Then DeeJay Dallas, who fumbled twice last week against Duke, fumbled again, this time on a kickoff deep inside Miami territory. That resulted in
another Marshall touchdown, this one an 8-yarder that gave Georgia Tech a
Perry himself fumbled a snap in the second quarter that resulted in a Yellow Jackets field goal and in the third quarter, Jeff Thomas fumbled a Georgia Tech
(6-4, 4-3) punt early that four plays later resulted in another field goal from Wesley Wells, this one from
38 yards that pushed the Yellow Jackets lead to 17-7.
Penalties proved costly, too, with Miami totaling 7 for 49 yards and Georgia
Tech, as it typically does, capitalized on its time-ofpossession advantage, holding the ball for 34:45 to Miami’s 25:08.
Now, the Hurricanes have just two more opportunities to try and extend their season with a bowl game by picking up a win either against Virginia Tech on the road or Pittsburgh at home in the regular-season finale.
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Yuki Yanagita homered and drove in four runs to lead Japan to a 12-6 win over the MLB AllStars and a 2-0 lead in the six-game series in Tokyo. J.T. Realmuto hit a threerun homer for the U.S.
Matt Kuchar shot a
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Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova won singles matches to give the Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over the defending champion U.S. in the Fed Cup final in Prague.
Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall scores a touchdown against Miami on Saturday in Atlanta. UM has lost four straight.