'Canes too much for Tech in BIG EAST showdown
By Jimmy Robertson
November 4, 2000

Virginia Tech, the nation's No. 2-ranked team, saw its chances for another perfect season come to an end at the Orange Bowl as the Miami Hurricanes knocked off the Hokies 41-21 in a BIG EAST game in front of 77,410 fans.

The loss snapped Tech's five-game winning streak over the 'Canes and the Hokies' 19-game regular-season winning streak. More importantly, Tech (8-1, 6-1) now needs help to win the BIG EAST championship and earn the league's automatic berth to the Bowl Championship Series.

Miami (7-1, 4-0), the No. 3-ranked team in the nation, needs only to win its remaining games against Pittsburgh, at Syracuse and Boston College. If the 'Canes do that, they win the BIG EAST and the automatic bid to the BCS. And if things fall right in the BCS standings, Miami could play for the national championship.

In this game, the Hokies couldn't overcome the injuries to quarterback Michael Vick and receiver André Davis. Both players declared themselves fit for action before the game, but neither of them started and neither finished.

Miami started quickly in this one, jumping out to a 7-0 lead on its first possession. Quarterback Ken Dorsey, who completed 11-of-23 for 283 yards and three touchdowns, hit Santana Moss for a 42-yard touchdown pass less than five minutes into the game. The 'Canes then took a 14-0 lead on James Jackson's 17-yard run near the end of the first quarter.

Knowing his team needed a spark, Tech head coach Frank Beamer inserted Vick in place of starter Dave Meyer near the end of the first quarter. But Vick was hindered by his sprained right ankle and was pretty much ineffective. He played the rest of the first half, completing just 2-of-5 for nine yards and one interception. He also rushed three times for just five yards. And Davis left the game with a sprained ankle himself near the end of the first half and did not return.

Miami tacked on another score near the end of the first half. Dorsey hit Jeremy Shockey for a 44-yard touchdown pass with 3:30 left and the 'Canes took a 21-0 lead. Beamer, having seen Vick struggle, decided to go with Meyer for the entire second half.

"We just decided we needed a healthy quarterback if we were going to have a chance to win," Beamer said. "Michael just couldn't function and it wasn't fair to him or the team."

Miami took a 28-0 lead in the third quarter on a 50-yard run by Najeh Davenport. That score pretty much put the game out of reach.

Tech scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the game respectable. Lee Suggs, who rushed for 121 yards, scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards and Meyer hit Emmett Johnson for a 69-yard touchdown pass.

Meyer played well for Tech, completing 13 of 25 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown. But his lone interception was returned for a touchdown by Miami's Edward Reed.

Jackson rushed for 145 yards on 28 carries for the 'Canes, while Moss caught four passes for 154 yards. Miami amassed 466 yards of total offense compared to Tech's 396.

"I think you have to give Miami all the credit," Beamer said. "They played well and we didn't make enough plays to win against a great team."

With BIG EAST conference play completed for Tech, the Hokies step out of conference for their final two games. Tech gets ready to take on Central Florida next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.