Tampa Bay Sports Day

LOOKING BACK: No. 8 Canes’ Hold Off Stubborn Syracuse, 29-19

(FLORIDA SPORTS WIRE) – The Miami Hurricanes won their sixth straight game to open the season and 11th straight game overall Saturday, topping Syracuse, 29-19, at Hard Rock
Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

“We found another way to make it really exciting. Part of the reason was Syracuse is a really good football team. We’ve seen what they can do, especially last week with Clemson, but everybody that’s played them this year has been just talking about them and how much harder they’re playing now and with a purpose now,” said Miami coach Mark Richt. “Not that they didn’t last year, but they’re a better team from what people say, from a year ago. It’s a tribute to what Coach [Dino] Babers is doing over there.

QB Malik Rosier had an impressive performance, finishing 26-for-43 for 344 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions. He has thrown at least one touchdown in every start of his career and multiple touchdowns in six of seven career starts.

Miami freshman Jeff Thomas recorded the first touchdown reception of his career on a 48-yard score in the third quarter. Christopher Herndon IV totaled 91 receiving yards in the first half, besting his previous high for a game (66) set vs. Georgia Tech in 2015. He finished with a career-best 96 yards on a career-high 10 receptions and a 10-yard TD catch.

The final scoring play for Miami came on a Travis Homer 33-yard touchdown run

“We were spread out. We ran a very simple inside zone play that, if you keep banging away at it, sometimes you catch a crease, and we did,” Richt said. “It’s just glorious when he runs through there and you see a safety take a bad angle, and it’s going to be a house call. Going up by eight [points] still was no guarantee of victory, we know that. A touchdown and two-point play and you go to overtime.”

UM’s Michael Badgley made the 70th and 71st field goals of his career in the first half, hitting from 18 and 39 yards.

Michael Jackson’s two interceptions marked the first multi-interception performance by a Hurricane since Artie Burns had two against Virginia Tech in 2015.

Linebacker Michael Pinckney tied for the team lead with nine tackles. He added 2.5 sacks, including two solo sacks, marking the first two-sack performance of his career.

Jaquan Johnson and Demetrius Jackson both recorded first-half interceptions.

The win was Miami’s sixth straight overall against Syracuse dating to 1999 and 12th in the last 14 games against SU dating to 1990.

With the victory, the Hurricanes have won 11 straight games dating back to October 2016; it’s the first such streak for the Hurricanes since winning 11 games in 2002. Miami finished that regular season with a perfect 12-0 record.

Miami’s defense forced Syracuse QB Eric Dungey into four interceptions, matching his season total entering the game.

Saturday marked the first time  Miami has recorded four interceptions in a game since a matchup with Savannah State in 2013. Miami’s four forced turnovers were the most since forcing four at Virginia in last year’s trip to Charlottesville.

The Hurricanes became the first ACC team this year to hold Syracuse without a first-half touchdown.