ATLANTA (CBSMiami) — They did it, and in outstanding fashion.
In an intense game that made the Miami Hurricanes look like champions for the first quarter, chumps for the next couple, and fighters to the end, it was Miami that prevailed 42-36 in overtime.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports that once Miami – a 14-point underdog to its Atlantic Coast Conference foe – took a 19-0 lead, the Yellow Jackets reeled off 36 consecutive points before the Canes got a field goal to make it 36-22 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
The Canes would not quit. An acrobatic, leaping sideline catch by sophomore Rashawn Scott put UM on the Georgia Tech 15-yard line with 14:06 left in the game. Running back Mike James barreled down the middle for a touchdown on the next play, making it 36-29.
An Anthony Chickillo sack for UM forced Georgia Tech to punt, and UM had another shot with 10:07 left. The Canes drove down the field from the UM 7 to within four yards of what could have been a game-tying touchdown. But the Canes couldn’t score three consecutive plays at first-and-goal from the 4.
With 7:07 left, Jake Wieclaw missed a 22-yard field goal attempt wide right – his first miss this season.
Georgia Tech took over.
The Hurricanes won the toss for at least the third time this season, but this time elected to be the aggressors. It proved to be an excellent choice.
On the third play from scrimmage, quarterback Stephen Morris lofted a 65-yard beauty to Phillip Dorsett, who caught the ball at the Tech 22 and sprinted down the right side for a touchdown. With only 57 seconds elapsed in the game, UM led 7-0.
The Canes’ defense came out with a fury, and stopped Tech on two consecutive drives.
Then, the Hurricanes made it 10-0 on a 38-yard field goal by Jake Wieclaw with 4:11 left in the first quarter. Morris highlighted the drive with a 40-yard completion to Dorsett.
Miami was playing lights out, and seemed on its way to a great day – especially after what happened next.
The Canes suddenly led 12-0 on a bizarre safety, the first time Georgia Tech has given up a safety since 2009 (to Miami). Yellow Jacket Orwin Smith caught the ball inside the end zone, leaned forward and touched the ground at the 1-yard line with his right hand, then pulled back and kneeled in the end zone.
The crowd and Yellow Jackets seemed dazed.
Mike James received the kickoff and the Canes were off and running again. But this time the bad would come with the good. UM started the drive at the Georgia Tech 48, and eventually scored on a 1-yard rush by James to make it 19-0. But on second-and-five from the Georgia Tech 16, three plays before the touchdown, Morris threw a hard, low pass to freshman Malcolm Lewis. Lewis made a diving catch but appeared to sustain a gruesome ankle injury while doing it.
UM coach Al Golden sprinted onto the field to comfort Lewis, and the rest of the Hurricanes and coaches soon began kneeling in prayer at the 30-yard line. Medics and trainers surrounded Lewis, who was carted away on a flatbed truck. UM said the injury was a dislocated ankle and that the skin was not broken.
Mike James’ touchdown came on the final play of the first quarter.
The 19-0 lead for the Hurricanes was the largest deficit by Georgia Tech after one quarter since the 1978 Peach Bowl, when Tech trailed 21-0 against Purdue.
After halftime, Georgia Tech began its fast and furious run, scoring 36 consecutive points before Miami managed a 23-yard field goal to make it 36-22, Yellow Jackets, with 4:25 left in the third quarter.
UM suffered another major loss when punter Dalton Botts was injured trying to make a tackle. He was seen on crutches.
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)