MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) — In another heart-pounder, the 8th ranked Miami Hurricanes survived the upset against the Syracuse Orange. Miami improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the ACC, beating Syracuse (4-4, 2-2 ACC) by a final score of 27-19.
Miami intercepted Orange quarterback Eric Dungey four times, all in the first half. Cornerback Michael Jackson had two of them, with safety Jaquan Johnson and defensive end Demetrius Jackson recording the others. Miami sacked Dungey four times, led by a team-high 2.5 from linebacker Michael Pinckney.
Syracuse, who handed then-second ranked Clemson their first loss of the season eight days ago, saw their comeback bid against Miami fall short. After falling behind 13-0 in the first half, the Orange outscored the Hurricanes 19-7 between the second and fourth quarters before Miami added some distance on a 33 yard touchdown run from Travis Homer. He finished with 95 yards on 20 carries.
Homer put the Hurricanes ahead 27-19 with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter as the Hard Rock Stadium crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief. Still, Syracuse had a chance to tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion.
The Orange picked up 25 yards on 5 plays before hitting the wall on 4th and 7 from their own 46 with the game on the line. Dungey threw incomplete to Ervin Phillips on the right sideline, and the Canes were able to run out the clock in the victory formation.
Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier remains unblemished (7-0) as a starter, and Miami is off to their first 4-0 start in ACC play since joining the conference in 2004. Rosier threw for 344 yards and 2 touchdowns in the victory.
Tight end Chris Herndon was a major weapon for Miami early, catching 10 passes for 96 yards, both career highs. He scored Miami’s first touchdown on a 10 yard throw from Rosier in the second quarter to put his team up 10-0. He later dealt with shoulder soreness.
Despite four drops, Ahmmon Richards still managed 99 yards on 6 catches. He dropped a pass in the end zone in first quarter that would have given Miami a 7-0 lead (pending extra point), but Miami had to settle for a field goal.
True freshman receiver Jeff Thomas scored his first career touchdown in the third quarter on a 48 yard deep pass from Rosier. Thomas made a perfect over the shoulder catch in stride after beating coverage down the field. The touchdown gave Miami a 20-6 lead.
In killing off the Syracuse rally, the Hurricanes, now 6-0, are off to their best start since beginning their 2013 campaign at 7-0.
The Hurricanes sit atop the ACC Coastal Division with their 4-0 conference record. They’ll look for 5-0 next Saturday when they face Coastal Rival North Carolina on the road. Kickoff is set for 12-noon at Chapel Hill.