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By J.T. Wilcox | Staff Writer

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MIAMI GARDENS (CBS Miami) – Artie Burns intercepted two passes and Brad Kaaya threw for 296 yards and two big touchdowns as Miami defeated visiting Virginia Tech 30-20 Saturday at Sun Life Stadium in front of an announced crowd of 50,787 fans.

Kaaya, set a career-high in passing yards last week, found Rashawn Scott on both his scoring passes Saturday – the first a 7-yard connection right before halftime to put Miami ahead 20-13 and the latter a 2-yard strike that put the Hurricanes ahead 30-20 with 2:44 left in the fourth quarter.

Miami (4-2, 1-1 ACC), which will host No. 5 Clemson next Saturday, snapped its two-game losing skid while creating four turnovers leading to 10 points.

Virginia Tech (3-4, 1-2), which has lost to the Hurricanes for consecutive years (2014-15) for the first time since 2001-02, only produced seven points in the second half – a 33-yard Isaiah Ford touchdown grab midway through the fourth quarter that them within three points – 23-20 – of the Hurricanes.

Kaaya finished the game 19 of 30 for 296 yards; outperforming his Hokies counterparts – Brenden Motley and Michael Brewer – who combined to finish 17-for-27 for 201 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

After the game, head coach Al Golden praised his sophomore quarterback.

“His courage, his mental toughness, his poise was all on display today,” Golden said when asked about Kaaya’s performance. “He made some big throws when we needed it. He [scanned] the field well today. We [have to] protect him a bit better…but it’s a good win and obviously Brad is stepping up his game right now.”

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Scott finished tied for a team-high in receptions with four grabs for 31 yards. Herb Waters finished with a game-high 89 receiving yards on three receptions and Stacy Coley continued his strong play, totaling 63 yards on four catches.

Sophomore running back Joe Yearby added 111 yards of total offense – 60 rushing and 51 receiving – and scored Miami’s first touchdown of the day, a 3-yard plunge set up by a fumble recovery deep in Virginia Tech territory.

Miami’s defense, which registered three sacks Saturday, was dealt a big blow when senior linebacker and team captain Raphael Kirby left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury. The injury happened as Kirby attempted to make a tackle in the flat, his right knee appeared to buckle and he fell to the ground and immediately begin to wave to the sideline.

He walked off the field with the help of trainers, but was visibly upset on the sideline – sitting on the trainer’s table with a towel draped on his head – and many of his teammates came over to him.

The injury looked serious and Golden essentially confirmed everyone’s worst hopes.

“We’re concerned, that’s all I can say right now,” Golden said with a sigh. “He’s getting an MRI right now. We’re just praying for him at this point. We just want him to have good luck with this because no one deserves it more than he does.”

Sophomore Juwon Young came in and made some big plays in Kirby’s stead. He correctly read a screen pass and fought off a blocker to make a tackle in the backfield on a crucial third down and he jumped up and intercepted a Brendon Motley pass.

Young said he’s been waiting on his chance to shine.

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“I’ve just been waiting on my chance, preparing for my moment,” Young said. “Raphael always tells me in practice to stay on his level. And I kept preparing knowing that I’d have to be ready to step up. I feel like I’m the captain now. I’m the [middle] linebacker, the quarterback of the defense; I have to make the defensive calls. So I’m just going to keep preparing like I have been and step up.”