MIAMI — Giovani Bernard ran for two touchdowns and North Carolina survived a slew of penalties to beat Miami 18-14 Saturday, handing the Hurricanes their first Atlantic Coast Conference loss.
Bernard scored on runs of 10 and 17 yards for the Tar Heels (5-2, 2-1). It was the fourth straight win for North Carolina, which was penalized 15 times.
Mike James and Stephen Morris each had touchdown runs for Miami (4-3, 3-1), which may have lost more than a game. Morris, Miami’s quarterback, was helped off the field with 8:26 remaining after apparently hurting his left ankle. He had a large icepack strapped to the ankle shortly afterward and did not return.
Backup Ryan Williams was called in and threw an incompletion on fourth-and-6 from the North Carolina 26 with 5:45 left. North Carolina took nearly four minutes off the clock before punting to Miami with 1:47 left, then held on from there.
With Williams running the show — after Morris’ ankle was wrapped in a boot and he left the game — the Hurricanes got to the North Carolina 29 with just under a minute left. But Miami gave up a sack to North Carolina’s Tommy Heffernan with 38 seconds left, knocking the Hurricanes back to the 35.
Two plays later, Miami turned the ball over on downs — and now four teams have one loss in the ACC Coastal race.
For Bernard, who played his high school football at nearby St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, it was a long-awaited homecoming — and he didn’t disappoint.
His second touchdown came with 2:57 left in the first half, the second in a pair of brilliant plays by the Tar Heels. Bernard got loose to catch a 17-yard pass from Bryn Renner on fourth-and-6 from the Miami 33, a play where the Hurricanes nearly had a stop — and one that left defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio punching the air in disappointment.
His mood soured even worse just seconds later when Bernard quickly went in from 17 yards out, sending the Tar Heels into the half with a 15-7 lead. North Carolina got a two-point conversion after that score, catching the Miami defense off-guard with a quick snap.
The first omen of trouble for Miami came on its first drive. The Hurricanes kept the offense on the field for a fourth-and-1 at the North Carolina 46, only to have left tackle Malcolm Bunche jump offsides. And on Miami’s next possession, a pass by Morris bounced off James’ hand, caromed into the air and was picked off at the North Carolina 20 by Shakeel Reshad.
North Carolina cashed in only one of those mistakes — Bernard went in from 10 yards out to cap the opening Tar Heels’ drive: a seven-play, 61-yard waltz with nary any resistance from the Hurricanes.
It stayed 7-0 until the midpoint of the second quarter, though easily could have been much worse. Renner was picked off by Miami’s Eddie Johnson near the goal line on one possession, and Casey Barth missed a 33-yard field goal into a swirling wind with 10:53 left in the half. A roughing-the-kicker penalty on a Miami punt gave the Hurricanes a break, and James plowed in from a yard out to tie the game at 7-all with 5:21 remaining.
No. 12 Florida State 51,
Boston College 7
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — EJ Manuel threw for a career-high 439 yards and four touchdowns and kicker Dustin Hopkins became the Atlantic Coast Conference’s career scoring leader Saturday as 12th-ranked Florida State rebounded from its first loss of the season with a victory over Boston College.
Manuel completed 27 of 34 passes before leaving early in the fourth quarter with a 48-7 lead.
Florida State (6-1, 3-1 ACC) didn’t waste any time shaking off over last week’s 17-16 loss at North Carolina State, rolling to a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter before Boston College (1-5, 0-3) scored its touchdown on Chase Rettig’s 18-yard pass to Bobby Swigert.
Hopkins passed the previous league scoring record of 393 points with a 51-yard field goal that gave the Seminoles a 31-7 halftime lead.
Hopkins boosted his career total to 402 points and now stands fifth all-time on the NCAA scoring charts. He also erased a pair of Florida State career marks that stood for 25 years, both previously held by Derrick Schmidt. Hopkins’ 75 field goals are five shy of the ACC mark held by former Maryland kicker Nick Novak, who was the league’s previous scoring leader.
Criticized for their conservative play calling after blowing a 16-point lead last week at North Carolina State, the Seminoles came out throwing against BC. Manuel threw six straight passes on the opening 99-yard drive without once going to the run. And he didn’t let up, passing for 295 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone.
Boston College drove to the Florida State 1-yard line one on the opening drive of the game, but couldn’t score, stopped twice only inches from the goal line.
It didn’t take the Seminoles long to get to the other end.
Kenny Shaw raced 77 yards with a Manuel pass to cap Florida State’s drive. Shaw caught the pass near midfield and outran two BC defenders down the left sideline for the touchdown. He had two catches for 125 yards and teammate Rodney Smith had nine receptions for 108 yards and has now caught at least one pass in 32 straight games.
Virginia Tech 41, Duke 20
BLACKSBURG, Va. — It seems a 12-minute beatdown by Duke was just what Virginia Tech needed.
Logan Thomas threw two touchdown passes, J.C Coleman ran for 183 yards and two long touchdowns, and the Hokies (4-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) fell behind 20-0, then buried the upstart Blue Devils.
Duke (5-2, 2-1) arrived seeking one more victory to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1994, but after the fast start, it did more for the Hokies’ expectations going forward than its own.
The Blue Devils gained 150 yards in the first quarter and just 84 in the next two quarters as Virginia Tech’s defense came alive, intercepting Sean Renfree twice and harassing him throughout the second half.
Thomas and Co., meanwhile, got into their best rhythm of the season. Thomas hit Marcus Davis with touchdown passes of 42 and 47 yards, and hit Davis with a 40-yarder to set up another touchdown. Martin Scales scored that one on a 4-yard run, and J.C. Coleman later broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run.
Coleman’s touchdown gave the Hokies their first lead at 24-20, and the freshman added an 86-yard burst around the right side midway through the fourth quarter. His yardage come on just 13 carries.
Davis had five receptions for 144 yards.
It was the Hokies’ most complete performance of the season, one that gives them hope following a mediocre start to the season and with a brutal stretch of games about to begin. They play at Clemson on Saturday and then have back-to-back Thursday night games — at Miami and home to Florida State.
The Blue Devils fell to 1-40 since 2004 against the teams remaining on their schedule, and need to beat North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech or Miami for their first bowl bid since 1994.
Maryland 27, Virginia 20
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Stefon Diggs returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and fellow freshman Perry Hills threw for one TD and ran for another as Maryland defeated Virginia in Atlantic Coast Conference action, extending the Cavaliers’ losing streak to five.
The kickoff return started a disastrous first quarter that put Virginia (2-5, 0-3) in a 17-point hole it could never climb out of, despite moving the ball well at times and rallying behind backup quarterback Michael Rocco.
Rocco came on in relief of a struggling Phillip Sims in the fourth quarter with the Cavaliers down 27-13 and promptly directed a 10-play, 81-yard drive. His 24-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee pulled Virginia within 27-20 with 4:10 left.
But that was all the magic Rocco could muster. After a three-and-out by Maryland, the Cavaliers got the ball back at the Terrapins’ 49 with 1:51 left but four Rocco passes fell incomplete.
The Cavaliers, down 7-0, had their first possession ended when Anthony Nixon intercepted a Sims pass and returned it to the Virginia 32. Five plays later, Hills connected on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Justus Pickett to put Maryland ahead 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.
Virginia pinned the Terrapins at their own 2, but a 27-yard pass from Hills to Kevin Dorsey got Maryland out of trouble. On the next play, Diggs caught a pass and appeared to be hemmed in, but he reversed his field and wove his way down the right side for 60 yards. After two running plays lost yardage, the Terrapins settled for Brad Craddock’s 33-yard field goal to make it 17-0 with 4:59 left in the quarter.
Maryland’s big pass plays negated a stellar effort by Virginia’s run defense. The Terrapins had zero yards rushing in the first half.
Sims, the Alabama transfer making his second start for the Cavaliers, had a rough outing. He had at least three passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, and he lost a fumble on a sack at the Virginia 15 in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers were trying to come back from an 11-point deficit.
The Cavaliers continued to struggle converting points when they got the chance. After kicker Drew Jarrett’s line-drive field goal attempt was blocked, he was replaced by Ian Frye who was good from 20 yards on his first career try to cut Maryland’s lead to 17-3 at the half.
Virginia dodged a bullet in the third quarter when Maryland’s Matt Furstenburg dropped a sure touchdown pass, and Craddock’s field goal attempt clanked off the left upright.
After the teams traded three-and-outs, Virginia cut the margin to 17-10 on Sims’ 20-yard touchdown pass to a well-covered E.J. Scott, who caught the ball falling down in the back corner of the end zone.
On the next play, Virginia’s Will Hill recovered a Hills fumble at the Virginia 31. The Cavaliers reached the Maryland 3, but Sims’ third-down lob to tight end Jake McGee was incomplete and Virginia settled for Frye’s 22-yard field goal.
A personal foul penalty against Virginia after the field goal forced the Cavaliers to kick off from their 20, and Diggs’ return put the Terrapins in business at the Virginia 47. A 22-yard pass from Hills to Furstenburg set up Hills’ 6-yard touchdown run to make it 24-13.
Maryland added a 28-yard Craddock field goal after the Sims fumble.