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ACC & Big 12 Week 6 Roundup: Hurricanes fall short after second half comeback against Hokies

After rallying to erase a 28-point deficit, the Miami Hurricanes allowed a Deshawn McClease touchdown with 1:03 left to play in a 42-35 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Hurricanes fell to 2-3 on the young season, while the Hokies improved to 3-2.

“There are a lot of guys that are hurting together,” Miami head coach Manny Diaz said after the loss. “There was not one negative word being said from one person to another person. I’ll be very honest that it has been that way all year. No one wanted the start of our season to go the way it has, but I think the guys respect what they have put into this program.”

In the opening half, Virginia Tech forced five turnovers, including four in the first quarter alone, helping the Hokies run out to their initial four-touchdown advantage. The last time that the Hokies forced four turnovers in a quarter was in 1998 — also at Miami.

“It was nice to create some of those big momentum plays, to have the offense capitalize on them, get them in the end zone,” Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente said. “Obviously, it ended up being big for us as the game went along, but it was nice to get back to some of those big emotional plays. I thought we did a good job creating pressure and giving the quarterback looks.”

The Hurricanes’ rally began on the final play of the first half, as wide receiver Mark Pope caught a tipped Hail Mary pass from quarterback N’Kosi Perry for a 38-yard touchdown to bring the score to 28-7. The ‘Canes then held Virginia Tech scoreless in the third quarter and, following a Hokies touchdown early in the fourth, rattled off three touchdowns in four minutes to tie the game at 35-35 with 3:16 to play.

Virginia Tech answered with a five-play, 63-yard touchdown drive. Miami responded by driving down to the Hokies 10-yard line, but N’Kosi Perry’s last-ditch pass into the end zone was intercepted.

“The fact that we battled back to have a chance to win the football game shows that we have something special in that locker room and that we have something worth protecting,” said Diaz. “We had a feeling that the execution part would lag behind the effort at the start of the season, but it is time to look at ourselves as a staff and we have to do a better job of getting the execution going quicker. We have a great opponent on Friday night, so we don’t have a lot of time to lick our wounds.”

Now let’s take a look at a few more highlights from an exciting Week 6 in the ACC and Big 12:

Louisville 41, Boston College 39: The Cardinals snapped a nine-game ACC losing streak on Saturday afternoon after edging the Eagles 41-39 thanks to a 41-yard field goal by Blanton Creque with 1:02 remaining in the fourth.

No. 11 Texas 42, West Virginia 31: The 11th-ranked Longhorns converted three turnovers into touchdowns, and quarterback Sam Ehlinger finished the day with 211 yards and two touchdowns to help Texas defeat Big 12 foe West Virginia.

North Carolina 38, Georgia Tech 22: The Tar Heels dominated the Yellow Jackets and put an end to its three-game losing streak as true freshman quarterback Sam Howell made school history. Howell, who passed for 376 yards and four touchdowns, set UNC freshman records for yards as well as completions (33) and attempts (51).

Texas Tech 45, No. 21 Oklahoma State 35: In his first start of the season, Texas Tech quarterback Jett Duffey passed for 424 yards and four touchdowns as the Red Raiders knocked off No. 21 Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Pittsburgh 33, Duke 30: The Blue Devils scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to rally from a 23-point deficit, but Pitt sealed the win with a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kenny Pickett to wide receiver V’Lique Carter with 38 seconds in the game.

No. 6 Oklahoma 45, Kansas 20: After a slow start, Oklahoma sprinted away from Kansas, its 36th win in its past 38 games against Big 12 opponents. The victory was the Sooners’ 22nd consecutive true road win, the longest active streak in the country.

Iowa State 49, TCU 24: The Cyclones registered their first conference win on Saturday as quarterback Brock Purdy led the Iowa State offense in passing (19-24 for 247 yards and two touchdowns) and in rushing (12 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns). This game marked Purdy’s fourth-straight with 300 yards of total offense.

Baylor 31, Kansas State 12: Baylor remains one of only two undefeated teams in the Big 12 Conference (Oklahoma, 5-0) after its first conference road win since beating Kansas in 2017. The Bears marked 426 yards of offense with only 23 minutes of possession against the Wildcats.