Hurricanes become bowl eligible with 34-14 win at Virginia
Miami earns 6th win; Kaaya, Walton set pace against Cavaliers
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – The University of Miami became bowl eligible Saturday thanks to a 34-14 win in Virginia that came on the strength of a very impressive second half.
The Hurricanes trailed early, 7-0, but erased the deficit quickly and took control on both offense and defense as they forced four Virginia turnovers in the second-half alone.
UM running back Mark Walton, who had 111 rushing yards, iced it with a 15 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that put the 'Canes ahead by 20 points, 34-14.
The Hurricanes took control of the game with 3:35 left in the third quarter when quarterback Brad Kaaya, who threw two scores, found freshman receiver Ahmmon Richards on a 77-yard touchdown that gave them a 27-14 lead.
Richards finished with three catches for 100 yards and got the game ball.
UM cornerback Corn Elder sacked Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert in the third quarter and the 'Canes recovered, but in the ensuing possession Michael Badgley missed a 50-yard field goal attempt.
The 'Canes scored on the opening drive of the second half when Badgley kicked a 44-yard field goal for a 20-14 lead.
Virginia pulled within three points in the second quarter when Benkert found David Eldridge for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 17-14 with 2:42 left before the half.
Kaaya threw a seven-yard touchdown strike to tight end David Njoku with 9:28 left in the second quarter to give UM a 17-7 lead.
UM kicker Michael Badgley kicked a 40-yard field goal early in the second quarter for a 10-7 lead.
Joseph Yearby scored on a 10-yard touchdown run for the 'Canes to tie the game at seven with 6:09 left in the first quarter.
The Yearby score came after fellow running back Mark Walton converted several first downs on spectacular runs and one jaw-dropping screen.
Kaaya threw an interception in the first quarter that led to Virginia's first touchdown of the game which gave the Cavaliers a seven-nothing lead.
Copyright 2016 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.