Badgley's game-winning kick lifts No. 11 Hurricanes past Georgia Tech, 25-24
Homer gets it done at home, leads Hurricanes on ground in his first start
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Miami controls its destiny in its quest to win an elusive Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
The No. 11 Hurricanes are alone atop the ACC Coastal Division standings after defeating Georgia Tech 25-24 at home Saturday.
Michael Badgley kicked a 24-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to put Miami (5-0, 3-0 ACC) ahead for good. Badgley was a perfect 4-of-4 on the day.
"I just wanted to do my job and win this game," the senior kicker said after the game. "So, it was fun."
After Badgley kicked a 33-yard field goal to give the Hurricanes an early 3-0 lead, Georgia Tech took the lead on its ensuing possession, scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run by J.J. Green. The scoring drive was set up by a 48-yard run from Clinton Lynch.
Georgia Tech (3-2, 2-1) went ahead 14-3 in the second quarter when quarterback TaQuon Marshall connected with Green, who was wide open in the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown catch on third-and-goal.
Badgley's 32-yard field goal on Miami's next drive cut Georgia Tech's lead to 14-6.
Georgia Tech was driving for another score late in the first half, but the Hurricanes stopped the Yellow Jackets short of the first-down marker on fourth-and-6, and Miami took over at its own 23-yard line.
Miami quarterback Malik Rosier made something out of nothing when he scooped up the football after a high snap that went over his head and found wide receiver Dionte Mullins on second-and-five for a 10-yard pass that gave the Hurricanes a new set of downs.
After an incomplete pass and false start penalty that moved the Hurricanes back 5 yards, Rosier connected with receiver Darrell Langham on a 32-yard pass to get into Georgia Tech territory. The 'Canes scored two plays later on a 17-yard pass from Rosier to running back Travis Homer -- his first career touchdown -- with 12 seconds remaining before halftime.
A special teams breakdown led to Georgia Tech's kickoff return for a touchdown after the break. Badgley attempted an onside kick that was picked up by Lamont Simmons, who ran 42 yards into the end zone untouched to extend the Yellow Jackets' lead, 21-13.
Big plays for both teams resulted in an exchange of field goals in the third quarter. First, Georgia Tech's Marshall hooked up with receiver Ricky Jeune on a 48-yard pass to set up Brenton King's 31-yard field goal.
On Miami's next possession, Rosier connected with receiver Jeff Thomas on a 70-yard pass that gave the Hurricanes first-and-goal at Georgia Tech's 3-yard line. But Miami couldn't move the ball and settled for a 21-yard field goal by Badgley.
As the rain started coming down in the fourth quarter, the Hurricanes must have felt in their element. Homer scored on a 27-yard run with 13:36 left to play, trimming Georgia Tech's lead, 24-22. Miami's 2-point conversion attempt failed.
Langham caught a 28-yard pass between a pair of defenders, and then Homer bulldozed through a pile of Georgia Tech players to the 3-yard line. Rosier ran into the middle of the field to make things as easy as possible for his clutch kicker before calling a timeout in the waning seconds of the game.
Miami has now beaten Georgia Tech in eight of their last nine meetings and improved to 5-0 against the Yellow Jackets at Hard Rock Stadium.
"We did what we had to do to win," Miami head coach Mark Richt said. "We just kept fighting and believing and scrapping."
The win, coupled with losses to No. 2 Clemson, No. 8 Washington State and No. 10 Auburn, is almost sure to move Miami into the top 10. The 'Canes have won 10 straight games since a 30-27 loss at Notre Dame on Oct. 29, 2016.
"There's something going on that's really good right now," Richt said. "Who knows where it's going to go from here? I have no idea. The train could come off the tracks at any time."
Homer, who was making his first start after a season-ending injury to Mark Walton in last weekend's 24-20 win at rival Florida State, finished with 20 carries for 170 rushing yards.
"I mean, you know, that's all great, but I couldn't have done that without my line, quarterback, receivers and just everyone," Homer said.
Rosier was 23 of 37 for 297 yards and one touchdown. He also ran 11 times for 20 yards.
Miami legends Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin, Ed Reed, Warren Sapp were honored during halftime at Hard Rock Stadium as they were inducted into the Hurricanes' Ring of Honor. Sean Taylor was also honored posthumously.
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