It’s been a long time since the Miami Hurricanes have had a signature win.
Thanks to a spirited effort from the Hurricanes defense, that changed Saturday afternoon when the Canes knocked off No. 12 Florida 21-16 at Sun Life Stadium.
In what could the last meeting between the two rivals for a long time, Miami got off to a great start offensively then rode the back of their defense the rest of the way.
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris, who hasn’t played very well in big games in the past, got off to a hot start in the first quarter and finally got himself a signature win.
Morris hit Herb Waters with a seven-yard touchdown pass early on to put the Canes up 7-0, but the Gators came right back after a blocked punt that led to a nine-yard touchdown run from quarterback Jeff Driskel. Florida went for two though after the touchdown and came up empty, which ultimately turned into a big play.
Miami answered the Florida touchdown with the biggest play of the game when Morris connected with a wide open Phillip Dorsett for a 52-yard touchdown to make it a 14-7 game.
However everything slowed down for Miami thanks to an outstanding effort from the Florida defense.
Miami totaled 143 yards of total offense in the first quarter, but managed just five total yards for the next two and a half quarters. Through three quarters, the Hurricanes were outgained by 150 yards, were only 1-of-8 on third down, and trailed in time of poss. by 17 mins, but held a 14-9 lead.
Meanwhile the Gators outgained Miami 413-212 on the afternoon and lived in Miami territory, but Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel made too many costly mistakes.
The biggest came on back-to-back possessions in the fourth.
Driskel was intercepted by Tracy Howard on third down with the Gators inside the red zone with nine minutes left and followed that up when he was sacked by Tyriq McCord and coughed up the ball at his own four-yard line.
Three plays later Duke Johnson punched it in from two-yards out to give the Hurricanes a comfortable 21-9 lead.
Driskel followed with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Solomon Patton to cut the Canes lead to 21-16, but it turned out to be too little too late for the Gators. Driskel threw for a career-high 291 yards, but was picked off twice and the gators lost three fumbles on the afternoon.
Despite averaging only 1.6 yards per carry on the afternoon, the Hurricanes get their biggest win since upsetting Virginia Tech in 2005.