Miami gets Humiliated at Home by Georgia Tech

An all-but-decided matchup between Georgia Tech and the 17th-ranked Miami Hurricanes turned into one of the biggest endgame disasters in the 21st century in just a few minutes. Miami head coach Mario Cristobal transformed a successful recruiting weekend for the Hurricanes into a five-turnover, meltdown to a team who lost to Bowling Green earlier this season.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets upset the Miami Hurricanes 23-20 in Corral Gables. A game in which they had 204 fewer yards and 11 fewer first downs.

“We fell short in so many different ways,” Mario Cristobal said.

Moments Before Disaster

With five minutes left in the game, the Hurricanes received the ball after a three-and-out by the Yellow Jackets. Miami was up 20-17 and all they had to do was run out the clock. So they did, eight plays later they had first down on the Georgia Tech 30-yard line. With 82 seconds left in the ballgame, most coaches would take a QB kneel and run down the remaining clock – not Mario Cristobal.

Instead, Miami kept running the ball with sophomore tailback Donald Chaney Jr. Two plays later he fumbled and the Yellow Jackets took over with 25 seconds left.

“We should’ve taken a knee,” Cristobal said.

Georgia Tech still needed to drive 74 yards in just 25 seconds. Georgia Tech had nine drives that were four plays or shorter. Their first three drives of the game resulted in no points and ended in less than five plays. But after a first-down incompletion, Texas A&M transfer quarterback Haynes King delivered a 30-yard completion to Malik Rutherford that advanced the Jackets into Miami territory with 21 seconds left.

At this point in the game, Georgia Tech could still tie the game with a last-second field goal. After a King incompletion that left 10 seconds, it would be a Hurricane catastrophe for Miami to lose in regulation.

Ending of the Year

On 2nd and 10, King escaped the pocket and heaved a ball downfield that found Alabama transfer Christian Leary for a 44-yard touchdown. Leary had four Hurricanes chase him into the endzone, it was Leary’s first and only catch of the night and was his lone touchdown of the season. It only took Georgia Tech four plays – two of which were completed, to take the lead.

Miami got the ball at the 45-yard line after a kick out of bounds by Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes tried to recreate the “Miami Miracle” that had the Dolphins defeat the Patriots in one of the most remembered finishes in North American sports history. Although it occurred at the same stadium, Miami could not recreate the same magic and fumbled. Fittingly, they ended the game with a turnover.

“We didn’t play to our standard,” Christobal said. “Bottom line is we have to get right back to work.”

Next Up

Miami’s season does not get any easier. Miami plays three current Top-25 teams. Their next challenge is traveling to Chapel Hill next week to face the 14th-ranked North Carolina Tarheels. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Georgia Tech takes this victory and will try to build upon it against Boston College at home in two weeks on Oct. 21.

About Nick VanZandt

Nick VanZandt is a senior journalism student at the University of Florida and this is his third semester working for WRUF.

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