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November 19, 2005

Yellow Jackets shock 'Canes

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MIAMI - Georgia Tech sacked Kyle Wright seven times, took advantage of key penalties on two touchdown drives and made a pair of late defensive stands to upset the third-ranked Miami Hurricanes 14-10 Saturday night.

The Yellow Jackets blitzed on virtually every play to stymie Wright. After throwing touchdown passes to five receivers a week ago against Wake Forest, he managed only one scoring pass and went 14-for-31 for 207 yards.

KaMichael Hall sacked Wright twice and made a fourth-down stop to end a Miami threat midway through the fourth quarter. Wright moved the Hurricanes 62 yards to the Georgia Tech 27 with 1:46 left before he was intercepted by Dennis Davis, and the Yellow Jackets ran out the clock.

The Hurricanes (8-2, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) were eliminated from contention for a berth in the national championship game. They lost for the first time since their season opener at Florida State.

The Yellow Jackets (7-3, 5-3) bounced back from a loss a week ago to Virginia. They also shook off an NCAA decision this week to place the school on two years' probation for using 17 academically ineligible athletes in four sports, including 11 in football.

Georgia Tech mounted touchdown marches of 68 and 61 yards against the nation's No. 1-ranked defense, and Miami penalties contributed to both drives.

Interference on Marcus Maxey negated an interception in the end zone three plays before Tashard Choice scored the game's first points on a 2-yard touchdown run. A penalty for excessive celebration led to the Yellow Jackets' other score on a 16-yard keeper by Reggie Ball.

Ball went only 11-for-30 for 159 yards, but in key situations he repeatedly found Calvin Johnson, who had six receptions for 89 yards.

Georgia Tech hardly looked like the same team that gave up 51 points to Virginia Tech in September, shutting out Miami in the second half. The Hurricanes converted one of 14 third-down situations and totaled 30 yards rushing.

Still, a fumbled punt by Georgia Tech gave Miami a chance to take the lead midway through the fourth quarter. But on fourth-and-1 at the 12, Charlie Jones was thrown for a 3-yard loss by Hall.

The Hurricanes had one last chance, starting at their 13 with 2:37 to go following Ben Arndt's 78-yard punt. Completions by Wright of 13, 25 and 24 yards gave Miami a first down at the 27, but he then lobbed a deep pass into heavy coverage, and Davis pulled it in.

The final minutes would have been less harrowing for Georgia Tech had Travis Bell not missed earlier field goal attempts of 42 and 44 yards.

Wright looked best on Miami's final possession of the first half. With the Hurricane trailing 7-3 and starting at their own 10, he went 3-for-3 for 71 yards to get them into the end zone for the first time.

Ryan Moore made an over-the-shoulder catch for a 37-yard gain, and Sinorice Moss scored on a 19-yard reception with 57 seconds left in the half to put Miami ahead 10-7.

The excessive celebration penalty on linebacker Rocky McIntosh helped the Yellow Jackets escape a third-and-4 situation, setting up Ball's run to put them ahead to stay.

It was a tough end to an embarrassing week for the Hurricanes. A lewd rap song performed by a group including several current and former players surfaced on the Internet, prompting athletic director Paul Dee to apologize on behalf of the school.

For more coverage of the Miami Hurricanes, check out CaneSport.com; for more on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, visit JacketsOnline.com.

For more college football coverage, check out the National College Football Page.

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