7:30 PM ET, October 2, 2003
Orange Bowl, Miami, FL
MIAMI (AP) -- Miami freshman Jon Peattie was singing along with the music playing in the Orange Bowl, trying to stay calm. He had to wait through three timeouts called by West Virginia as he set up again and again and again for the game-winning field goal.
Miami RB Frank Gore has suffered through an injury-plagued career.
"I never expected it," Peattie said. "But something I learned when I came to college was that every kick counts, no matter how short it is."
Peattie finished with a school-record five field goals, his biggest coming after Miami drove 66 yards with two minutes remaining. Peattie's other field goals were 22, 32, 43 and 30 yards.
Brock Berlin needed a fourth-down completion to Kellen Winslow to keep the drive alive. On fourth-and-13 from the Miami 25, Berlin hit Winslow over the middle. The tight end made a leaping catch for an 18-yard gain.
Berlin finished 37-of-54 for 352 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Winslow caught 10 passes for 104 yards.
"Winslow's probably the best in the country," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "He made a great play and made it happen. That's why he's going to be playing on Sundays."
After Winslow's catch, Berlin completed three straight passes to move the Hurricanes into field goal range. Then a pass interference call against West Virginia's Brian King turned Peattie's final field goal into a chip shot.
West Virginia spent all three of its timeouts trying to rattle the first-year player. But it didn't work. He drilled the kick between the uprights.
"I'm glad we have a great kicker," Berlin said.
The Mountaineers had one final chance with five seconds to play, but Sean Taylor intercepted Rasheed Marshall's deep pass. Taylor started to run, then dropped to a knee, jumped up and heaved the ball into the air.
Miami (5-0, 2-0 Big East) won its 37th straight regular season game and remained unbeaten heading into a showdown at No. 6 Florida State next Saturday.
"You look back at all the national champions, and very seldom will they never have to dodge a bullet," offensive tackle Eric Winston said. "We played badly, but we won. It's a lot better than playing well and losing."
The Mountaineers (1-4, 0-1) were poised to pull off the biggest upset in a season of upsets when Quincy Wilson ran around and over Miami's defense for a 33-yard touchdown with two minutes remaining.
Wilson took a screen pass from Marshall on third-and-13, juked Vince Wilfork behind the line of scrimmage, broke a tackle and then bowled over and jumped over safety Brandon Meriweather at the 10 and scored to give the Mountaineers a 20-19 lead.
It was the first third-down conversion of the game for West Virginia.
Wilson finished with 142 total yards, 99 rushing and 43 receiving. His last reception dampened a strong defensive performance for Miami.
The Hurricanes extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 25 games and their Big East winning streak to 26.
Miami running back Frank Gore sprained his left knee early in the game, and Berlin struggled at times without the team's main offensive weapon.
The Hurricanes had hoped to get their offense on track against the Mountaineers, but continued to misfire behind Berlin. He telegraphed some passes, forced others into coverage and had little success running an offense that ranked sixth, eighth and fifth nationally the last three seasons.
He did play well at the end -- much like he did when Miami came from behind to beat Florida early last month.
The Hurricanes' offensive struggles were hidden through the first four games because of seven returns for touchdowns -- two punts, two interceptions, a kickoff and a fumble.
The Hurricanes entered the game ranked 32nd in the nation in total offense and the problems were evident against West Virginia.
Without Gore, Jarrett Payton ran 21 times for 69 yards. But the son of Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton was hardly an answer to the Hurricanes' woes.
He fumbled with 3:32 to play, giving the Mountaineers the ball near midfield. That drive ended five plays later with Wilson's touchdown.
"We made it hard on ourselves ... but we overcame it," Winslow said. "That's what champions are made of. We went down and got the field goal."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||1-10||5-15|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||1-1|
|TD||6:28||QUINCY WILSON 1 YD RUN (BRAD COOPER KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 79 yards.
|TD||9:54||JASON GEATHERS 22 YD PASS FROM BROCK BERLIN (JON PEATTIE KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 70 yards.
|FG||5:38||JON PEATTIE 22 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 45 yards.
|FG||2:51||BRAD COOPER 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 64 yards.
|FG||7:23||JON PEATTIE 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 70 yards.
|FG||3:11||JON PEATTIE 43 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 26 yards.
|FG||13:08||JON PEATTIE 30 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 57 yards.
|FG||10:27||BRAD COOPER 36 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 46 yards.
|TD||2:00||QUINCY WILSON 33 YD PASS FROM RASHEED MARSHALL (BRAD COOPER KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 48 yards.
|FG||0:11||JON PEATTIE 23 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 66 yards.