12:00 PM ET, November 8, 2003
Orange Bowl, Miami, FL
MIAMI (AP) -- Brock Berlin slowly walked through the Orange Bowl with his girlfriend on one side, his parents on the other and two security guards close by.
He needed consolation -- and maybe some protection.
Berlin threw two interceptions and fumbled once as No. 18 Tennessee stunned sixth-ranked Miami 10-6 Saturday, knocking the Hurricanes out of the national championship picture for the first time in four years and ending the nation's longest home-winning streak at 26 games.
The Volunteers (7-2) became the first visiting team to celebrate a victory at the Orange Bowl since Penn State did it Sept. 18, 1999. Tennessee won with just 170 yards of offense, 81 passing and 89 rushing.
"It was probably the prettiest, ugliest win I've ever had," said coach Phillip Fulmer, who posed for pictures with his family in the Orange Bowl after the game.
The biggest play came when Fulmer gambled on fourth-and-goal from the 2 in the second quarter. Derrick Tinsley scored on an end around to give Tennessee a 10-3 lead.
"I thought we could make it and I felt we needed to make a statement that we were down to win the football game," Fulmer said. "We had no fear of Miami and what they've accomplished."
The Hurricanes (7-2) failed to score a touchdown at home for the first time since 1984. It also was the first time since a 47-0 drubbing at Florida State in 1997 that Miami failed to scored a touchdown in any game. And they looked bad doing it.
The Hurricanes had 12 penalties for 121 yards, including a key one that helped Tennessee score its only touchdown. And Berlin had three turnovers, giving him 17 on the season.
Berlin's second interception cost Miami a chance at winning the game.
On second-and-goal from the 9, defensive back Mark Jones blitzed up the middle and hit Berlin just as he released the ball. His fluttering pass was intercepted by Gilbril Wilson. The Volunteers tried to run out the remaining 4:11, but were forced to punt with 1:55 to play.
Sean Taylor fumbled the punt -- Miami's fourth turnover of the game -- and the Vols ran out the clock from there.
"Nobody believed we could win, but in the end we did what we had to to win," said Casey Clausen, who was 11-of-18 passing for 81 yards and improved to 13-1 as a starter on the road.
The victory helped Tennessee's chances of getting a berth in the Bowl Championship Series.
The Vols, Georgia and Florida all have two losses in the Southeastern Conference East division. If all three still have two conference losses at the end of the season, the division champion will be decided by the BCS standings and head-to-head matchups.
Beating the Hurricanes could vault Tennessee past the Bulldogs in the BCS standings. The Vols are 13th in the BCS, four spots ahead of Florida and three behind Georgia.
"We weren't intimidated by them," Tinsley said. "From the beginning of the game we wanted to make a statement. We knew we had a three-way tie and we needed this game to go to Atlanta."
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, can still win the Big East if they can knock off Pittsburgh on Nov. 29.
But with its first two-game losing streak since 1999, the Hurricanes hardly look like the team that played in back-to-back national title games and had an outside shot at getting a share of the national championship in 2000.
Miami has scored just one touchdown in two games.
Most of the problems have stemmed from Berlin, who threw two interceptions against Virginia Tech last week.
"The interceptions are unacceptable," said Miami coach Larry Coker, who benched Berlin against the Hokies and said he will re-evaluate the quarterback situation this week.
Berlin had a towel around his neck and was biting on one end as he walked through the stadium. He then waited just inside the Orange Bowl while his father got the car, quite possibly trying to avoid any negative feedback from fans.
"I'm really disappointed," he said. "But we will bounce back and learn from our mistakes. Everyone hates losing."
Tennessee capitalized on just about all of the Hurricanes' mistakes -- much like the Hokies did in snapping the Hurricanes' 39-game regular-season winning streak.
Kevin Simon intercepted a pass from Berlin on the first play of the second quarter, and James Wilhoit kicked a 41-yard field goal five plays later to tie the game at 3.
The interception was Berlin's 13th of the season, one more than Ken Dorsey threw in any of his three seasons as the starter.
The Volunteers made it 10-3 just before the half with a 15-play drive that took more than nine minutes. Clausen worked the clock well, snapping the ball every down with the play clock in single digits.
The Hurricanes, widely considered on of college football's most undisciplined teams, were penalized 15 yards for roughing the punter to keep the drive alive. Tennessee picked up another 15 yards on a personal foul after an incomplete pass on second-and-12.
Then, after five consecutive runs and a timeout, Fulmer decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal and Tinsley scored.
"It's like golf: It's not how you drive, it's how you arrive," Fulmer said.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-15||8-14|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||0-0|
|FG||5:57||JON PEATTIE 31 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 61 yards.
|FG||12:52||JAMES WILHOIT 41 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 18 yards.
|TD||0:20||DERRICK TINSLEY 2 YD RUN (JAMES WILHOIT KICK)|
Drive info: 15 plays, 73 yards.
|FG||10:24||JON PEATTIE 22 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 75 yards.