MIAMI (AP) -- After struggling to pick up the offense, Devin
Hester was moved to a reserve role on defense.
Good thing he still plays special teams for Miami (No. 5 ESPN/USAToday; No. 4 AP).
Hester, the Hurricanes' most electrifying player, returned two
punts for scores to lead Miami to a 48-0 victory over Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
He also blocked a field goal against Florida State last week
that allowed Miami (2-0) to tie the game in regulation.
"You don't have to be too smart to figure out he's going to be
pretty special," coach Larry Coker said. "He's so fast, so
explosive. He makes fast people look slow."
Hester's two returns were spectacular.
He ran back one punt 51 yards to give Miami a 24-0 lead in the
second quarter. He sliced between two defenders, almost fell to the
ground, and then cut left and ran away from everyone.
Hester, who finished third in the 60 meters at the Big East
indoor track and field championships this year, wasn't done. He
returned another punt 92 yards in the fourth period. He started
right, cut left and had just punter Matt Butler between him and the
Talk about a mismatch.
Hester scored easily and was flagged for taunting when he held
the ball out at the 20-yard line.
"I just want to go out and make plays," said Hester, a
sophomore who caught four passes last season before moving to
cornerback this spring. "It's doesn't matter if it's on offense,
defense or special teams."
The Hurricanes, coming off a huge win against the Seminoles,
certainly didn't have a letdown.
This was a beat down.
Tyrone Moss had 69 yards on seven carries and scored twice in
the first quarter. Frank Gore ran 12 times for 61 yards and scored
a touchdown early in the third quarter before sitting out much of
the second half. And the defense, which held Florida State to 165
yards, was even more impressive against Louisiana Tech (2-1).
Miami finished with six sacks and three forced fumbles, and
allowed just 183 yards over 61 plays. That's a unit that lost seven
starters, including four first-round NFL draft picks.
"We rushed them a lot, we blitzed them a lot," cornerback
Antrel Rolle said. "Our defensive line was in their backfield all
Ryan Moats, the nation's leading rusher who gained 257 yards in
each of his first two games, carried 14 times for 81 yards and
fumbled once. He had 70 yards on seven attempts in the first
quarter, but did little after a few adjustments by the Hurricanes.
"He wasn't going to beat us," Coker said.
Moats walked down the bench shaking hands of teammates early in
the third quarter. He was done for the day, and so was Louisiana
"They're great. They always have a great defense," Moats said.
"They have good speed, good size, that's Miami for you. I love
playing against that defense."
Quarterback Donald Allen might not agree.
He scrambled on nearly every play. He was 3-of-10 for 15 yards,
was sacked five times and lost 30 yards on 10 carries. He left the
game with a shoulder injury.
Louisiana Tech had one big play, when backup quarterback Matt
Kubik connected with Johnathan Holland for 79 yards. But Brad
Oestriecher missed a 30-yard field goal that would have avoided the
shutout, which was Miami's first since beating Syracuse 59-0 in
It was the first time Tech has been shut out since 1993,
breaking a streak of 130 games in which they scored points.
"It's very disappointing," Allen said. "It's something you're
not used to. We just didn't make it happen today."
The Hurricanes scored four touchdowns and led 34-0 at halftime.
Gore's 2-yard TD run on the opening drive of the third quarter sent
most starters -- for both teams -- to the bench.
Brock Berlin was 10-of-14 for 122 yards, but also made several
mistakes. His first pass of the game was intercepted, and on
Miami's next drive, he overthrew a wide open Ryan Moore in the end
The loudest cheer of the game came when redshirt freshman Kyle
Wright entered late in the third quarter. He was 1-of-3 for 6 yards
and was sacked twice.
For the most part, Berlin looked much better.
He drove the Hurricanes 38 yards for a touchdown just before
halftime, hitting Darnell Jenkins for an 11-yard score with 12
seconds to play.
Tanard Davis stripped the ball from Eric Newman on the ensuing
kickoff, and Marcus Maxey recovered to set up Jon Peattie's 36-yard
field goal as time expired to make it 34-0.