3:30 PM ET, November 12, 2005
BB&T FIELD, WINSTON-SALEM, NC
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Kyle Wright got the news after he already was done for the night. He needed one more touchdown pass for a Miami record.
"Selfishly, I wanted to go back in and get another one," the sophomore said with a smile.
No chance. Thanks to another lopsided victory, he and the third-ranked Hurricanes have much more important goals to chase.
Wright settled for his five touchdown passes, Charlie Jones ran for two more scores and Miami stayed on track for a spot in the first Atlantic Coast Conference championship game by beating Wake Forest 47-17 Saturday.
A week after a surprisingly easy victory at Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes (8-1, 5-1 ACC) used a quick-strike offense to avoid a letdown in their first visit to Groves Stadium since 1971. Injured tailback Tyrone Moss (torn ACL) and return star Devin Hester (hamstring strain) hardly were missed as Miami piled up 515 yards of offense.
"Kyle Wright really had a great day," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "Guys really stepped up for him. But there's a lot of things we have to get better at."
And now he can think about more than simply a conference title. With Alabama's overtime loss to LSU, the Hurricanes should move past the Crimson Tide to third in the Bowl Championship Series standings.
"A lot of things have to go our way, but I think we're still in the hunt for the whole thing," Coker said.
Wright finished 17-for-27 for 319 yards and Jones rushed for 90 more, yet it wasn't quite as easy as the final margin indicated. The Demon Deacons (4-7, 3-5) completed their third straight losing season with an inspired effort, taking a 17-14 lead late in the second quarter on a 7-yard run by Chris Barclay.
Wright responded on the third play of the ensuing possession with his first TD toss, waiting patiently in the pocket for Sinorice Moss to break open in the middle of Wake Forest's zone.
The pass led Moss perfectly and he outran the secondary untouched for a 64-yard score to give the Hurricanes the lead for good, even though Jon Peattie's extra-point bounced off the left upright.
"Athlete-wise, across the board, we definitely had the advantage, and that showed," Wright said. "It really came down to athletes -- they're good and tough, and they played hard. But our guys handled them up front, and our wide receivers made the plays."
An interception by Kelly Jennings -- the first of six turnovers for the Deacons -- set up Miami again, and Wright needed four plays to drive his team 28 yards. A wide receiver screen to Darnell Jenkins covered the final 11 and made it 27-17.
Barclay fumbled on the first play following the kickoff and Wright connected with Ryan Moore for a 15-yard touchdown to complete the scoring binge, giving the Hurricanes a 34-17 halftime lead. Each of those three scoring drives took less than 60 seconds.
"You don't have a chance to stay close to these guys if you don't take care of the ball," Deacons coach Jim Grobe said. "That was the story of the night. We were playing well enough from a scheme standpoint to stay with them."
The third quarter was more of the same. Wright completely fooled Wake Forest by faking a screen to Jenkins, and Lance Leggett got behind the defense to haul in another beautiful pass for a 76-yard score. Wright got his fifth TD pass with a 10-yarder to tight end Greg Olsen, tying the mark set by Ken Dorsey, Steve Walsh, Bernie Kosar and Brock Berlin.
Wright left for good with 11 minutes remaining, allowing backup Kirby Freeman to finish out the blowout. Miami needs to beat Georgia Tech and Virginia to set up a rematch with Florida State in the ACC title game, and both of those remaining regular-season games are in the Orange Bowl.
"We're right where we want to be record-wise, so we've just got to keep winning," Wright said. "We can't control what everyone else does."
The Deacons again won't have a postseason, but there were a couple of highlights in the lopsided loss. Despite two fumbles, Barclay became only the third player in conference history to rush for 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in a career. He had 105 yards against the top-ranked defense in the country and will lead the ACC in rushing for the third straight season.
And punter Ryan Plackemeier cemented his spot as the NCAA's all-time leader by averaging 46 yards on five kicks, including a 62-yarder in the third quarter. That was his 13th of the season of at least 60 yards.
"I was a little disappointed in my performance, fumbling twice," Barclay said. "That's something that I take pride in. It was just disastrous."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Miami scored 27 points in the second quarter to put the game away. The Hurricanes led 34-17 at the half.
Gameball goes to... Kyle Wright. Miami's QB tied the school record with five TD passes. Wright completed 17-of-27 passes for 319 yards.
Stat of the game... 515: The Hurricanes' total yards of offense against the Deacons' overmatched defense.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-13||7-17|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||1-2|
|FG||9:14||SAM SWANK 52 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||6:01||CHARLIE JONES 1 YD RUN (JON PEATTIE KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||11:58||CHARLIE JONES 32 YD RUN (JON PEATTIE KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||8:52||CHRIS DAVIS 71 YD PASS FROM NATE MORTON (SAM SWANK KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||4:56||CHRIS BARCLAY 7 YD RUN (SAM SWANK KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 75 yards.
|TD||3:58||SINORICE MOSS 64 YD PASS FROM KYLE WRIGHT (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||2:10||DARNELL JENKINS 11 YD PASS FROM KYLE WRIGHT (JON PEATTIE KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 28 yards.
|TD||1:18||RYAN MOORE 15 YD PASS FROM KYLE WRIGHT (JON PEATTIE KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 20 yards.
|TD||9:50||LANCE LEGGETT 76 YD PASS FROM KYLE WRIGHT (JON PEATTIE KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 90 yards.
|TD||8:13||GREG OLSEN 10 YD PASS FROM KYLE WRIGHT (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 43 yards.