If enough people call a game a trap game, is it still a trap game? It seemed so judging by the way No. 11 Miami struggled all day long with Georgia Tech. No worries for the Hurricanes though, because Darrell Langham was around to play the hero for the second week in a row.
The receiver’s improbable catch down the sidelines — off a defender’s helmet, no less — helped set the team up for a game-winning field goal a few plays later to beat the Yellow Jackets 25-24 in a wild, rain-soaked game.
Miami trailed most of the afternoon after returning home from their win over rival Florida State last week and looked like they were primed to become yet another top 15 team ready to be upset. Four red zone trips for Mark Richt’s side resulted in just one touchdown after nearly three quarters, as the ‘Canes offense failed to get going against Tech’s bend-don’t-break defense that proved to be a tough combination with Paul Johnson’s clock-churning option offense.
It didn’t help either that the second half started off on the wrong foot… somewhat literally.
In what may have been the craziest play of the day, Miami started the second half with an onside kick. However, the ball failed to go 10 yards off the tee — which Georgia Tech’s Lamont Simmons then realized as he picked the football up and returned it 42 yards the other way for the score that stunned just about everybody in South Florida. The Jackets added another field goal on their next drive and it suddenly looked like they had seized control and were about to pull off the upset. Adding to it, a massive rain storm started to dump gallons upon gallons of water onto the field.
But those conditions proved to be just what the appropriately named Hurricanes needed. Freshly minted starter Travis Homer found the end zone off the edge early in the final quarter as part of his 170 yard, one touchdown effort on the ground. A pair of punts left the team in a do-or-die situation with the clock ticking off but it didn’t seem to matter for quarterback Malik Rosier (297 yards, one TD), who found Langham on 4th down to put the team in position to knock in a 24-yarder for the win.
The end result means that ‘The U’ will unofficially be “back” on the national stage as an undefeated top 10 team come Sunday. That they needed yet another heroic effort is probably not lost on the coaching staff but digging down for an improbable win on a weekend where they inducted Michael Irvin, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Warren Sapp and Sean Taylor into the school’s ring of honor is still a pretty good sign for the team going forward as they remain atop the ACC standings.