Black PR Wire Newsroom
(BLACK PR WIRE) – The Miami Hurricanes were firing on all cylinders as they beat the visiting University of South Florida Bulls 40-9 before a Senior Day crowd of 38,869 at Sun Life Stadium.
With the South Florida defense often loading the box with up to eight players to stop the run, Miami placed the outcome of the game on the shoulders of quarterback Stephen Morris. Morris, a junior, did not disappoint. The junior quarterback completed 21 of 32 passes for 413 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
With the schools only 200 miles apart, this game has always been filled with tough play and hard hitting. Morris was sacked three times in the first half alone and Miami LB Denzel Perryman knocked South Florida’s starting quarterback Bobby Eveld out of the game with a jarring but clean hit when Eveld turned up field to run the ball in the first quarter.
Miami kicked three field goals during their first four offensive possessions of the game and could not reach the end zone until Miami’s defense grabbed an interception on the Bulls’ 21 yard line. On the next play, Morris connected with WR Kendal Thompkins on a 15 yard touchdown reception.
With three of Miami’s top receivers out with season-ending injuries and their second leading receiver on indefinite suspension, Morris was supposed to be somewhat limited in airing it out. Instead, many had career days and for the first time since 1981, Miami had three receivers each having more than 100 receiving yards. Clive Walford continued his upswing with three catches for 135 yards and one touchdown. Phillip Dorsett led all receivers with 12 catches and 111 yards and Herb Waters, a true freshman making his first start, hauled in four catches for 130 yards, one of which was an 87 yard touchdown strike that is the longest passing play of the season.
But the most remarkable, and deserving, performance had to have been turned in by Thompkins, who is a fifth-year senior and playing for the home crowd for the last time. Last year, when some of his teammates left early and declared for the NFL draft, Thompkins stayed with his college team and stuck it out. Up until this game, Thompkins career had been sparse to say the least, grabbing only 10 receptions for 66 yards. In this game alone, he caught three passes for 80 yards and his touchdown catch in the second quarter broke the game wide open.
His last catch was a 37 yard acrobatic catch that electrified the crowd and will surely make all the highlight reels.
“I was so happy for him,” Morris said after the game. “As soon as he caught that touchdown, I told him, ‘May God bless you, I’m so happy for you. This night is truly deserving for you and all that hard work you’ve put in the last couple of years.’ ”
Morris, for all his efforts, became only the second Miami quarterback in Miami history to have three games with over 400 yards of passing. The other quarterback? Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta, who passed for over 400 yards in 1989, 1991 and 1992. Morris, in his first full year of starting, has passed for 566 (a school and ACC record), 436 and now 413 yards.
Miami’s defense most certainly turned in its best effort so far - preventing the opposing team from scoring a touchdown for the first time this year. USF made five field goal attempts but was successful on just three.
Miami (6-5, 4-3 ACC) finishes its 2012 season at Duke on Saturday, November 24. A victory over Duke will clinch a share of the ACC Coastal Division crown, a first for Miami.