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Virginia Tech hands Hurricanes their third straight loss

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The Miami Hurricanes are officially in a funk. On Thursday night they were routed by the Virginia Tech Hokies, 37-16 in Blacksburg, Va.

Miami has either not recovered from the disappointing home loss to Florida State two weeks ago, or perhaps their competition in the first four games did not provide a stern enough test.

Perhaps Coach Mark Richt and his staff felt the program’s turnaround might be ahead of schedule. The domination suffered by the Hurricanes on Thursday shows there is still plenty of work to do.

Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya had a good performance, completing 23 of 38 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns. His counterpart, Jerod Evans, threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns. Evans also rushed for 98 yards and a score.

Virginia Tech established, and maintained, control of the game through a superior rushing attack. The Hokes rushed for 251 yards and a touchdown.

The Hurricanes ran for 97 yards themselves, but were credited with only 42 because Kaaya was sacked eight times for a combined 55 yards in losses. That is hard to overcome.

“I’m not going to throw anyone under the bus,” Richt said after the game. “Sacks have to do with a lot of things.”

Miami had no answer for Hokies’ running back Travon McMillan, who ran for 131 yards. Joseph Yearby had 59 yards on nine carries for the Hurricanes, but 41 of those came on one play

Miami fans might have been encouraged when Braxton Berrios hauled in a 25-yard Kaaya touchdown pass to make it 16-9 just 19 seconds before halftime. After trading touchdowns in the third quarter, Virginia Tech scored the final 14 points to put the game out of reach.

The Hurricanes fell to 4-3, but just 1-3 in the ACC. They have nine days before playing again, giving them some valuable practice time.

On October 29 they head to South Bend, Ind. to play a struggling Notre Dame team.

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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