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The U Made a Statement

By Carlos Pineda
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On Saturday night, in front of an electric crowd of 63,932, the Hurricanes answered any criticism with a sound 28-10 win over No. 13 Virginia Tech.

Miami entered Saturday's home contest undefeated and facing a formidable opponent in Virginia Tech, whose lone defeat came at the hands of Clemson.

The ninth-ranked Hurricanes faced a flurry of criticism leading up to this battle of top 15 teams, especially after struggling on the road last week against a one win North Carolina squad, on top of close wins versus Georgia Tech and Syracuse. The Canes even dropped a spot in the AP Top 25 from eighth to nine.

On Saturday night, in front of an electric crowd of 63,932, the Hurricanes answered the criticism with a sound 28-10 win over No. 13 Virginia Tech.

Wearing their all black "Miami Nights" uniforms, the Hurricanes (8-0, 6-0 ACC) took care of business. Moving one step closer to winning the Coastal Division. There was a scenario where Miami could have clinched the division Saturday, but Virginia, who Miami needed to lose beat Georgia Tech earlier in the day.

The Hurricanes jumped out to a 14-0 second-quarter lead after a scoreless first period. The first score came on a Braxton Berrios eight-yard pass from Malik Rosier, on a drive that began on their own 13 and took nine plays. The second touchdown was quick strike as Travis Homer rushed for a 64 yard score. The Hokies (7-2, 3-2) chipped at the lead, coming as close as four points before UM scored two second-half touchdowns to close out the game and pick up its 13th win in a row and setting up for classic battle versus Notre Dame next Saturday.

The offense showed some flash early on as Berrios completed a 17 yard pass to Rosier on the second play of Miami's first drive.

In a game with so much emotion, the Hurricanes were able to feed off the crowd, creating turnovers that brought out the super popular "Turnover Chain" on multiple occasions to a roaring approval.

The defense kept the Hokies offense in check, as Virginia Tech entered the game averaging over 30 points per game and 385.8 total yards. On Saturday night, they scored only 10 points and were held to under 300 total yards.

On a day that saw Penn State and Ohio State suffer some pretty big upsets, the Hurricanes continued their winning ways, albeit not as close as their last four wins.

With Virginia Tech now over, the focus shifts to the Fighting Irish, who defeated Wake Forest 48-37. It was Notre Dame last year in South Bend that handed Miami its last loss.

Next week will have some of that old school feel. ESPN announced College GameDay will make its first appearance in Miami in over a decade with the game kicking off in prime time on ABC.

Miami changed the script Saturday night. Instead of another nail-biting, last-minute heroics, the game was decided early in the fourth quarter, something the fans in attendance appreciated.

The Canes made a statement as they welcome Irish to Miami.

Carlos Pineda - Carlos Pineda is a featured writer for Southern Pigskin. He covered the UCF Knights football team for Florida Today in 2010. Carlos' work has been published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Business Journal. He attended the University of Central Florida. Follow Carlos on Twitter @CarlosFPineda.