IN THE CROSSHAIRS

Georgia Tech Receives Gift, Then Upsets Miami

Ken Cross

October 10, 2023 at 12:37 pm.

MIAMI, Fla. – Miami led Georgia Tech, 20-17, with 26 seconds remaining on Saturday. The Hurricanes had potentially changed an unpleasant and error-filled evening into a victory that would thrust them into the mix of teams searching for the ACC Championship.

Then, an unfortunate thing occurred when running back Donald Chaney, Jr., ran up where Georgia Tech’s Paul Moana forced Chaney to fumble and Kyle Gannard recovered on the Georgia Tech 26-yard line.

The Hurricanes were in flux.  All quarterback Tyler Van Dyke needed to do was take a knee and the ‘Canes would leave Hard Rock Stadium with a win in a tougher-than-expected battle with the Yellow Jackets.

Instead, coach Mario Cristobal allowed the play which he thought would finish the win. Even with the fumble, video replay showed that Chaney was stopped as he was pulled forward by Yellow Jackets linebacker Kyle Eford.

When Chaney’s elbow hit the ground, the case could be made that he should have been ruled down by an officiating crew that had struggled all evening.

Gannard’s recovery gave the Yellow Jackets the last chance that most teams relish at the end of games.

Four plays later, Georgia Tech quarterback Haynes King rolled right and found Christian Leary on a 44-yard touchdown pass to end the game with a 23-20 Jackets win.

Giving Chaney the football instead of asking Van Dyke to take a knee settled over Hard Rock Stadium like a cloud hanging in any part of south Florida that produced heavy wind and rain.

“We should have taken a time out there at the end,” said Cristobal. “We thought he could get the first down and we talked about two hands on the ball, but that isn’t good enough.”

The impact of the loss settled on the Hurricanes 180 degrees away from the joy and excitement of their 48-33 win over Texas A&M three weeks ago.

“We should have taken a knee,” said Cristobal.

 

Massive Mistakes: The Hurricanes never had a killer instinct where they could get ultimate control and take Georgia Tech out of the game immediately.

Van Dyke threw three interceptions as the last two set Georgia Tech up with 10 points and a 17-10 lead with 12:11 remaining in the game.

“It just wasn’t his best game,” said Cristobal of Van Dyke. “He gave good effort and had some big throws, but some others, he would like to have back.”

Miami controlled the game as it kept the ball for nearly 38 minutes and outgained Georgia Tech, 454-256. Five turnovers resulting in16 points were the major difference.

“You don’t want to sound arrogant about it, but we didn’t play to our standard, which means we didn’t coach to our standard,” said Cristobal. “We feel like we had a good week of preparation last week and this week and it did not show tonight.”

 

Restrepo’s Big-Time Performance: Miami wide receiver Xavier Restrepo is one of the top wideouts in college football with his speed and ability to make plays with his hands.

He had 12 catches for 129 yards on Saturday evening as he was targeted 13 times. He has 120 or more yards in three of the five games.

Restrepo commented on how Chaney’s fumble doesn’t deter any Miami players toward the ‘Canes running back.

“It’s one mistake,” explained Restrepo. “He had a great game, all game. One of the reasons why we were pounding the ball. We are behind number ‘2.’ We just have to execute better.”