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UM Holds On For 52-45 Win in Finale

Duke Johnson rushed for a career-high 173 yards and three touchdowns, Stephen Morris threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns, and the Miami Hurricanes held on to beat Duke 52-45 in their 2012 season finale.

Duke Johnson helped lead Miami to a win.

Miami (7-5, 5-3) earned a share of their first Coastal Division title. However, the Coastal will be represented by Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game next week with Miami and North Carolina ineligible due to postseason bans.

Stephen Morris became the eighth quarterback in Miami history to throw for at least 3,000 yards on 15 of 25 passing. He finished his junior year with 3,342 yards, which ranks fifth on UM’s single-season list.

Johnson established a new rushing record in a season for a UM freshman breaking Clinton Portis’ record finishing with 944 yards and a team-best 13 total touchdowns.

Miami out-gained Duke (6-6, 3-5) 645-580 in total yards in a game with four touchdowns of at least 65 yards.

Following a 1-yard touchdown by Brandon Connette to pull Duke within 52-45 with 2:32 left, Duke’s onside kick attempt went out-of-bounds. Miami took over and Johnson picked up a first down on an 11-yard run, which allowed UM to run out the rest of the clock for the win.

Miami led 31-10 early in the third quarter before Duke Sean Renfree threw back-to-back touchdown passes to pull within 31-24.

The Hurricanes responded with two big plays as Johnson scored on a 65-yard run and Mike James took a screen pass 72 yards for a touchdown to stretch the lead to 45-24.

However, Duke would not go away as the Miami defense struggled once again.

Renfree connected with Jamison Crowder for a 99-yard touchdown after Johnson’s pass fell incomplete to Clive Walford in the end zone to give life to the Blue Devils. Then, Renfree scrambled and heaved a 6-yard pass to Conner Vernon in the end zone on a fourth down play to pull Duke within 45-38 with 7:56 left.

Herb Waters took the first pass of the ensuing drive 65 yards for a score for a 52-38 lead.

Duke turned the ball over on downs, but Jake Wieclaw missed a 47-yard field goal with six minutes left to keep Duke alive.

A pair of personal foul penalties helped Duke pull within 52-45 on Connette’s score.

Renfree threw for 430 yards and four touchdowns--two each to Jamison Crowder and Conner Vernon. Crowder had eight catches for 204 yards, Vernon had 11 for 108.

Miami used a trick play to help set up their first score. Morris lined up at receiver then took the handoff, threw back to Dallas Crawford, who fired a pass to Phillip Dorsett for 29 yards. Two plays later, Morris connected with Walford for an 11-yard touchdown.

The Hurricanes stretched their lead to 14-0 on an 18-yard touchdown run by Johnson.

Duke responded with a 43-yard field goal by Ross Martin and a 4-yard touchdown run by Connette to pull within 14-10.

Walford came up big again for Miami with a 35-yard reception down the Miami sideline down to the 9. Johnson scored from six yards out to give Miami a 21-10 lead. A 1-yard plunge by Mike James just before halftime extended the lead for Miami to 28-10.

After Wieclaw’s field goal, Vernon, caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Renfree to cut the deficit to 31-17.


PASSING: Morris, 25-15-0, 367; Crawford 1-1-0, 29; Johnson 1-0-0, 0.

RUSHING: Johnson 17-173; James 17-70; Crawford 3-13; Morris 3--7.

RECEIVING: Walford 4-99; Dorsett 4-82; James 3-97; Waters 1-65; Dye 1-29; Johnson 1-12; Hurns 1-6; Thompkins 1-6.

FIELD GOALS: Wieclaw 23, (47).

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