Virginia’s Jake McGee caught a 10-yard touchdown from Michael Rocco with six seconds left to lift the Cavaliers to a 41-40 win over the Miami Hurricanes Saturday.
Al Golden dropped to 11-11 with a loss to Virginia.
Miami (5-5, 4-3) led by 10 points in the fourth quarter, but were unable to hold on despite a big day from Duke Johnson.
Johnson accounted for a career-high 384 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for a career-high 164 yards on 16 carries, returned six kicks for 216 yards including a 95-yard touchdown return, threw an 8-yard touchdown pass, and caught a 4-yard pass.
With the third straight loss to Virginia (4-6, 2-4), Miami remains atop the Coastal Division with one league game remaining at idle Duke (6-4, 3-3) Nov. 24.
After a safety that gave Miami a 40-35 lead with four minutes left, Miami punted the ball back to Virginia, which took over at the Miami 13.
Virginia took over at the Miami 13 and picked up 28 yards on a completion by Rocco to former UM recruit Dominique Terrell. Moments later, Terrell kept the drive alive with a nine-yard catch on a 4th-and-7 play. Facing another fourth down, Thomas Finnie was flagged for holding Terrell giving Virginia the ball a first down on the Miami 21 with one minute left.
Virginia moved to the 10-yard line with 17 seconds left. Rocco’s pass was broken up by Tracy Howard. Then Rocco found McGee in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown beating Gionni Paul and A.J. Highsmith on the play giving Virginia a 41-40 lead with six seconds left.
McGee’s score capped a 16-play, 87-yard drive.
Freshman Duke Johnson had another monster day.
Rocco, who shared time with Phillip Sims, completed 29 of 38 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns. Sims went 11 of 14 for 88 yards as Virginia racked up 494 yards against the national’s 113th-ranked defense.
The Hurricanes were in prime position to take a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter, but Morris fumbled inside the 5, which was recovered by Virginia.
Morris made up for his blunder on the next possession with a pivotal 35-yard touchdown strike to Dorsett for a 38-28 lead with 11:38 left in the game.
But the Miami defense failed to stop Virginia, which marched down the field for an 12-play, 71-yard drive resulting in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Rocco to Darius Jennings to pull Virginia within 38-35 with 5:33 left.
Virginia took a 28-24 lead into halftime as both teams combined for over 500 yards in the first half.
The Cavaliers got two passing touchdowns by Rocco in their first two drives as Rocco found Miles Gooch for 7 yards and Jennings for 6.
Johnson shined for Miami in its first two possessions as he had a 52-yard run on the first drive, which help set up his 8-yard touchdown pass to Allen Hurns. After Jennings’ score, Johnson returned the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 14.
It was Johnson’s second kickoff return for a touchdown this season, which ties a school record.
True to form, Virginia replaced Rocco with Sims, who guided the Cavaliers down the field on their third drive capped off by rushing for a 7-yard score.
Johnson keyed UM again with a 25-yard run and Morris found Phillip Dorsett for 46 yards before tossing a touchdown pass to Hurns for 12 yards to tie the game at 21.
Virginia responded with a 3-yard touchdown plunge by Kevin Parks for a 28-24 edge.