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No. 1 Miami’s Fourth-Quarter Rally Ends Rutgers’ Upset Bid
  • Posted on November 02, 2002 12:00:00 AM
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  • PISCATAWAY, NJ – The top-ranked Miami Hurricanes, facing a 17-14, fourth-quarter deficit scored four times in the final 14 minutes to rally for a 42-17 win over Rutgers today at Rutgers Stadium. The Scarlet Knights used a strong defensive effort and took advantage of some key special teams plays to build a 17-14 halftime lead, a margin it held through the third quarter. Freshman Ryan Hart, making his first career start, guided Rutgers to a game-opening, 80-yard TD drive and finished the day 9-for-23 for 110 yards.

    Led by the able-armed Hart, Rutgers drove 80 yards on the game-opening possession and opened a 7-0 lead on the top-ranked ‘Canes following a one-yard TD run by Clarence Pittman. After back-to-back carries by Pittman set up third and four from the RU 26, Hart connected with Markis Facyson for a 14-yard, first-down pass and hooked up with Chris Loomis three plays later for a 10-yarder than put Rutgers at the Miami 41 yard-line.

    Hart then hit Aaron Martin in a full sprint down the right sideline and Martin ran the ball all the way to the one-yard line, before Kelly Jennings pushed him down. Pittman then completed the drive on the ensuing play.

    Miami moved 62 yards on the next drive, but the RU defense held the ‘Canes at the 11-yard-line, forcing a 29-yard field goal from Todd Sievers. Sievers added another FG on the first drive of the second quarter to close the gap to 7-6, and Miami took advantage of a fumble in the end zone by Rutgers for a safety and an 8-6 lead.

    The Scarlet Knights proved resilient, however, taking advantage of good field position for a 38-yard field goal by Ryan Sands and a 10-8 lead with 4:04 left in the second quarter.

    Rutgers, which limited Miami to just two first-half first downs, used a combination of heady defense and UM penalties to pin the ‘Canes deep in their own end on the next series. Facing a fourth-and-three from their own 17, the Hurricanes were forced to punt and Rutgers’ Jason Nugent blocked Freddie Capshaw’s punt, which was recovered by Sean Seabrooks and carried two yards into the end zone for a 17-8 lead. Although Willis McGahee would scored on a two-yard run with :33 left to play in the half, Rutgers blocked the extra point attempt and took a 17-14 lead into the locker room.

    After a scoreless third, Miami found the end zone four times in the fourth quarter, as Ken Dorsey connected on 20 and one-yard TD passes and Derrick Crudup finished the scoring with a 33-yard strike to David Williams.

    Miami outgained Rutgers, 436-200, as Dorsey completed 16-of-31 passes for 192 yards and two TD’s and one interception, while McGahee carried 23 times for 187 yards and two more scores. Facyson led RU’s ground attack with 35 yards on 14 carries, while also catching three passes for 39 yards.

    Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
    ----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
    Miami............... 3 11 0 28 - 42 Record: (8-0,4-0)
    Rutgers............. 7 10 0 0 - 17 Record: (1-8,0-5)


    True freshman QB Ryan Hart, who saw the first action of his career last week vs. Syracuse, gained the first career start of his career vs. Miami. With 13:28 left in the first quarter, the Coral Springs, FL native completed his first career pass, a 14-yarder to true freshman RB Markis Facyson. In his first drive, Hart was 3-for-3 passing for 64 yards, including a 40-yard completion to senior WR Aaron Martin that set up a one-yard TD run by sophomore RB Clarence Pittman. The opening drive of the game covered 80 yards in seven plays, with an elapsed time of 3:34.

    True freshman QB Ryan Hart’s 40-yard first quarter completion to Aaron Martin was the longest pass play of the season for the Scarlet Knights.

    Sophomore RB Clarence Pittman’s one-yard first quarter TD run was the first of his career.

    True freshman RB Markis Facyson established his career high for receptions with three catches for 39 yards in the first quarter.

    Junior CB Brandon Haw’s second quarter interception of a Ken Dorsey pass was his third interception of the season, which is a team-high.

    True freshman DE Val Baranaby had the first career reception of his career, a four-yarder from Ryan Hart in the first quarter.

    Senior OT Trohn Carswell had the first career rush of his career in the second quarter when he hauled in a lateral from QB Ryan Hart and gained 14 yards for a first down.

    In the second quarter, true freshman RB Jason Nugent blocked a Freddie Capshaw punt and the ball was scooped up by senior DB Shawn Seabrooks, who ran it two yards for the score. It was the fourth special teams TD of the season for Rutgers. Nate Jones has a pair of 100-yard kickoff returns (vs. Tennessee and Syracuse) and Brandon Haw scooped up a Jones blocked field goal and returned it 90 yards for a TD vs. Syracuse.

    This is the fourth time Rutgers has faced a No.1 team in the nation and the first time Rutgers has hosted a No.1 team on campus.

    October 11, 1980 No. 1 Alabama 17, Rutgers 13 Giants Stadium
    November 7, 1981 No. 1 Pittsburgh 47, Rutgers 3 Giants Stadium
    September 8, 2001 No. 1. Miami 61, Rutgers 0 Orange Bowl
    November 2, 2002 No. 1 Miami 42, Rutgers 17 Rutgers Stadium


    We played a real good football team – one of the best in the nation – and we played them really well. We just didn’t finish it off. We’re going in the right direction. (Our players) know it. They see the vision. They know where we are headed. And it’s going to happen. The nice thing is that we have three games left. We have three games to get better and keep going in the right direction.

    For three quarters we led the #1 team in the country. When we figure out how to do it for four quarters, then we’ll the #1 team in the country someday. I know our kids came ready to play today.

    (re: play of quarterbacks) – I was going to play them both (Ryan Hart and Ted Trump) from the onset. I think that Ryan really started with a lot of success. That first drive was awesome for him, and I was so happy that he could feel comfortable. As it went on, we had some rough spots – and we made some mistakes – but when you start a true freshman at quarterback, you’re going to make some mistakes. I knew that going in.

    (re: taking Hart out) It wasn’t about his performance. I just wanted him to be able to take a series off, stand on the sideline and watch. Sometimes when you are a young guy, having one series removed where you’re not under the pressure, you can watch the offense go, you can see what the defense is doing. Now you can stand with the coaches and talk you through it. The plan was we were going to do that, and in the second half, I wanted to give him another chance to do the same thing. That’s the #1 team in the country, and they are ripping up the field. It’s not a bad idea to let him settle down a little bit. That’s what we did.

    (more on Hart) --- That first drive was beautiful. He did a nice job. He hit the angle route to (Markis Facyson). He did a nice job. I could tell in pre-game that he was a little nervous, as we all would be, but he’s really a cool customer for an 18-year old kid.

    We got here two years ago and nobody realized how deep a hole there was. Now we are digging out and digging out and digging out. Last year we couldn’t have hung with Virginia Tech and Tennessee and Miami. This year, we did. This year, we not only hung with them, but we had them worried. We have young great players waiting in the wings, we are recruiting great players waiting in the wings. Right now we had two classes who had the guts to say that they wanted to make a New Jersey school a championship program. We’ll get another class this year and another class the year after. And it’s going to happen. There is no doubt to me it’s going to happen.

    (about Miami’s strong 4th quarter) – Turnovers are a direct relation to them scoring. I talked to the guys all week that the number-one thing was to hold on to the ball. It was great to get to the fourth quarter without the explosion. That explosion comes with a team as talented as Miami. Really when you beat a team like Miami, when you are a team like us who is young, young football team, what happens is that Miami runs out of time. It’s inevitable that they are going to make plays, but if you can hold them off, they run out of time. We had to hold them off, and it didn’t happen in the fourth quarter.

    I told the team that there are no moral victories. This is the third time in a row we’ve played with a top team. We have26 redshirt or true freshmen playing for our team. I am excited. When these freshmen are juniors and seniors, we’re not just going to be playing with teams, we’re going to be whipping their rear ends.

    QB RYAN HART, Fr. #11

    We played very well today. The offensive line played good and I felt comfortable out there. I felt good going into this week’s game. I knew beforehand that Ted Trump and I would both be playing and we helped each other preparing for Miami during this entire week.

    The first drive of the game was a huge confidence boost for us. We executed our offense nicely and played great. After that first touchdown, the team not only felt confident, but more calm and relaxed.

    Miami is a great team and we gave them everything we had. We played great as a team and this shows we can play with anybody. We are a good team and we can turn this program around.


    It was incredible to play Miami today. We were in a brawl today and both teams kept fighting and scrapping. Each team kept coming back, but Miami was able to pull it out.

    Miami is a great team and I think we surprised them. The guys on our team have tremendous heart and we can’t wait to play them again.

    I am very happy that I decided to play at Rutgers. I have no doubts about this program and I know we will win.


    “A loss is a loss no matter how you look at it. There are no moral victories. We have to come back next time and build on what we did right today.”

    “We believed we were going to win this game until the last second ticked off the clock. The offense came out ready to play, giving us something to cheer about. That got us fired up on defense. Anytime the offense makes big plays, that makes the defense enthusiastic. We have to take this one game at a time. We take this loss as a team.”

    “When you play a team like Miami, you know they have depth. They came out with some quick gambles and we had to adjust to that. We played them well for most of the game.”


    “We showed flashes of success on both offense and defense for three quarters. We need to put that all together and finish it off the next time. We came out ready to play. We took it one play at a time and played them well for most of the game. We let an opportunity slip away today.”

    “We made some mistakes and a good team like Miami capitalized on them. This is a young team and mistakes happen. We look at the film and erase these mistakes as we mature as a team.”

    “The penalty on the interception was a tough call. If it counted, it could have made a big difference heading into the locker room at halftime.”


    I think we played well defensively except on the first drive. After that, there was not much that we gave the Rutgers offense. Offensively we played well at times, we didn’t execute at times and we were a little erratic. The blocked punt and blocked extra point were key things that allowed Rutgers to stay in the game.

    I think Rutgers is a much improved football team. To their credit, they haven’t won games but they have played awfully hard the entire year.

    You can’t live on the edge, week in and week out, quarter by quarter, because if you get a key mistake you have no chance to win.

    I knew that we could win, but I knew that we had to play well defensively and we had to do a great job and execute on offense.

    We did a good job on the fake and did some awfully good things in special teams.

    At halftime I said that we have to get it done. I told them that they had nine penalties and we weren’t going to get it done by being self-destructive.

    I think that Rutgers played well and our execution wasn’t as good, we missed some plays that we should have made.

    There is a concern with this team, for me, that sometimes we’re pressing and trying too hard. We just have to relax and play football.


    (Asked about what the Rutgers defense was doing to slow them down in the game) “They were mixing things up pretty good. I couldn’t tell you exactly what they were doing, I’d have to watch the film. But, going from my reads, the underneath stuff is more what they were giving us. They wanted to try to make us drive down the field and take away the big play.”

    (When asked about Rutgers having a lead in the fourth quarter)
    “Naturally, we wanted to win the game. When you’re not ahead in the fourth quarter, that’s a pretty good indication that you are in danger of not winning the game. We had to really make sure to fight back and really start executing and doing the things we have to do to win.”

    “Today, we just didn’t execute and we had too many penalties. We’re going to evaluate the film tomorrow and really learn a lot from this game.”

    (When asked if Miami is the No. 1 team in the nation)
    “I just know we have to keep winning games. We’re not really going to be concerned with that kind of stuff.”

    “We just have to start putting solid games together. The last time that happened was probably the Florida game and I don’t think we’ve done it since. But, this coming weekend, we definitely have to when we go to Tennessee.”

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