ATLANTA (AP) -- A potential quarterback controversy in Miami was
silenced before it could gain momentum, but another strong showing
by the Hurricanes' defense may help force a quarterback change at
Brock Berlin had a career-high three touchdown passes Saturday
as No. 4 Miami shut down turnover-plagued Georgia Tech 27-3.
"That was probably our most complete game that we've had,"
said Miami coach Larry Coker. "I'm very encouraged. I really liked
what I saw."
Miami forced four turnovers and has allowed only one offensive
touchdown this season.
Coker said he wanted to give freshman backup quarterback Kyle
Wright some playing time, but was encouraged by Berlin's passing.
"I think he was a lot more aggressive," Coker said. "He put a
lot of extra practice time in with what he was doing. And guys came
up with plays for him."
Coker said Berlin "was playing awfully well before we pulled
him," but the coach stuck with his plan to put Wright in the game
on Miami's third possession.
Frank Gore rushed for 115 yards and, like Berlin, was held out
in the fourth quarter when Miami (4-0, 2-0 ACC) had the game under
Miami led 10-3 when Coker put Wright in the game. The Hurricanes
were held without a first down in his two possessions. Berlin came
back to lead Miami to a field goal and touchdown for a 20-3
"That was the coach's decision, and I was behind his decision
all the way," Berlin said. "I wasn't upset in the least."
There had been calls for Miami to make a change at quarterback
after Berlin threw only two touchdown passes in his first three
Berlin completed 10 of 20 passes for 200 yards with no
interceptions against Tech. Two of his three scoring passes were to
Wright returned to play the fourth quarter and completed 4 of 6
passes for 24 yards.
Tech's Reggie Ball threw three interceptions for the second
straight week and the Yellow Jackets were hurt by the loss of ACC
rushing leader P.J. Daniels, who was held out with a strained
Ball rushed for 60 yards and fill-in starting tailback Chris
Woods rushed for 74 yards as Tech (2-2, 1-2) outrushed Miami
162-140. But the Hurricanes outgained Tech 224-68 in passing yards,
and Ball completed only 8 of 25 passes.
"I thought we would go in and run the football, and we did,"
said Tech coach Chan Gailey. "I thought we would throw the
football better, and we didn't."
Ball has eight interceptions for the season.
"If we're going to have turnovers, we're going to have to stop
throwing it, I guess, but you know we can't do that," Gailey said.
"We're just going to have to come up with some answers."
Tech receiver Nate Curry said Miami's defense forced Ball to
rush his passes.
"I have not played well the last two weeks," Ball said. "If
coach thinks that he needs to make a change, I'm all for it."
For one play, Tech appeared capable of moving the ball without
Daniels. Woods broke free for a 56-yard run on the first play from
scrimmage to the Miami 11, but the Yellow Jackets had to settle for
a 24-yard field goal by Travis Bell.
Miami answered Bell's field goal with the first of two field
goals by Jon Peattie, a 49-yarder.
But it was obvious Tech missed Daniels. In one second-quarter
series, Ball and Damaruis Bilbo took turns running the ball on four
straight quarterback keepers. The drive ended with Ball's second
interception. Brandon Meriweather picked off a pass intended for
After Meriweather's interception, Berlin passed to Lance Leggett
over the middle for a 57-yard touchdown pass and a 20-3 lead.