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Colorado avoids first shutout since 1988

MIAMI (AP) -- Kyle Wright was drilled on Miami's first play of the game and lost a toenail on his lone touchdown pass.

Other than that, he came away unscathed and victorious in his first Orange Bowl start.

Wright threw for 264 yards, plus ran for another touchdown, as No. 12 Miami's defense frustrated Colorado in the Hurricanes' 23-3 win Saturday.

"Once you get a couple positive plays, the offense really gets in a rhythm," Wright said. "Today, with the University of Colorado down here, we wanted to get them huffin' and puffin' and runnin' in that nice hot, humid weather we had out there. Our guys felt great, and you could see they were subbing in and out."

Wright completed 20-of-39 passes for Miami (2-1), wasn't sacked once -- impressive, considering he was dropped 14 times in the first two games -- and even ran a 2-yard bootleg into the end zone for the game's final score.

Only Mason Crosby's 58-yard field goal -- the second longest of his career -- with 11:57 left kept the Buffaloes (2-1) from being shut out for the first time in nearly two decades. Colorado got 120 of its 331 yards in the fourth quarter with the game decided, plus was penalized 16 times for 104 yards.

"We shot ourselves in the foot too many times," said Colorado coach Gary Barnett, who was on the Orange Bowl sidelines for the first time since the Buffs beat Notre Dame for the 1990 national title. "Miami's a good physical team and they have great speed, but I thought we matched up decently. They just didn't make the mistakes."

Sinorice Moss had 111 yards receiving, including a 53-yard score for Miami. Jon Peattie kicked three field goals, and Quadtrine Hill and Tyrone Moss combined for 99 yards rushing for Miami.

Safety Brandon Meriweather made 12 tackles and had an interception for the Hurricanes, and Marcus Maxey intercepted a pass.

The receiving numbers continued a big week for the Moss clan; Sinorice's brother Santana -- a former UM star -- had two long, late scores Monday night to lift the Washington Redskins past the Dallas Cowboys.

"This week has been terrific," Sinorice Moss said. "Watching my brother Monday night, I was so proud of him. It was motivation for me. ... This is something I can really build on."

The Hurricanes nearly added a defensive touchdown with 1:30 left when Kareem Brown recovered a fumble and lateraled to Leon Williams, who scored -- but the play was called back by a penalty.

No matter. By then, the outcome was long decided.

Joel Klatt -- bothered all day by a foot injury -- completed 25-of-41 passes for 228 yards for Colorado. But the Buffaloes committed all three of the game's turnovers, plus failed to score in both their trips inside the Miami 20.

"Certainly a good win for us. ... But I told our team be very complimentary toward Colorado," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "They really made us earn everything we got. Nothing easy."

Colorado hasn't been shut out since Nov. 7, 1988, against Nebraska -- 200 games ago. That streak survived, but the Buffaloes, who hoped a win could spring them into the national rankings, were stymied otherwise.

The kickoff temperature was 86 degrees, with 70 percent humidity making it feel like 95 -- and it got hotter. Conditions were quite difficult and unusual for Colorado; they're already snowmaking at a resort 56 miles from the Buffs' campus, and the team tried to
replicate South Florida's steamy feel by cranking the heat in their weight room over the past several weeks.

It didn't help.

"We seemed to move the ball OK," Klatt said. "And we'd have our opportunities at first down and things like that, but they really played well. ... We've just got to learn from our mistakes. You can't make mistakes against Miami."

Saturday was tinged with history for both programs -- exactly 11 years ago to the day, the Buffaloes' Michael Westbrook made "The Catch" of a Kordell Stewart pass to cap a stunning win over Michigan, while Washington visited Miami and ended its NCAA-record 58-game home winning streak.

This time, Colorado was more than a miracle short, and the Orange Bowl crowd left happy.

"They hung in the game as long we were going to let them," Wright said. "We put some good drives together, but we didn't finish them off. I don't think that score was really indicative of what it could have been."