CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Tyrone Moss practically saved Miami's
season with a performance that left no question about his ability
to be the Hurricanes' next star runner.
Moss rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns, including a
25-yarder in the third overtime that lifted No. 13 Miami to a 36-30
win over Clemson and allowed the Hurricanes to avoid their first
0-2 start in 27 years.
There were some who doubted whether Moss could live up to the
legacies of backs such as Frank Gore and Willis McGahee, even after
he rushed for 102 yards against Florida State in his first start.
"I know I can be the man," Moss said. "I can get the job
done. There was no doubt in my mind."
Or coach Larry Coker's mind, as the Miami attack turned more to
Moss on the ground down the stretch than sophomore Kyle Wright's
"Tyrone's not a surprise," Coker said. "He's a load to
After Moss bounced out the right side for his game-winning
score, safety Kenny Phillips intercepted Charlie Whitehurst's pass
when the 20th-ranked Tigers (2-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference)
got their chance in the third extra period.
Phillips' play ended the game and gave the Hurricanes (1-1, 1-1)
a reason to forget their miserable 10-7 loss at Florida State
nearly two weeks ago.
Almost every Hurricane rushed Phillips, a freshman, after he
took a knee, relieved to get a victory. "I wished they told me
what was coming," he said, smiling.
It was Clemson's first OT defeat after coming in 5-0, including
a 24-17 victory at the Orange Bowl over Miami a year ago.
Miami seemed like it would have its Death Valley revenge after
Moss' 1-yard touchdown run made it 20-10 with 14:20 left in the
But the Tigers (2-1, 1-1), who had already rallied in the fourth
quarter to beat Texas A&M and Maryland this season, did it again to
"There's no quit in them," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said.
"I told them I was disappointed they lost, but extremely proud of
Whitehurst had a 1-yard quarterback sneak touchdown to cut the
lead to three points with 2:58 to go. Then after forcing the
Hurricanes to punt, Whitehurst led a 46-yard drive that ended with
Jad Dean's tying field goal from 27-yards out.
Miami was fortunate to get the tie. On third-and-10 with 19
seconds remaining, Clemson receiver Chansi Stuckey was by himself
on the left side of the end zone. But Whitehurst badly overthrew
"Game time," Stuckey said about the play. "I thought, 'This
might be the game."
Instead, Miami and Moss got a chance to escape.
The Hurricanes didn't look particularly crisp in their first
trip to Clemson -- they were flagged for 14 penalties for 117 yards.
But they took advantage of Clemson's poor play against the run.
Trailing 10-6 in the third quarter, Moss carried six times on a
47-yard drive that ended with Wright's 8-yard touchdown pass to
On the next series, Wright let loose with his longest pass of
the game, a 40-yard strike to Sinorice Moss that moved Miami to
Two plays later, Tyrone Moss finished the drive with his 1-yard
score to give Miami its 10-point, fourth-quarter lead.
By beating coach Tommy Bowden's Tigers, Miami also avoided a
Bowden season sweep after the loss to Bobby's Seminoles on Labor
Clemson hoped for its first 3-0 start since 2000. Things looked
good early on as the Tigers continually rattled Wright (they
registered five sacks) and even used a little Bowden-family
trickery to take the lead.
Whitehurst faked a handoff and ran around left end untouched for
65 yards to Miami's 8. The gain surpassed the 61 yards rushing the
fifth-year senior had managed in his career to this point.
Whitehurst did what he's better known for on the next play,
hitting tight end Cole Downer with an 8-yard touchdown pass to put
the Tigers up 7-3.
When Dean hit his 12th straight field goal, Clemson was up 10-3
in the second quarter.
Wright and Miami's offense are still a work in progress.
Four drives ended in punts and Wright was sacked three times in
the opening half. The times Wright got the Hurricanes close enough
to threaten, they could not get past the Tigers defense.