MIAMI - With doubts looming that it wouldn't win another game this season, Georgia Tech claimed a most satisfying victory over Miami, relying on a standout performance from running back Jordan Mason, resolute defense and three missed field goals by the Hurricanes to win 28-21 in overtime Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Mason's 1-yard touchdown run on Tech's opening possession of overtime proved the difference, as Miami was unable to match on its turn with the ball. The Yellow Jackets won the game on a replay review, when safety Tariq Carpenter was ruled to have tackled tight end Brevin Jordan just shy of the first-down marker on a 4th-and-4 pass from the Tech 8-yard line.
The measurement set off a delirious celebration from the Jackets, as they ran about the field jumping and embracing.
Mason finished with a career-high 141 rushing yards, repeatedly running through and over Miami tackle attempts. Miami came into the game seventh in FBS in rushing defense, allowing 77.7 yards per game on the ground.
Seeking their first road win over Miami after five consecutive losses, Tech (2-5 overall, 1-3 ACC) also broke a four-game losing streak for the season in front of an announced crowd of 54,106 at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami (3-4, 1-3) could not take advantage of nine Tech penalties.
With the score tied at 21 at halftime, Tech gained control of the game in the third quarter, holding the ball for 10:10 in the period and running 18 plays to Miami's 10, but disadvantageous field position kept the Jackets from scoring. Tech started its two third-quarter drives at its 4- and 5-yard lines and, with much help from running back Jordan Mason's tackle-breaking play, churned out drives of 14 and 16 yards. Kicker Brenton King made a 52-yard field goal at the end of the first drive, but it was wiped out by a false start that pushed the Jackets out of field-goal range. The second, which stretched into the middle of the fourth quarter and was advanced by a third-and-10 completion by quarterback James Graham to Adonicas Sanders for 20 yards, ended with a Mason fumble at the Miami 24.
Miami answered by driving to the Tech 9, but kicker Bubba Baxa missed from 27 yards, the Hurricanes' second missed field-goal try of the game.
Miami missed again at the end of regulation, this time from 25 yards, when Antwan Owens reached up to block Turner Davidson's attempt with 26 seconds remaining.
A wild first quarter ended tied at 14.
In the first quarter, Tech made some unlikely big plays to balance out costly penalties to go into the second quarter tied at 14. The Jackets opened the scoring when Miami faced a third-and-8 on its 11 on its opening possession. Defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker sent the house against quarterback N'Kosi Perry, and linebacker Demetrius Knight sacked Perry and dislodged the ball, which was recovered by defensive tackle Ja'Quon Griffin for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead in the game's third minute.
Tech had been desperate for a forced fumble, having gone the past three games without one. It was Tech's first defensive score of the season.
However, Griffin was penalized for spiking the ball, the first of three penalties (one of them was a highly questionable pass interference against cornerback Tre Swilling) that helped the Hurricanes go 64 yards to tie the score. Miami took a 14-7 lead on its next possession with big help from another Tech penalty.
Tech went three-and-out, but punter Pressley Harvin was the object of a roughing-the-kicker penalty, which would have been an automatic first down but Tech was also called for illegal formation to offset the roughing flag. Harvin punted again, and Miami's K.J. Osborn returned the kick 52 yards to the Tech 13. The Hurricanes cashed in on the next play, a 13-yard scoring pass from Perry to Osborn for a 14-7 lead.
The Jackets leveled the score at the end of the quarter when they ran a fake punt and Harvin threw a perfect downfield pass to gunner Nathan Cottrell for a 41-yard touchdown pass. Tech finished the quarter with the offense (not counting Harvin's pass) having gained 42 yards and also having been hit with 50 yards of penalties, but tied at 14.
Miami took the lead again using excellent field position. Early in the second quarter, Miami flipped the field, pinning Tech on its 6, and the Jackets were unable to dig out. Osborn returned Harvin's 47-yard punt to the Tech 32. Running back Cam'Ron Harris scored on a 19-yard screen pass for a 21-14 lead.
Tech tied it at 21 in the final minute of the half, finishing an 80-yard drive with a 35-yard pass from Graham to wide receiver Ahmarean Brown in which Brown made a superior adjustment on the deep ball.
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