G12: Hurricanes 52, @ Duke 45 (Final): Morris, Duke of Gables lead wild season-ending win!; plus Gators upset Noles, FIU & more
[1) It is SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24. Welcome to the Collball Week 13 post as most teams -- including five of the seven state FBS teams -- wrap up their regular seasons. 2) R.I.P., boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho and actor Larry Hagman, TV's J.R. Ewing. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
Canesfan Satisfaction Meter: Voting underway!: Voting now underway in the season-ending CSM poll in a separate blogpost directly above this one.
G12: HURRICANES @ DUKE: MEANINGLESS? NOT TO UM: Final: The story of the season to a large degree: Enough Miami offense to overcome a faltering defense as Canes win season finale, 52-45, at Duke to finish 7-5, and 5-3 in the ACC. Stephen Morris' 369 yards passing and three TDs and Duke Johnson's 169 yards rushing and three scores lead the victory. How many 'Duke Beats Duke' headlines and references might we now expect? ..... Second half: UM lead down to 52-45 with 2:30 left. ... Canes lead whittled to 45-38, mid-4Q, after allowing a fourth TD pass of the game. ... UM lead down to 45-31 on 99-yard Duke scoring pass-n-run. ... Duke of Gables with a short, Tebow-esque scoring pass to Wilford, but ruled incomplete upon review. Looked like a TD catch to me. ... Miami lead comfy again at 45-24 after Morris to Mike James for 72-yard TD catch and run. ... Sensational Duke Johnson with his third TD run, a 65-yarder, and Canes gor wlead to 38-24. ... A 23-yard Duke TD pass narrows UM's lead to 31-24, suddenly too close for comfort. ... Duke within 31-17 on 10-yard scoring toss. ... Canes add 23-yard FG for 31-10 lead. ..... First half: Mike James 1-yard scoring run makes for a safe 28-10 halftime lead for UM. ... Breathing room again for Miami at 21-10 on Duke Johnson 6-yard TD run. ... Blue Devils within 14-10 after Brandon Connette 4-yard TD run caps 81-yard drive. ... Duke on board with 43-yard field goal to cut UM lead to 14-3. ... Miami now up 14-0 after Duke Johnson 18-yard TD run. ... UM up 7-0 on Stephen Morris 11-yard TD pass to Clive Walford. ..... Original post: I heard this game described on local radio as being "utterly meaningless." It is not. It is quite the opposite for Miami. The university self-imposing a postseason ban for a second straight season due to the NCAA investigation makes this tantamount to a bowl game for the Canes. A win to finish 7-5 also would mark symbolic (as well as literal) improvement for UM over last season. Perhaps most important, Miami by winning would claim at least a share of the ACC Coastal Division title -- postseason ban or not. For these reasons I think coach Al Golden's troops will be fired up. And they'd better be, because Duke (also 6-5) isn't the doormat it typically is. Give me the Canes. Stephen Morris has too many weapons for this opponent, and the biggest one is diminutive freshman Duke Johnson. In the Battle of the Dukes, give me The Duke of Gables. My pick was: Miami, 30-20.
The end for some, not for others: UM (self-imposed ban) and FIU (not bowl-eligible) are the only two of seven state FBS teams that will end their 2012 football seasons today. FAU and South Florida are not bowl eligible but end their regular seasons next Saturday. Florida, FSU and UCF are bowl-eligible.
Other featured state FBS games:
No. 6 Florida 37, No. 10 FSU 26 -- This for me was the national game of the week -- although that would be Notre Dame-USC in retrospect if the Trojans can upset the No.1 Irish tonight. The Gators were 4th in the all-important BCS rankings and still could play themselves up into the national championship game with this win and some luck with other results. I figured that to be moot. I'm surprised Florida won. Gators offense had struggled lately, and for them to put up 37 on FSU's awesome defense was impressive. They're partying tonight in Tallahassee. (Then again, when aren't they partying in Tally?) My pick was: FSU, 24-13.
Louisiana-Monroe 23, FIU 17 -- Seems like ages ago that FIU was the preseason Sun Belt favorite, but now the Panthers (3-9) say goodbye to The Belt after wrapping up a disappointing, injury-marred, bowl-less season at home. La-Mo was a stronger team and ended things fittingly for The Int'l. My pick was: La-Monroe, 31-17.
My record: This week, 2-1. Season, 41-15.
Other state FBS games: UCF d. UAB, 49-24; and Cincinnati d. South Florida, 27-10, Friday night. FAU had a bye.
National Game of the Week: Florida-FSU (see above).
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