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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / WEEK 13 | BCS' No. 1 and No. 2

Taking Care of Business

Miami: Hurricanes' 26-0 victory over Syracuse sets stage for Big East finale against Boston College.

November 19, 2000|From Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — James Jackson gained 101 yards in 23 carries and scored two touchdowns Saturday night as second-ranked Miami defeated Syracuse, 26-0, to remain in the hunt for the national championship.

Miami, 9-1 overall and 6-0 in the Big East Conference, has one game left, against Boston College. The Hurricanes entered the game ranked second in the BCS standings and needed a strong performance against the struggling Orangemen (5-5, 3-3).

Facing a redshirt freshman quarterback making his first start at home, it proved an easy task.

On its eight possessions of the first half, Syracuse did not gain a first down on seven. Quarterback R.J. Anderson and the Orangemen gained only 42 yards on 29 plays in the half and had only two first downs.

Anderson completed 11 of 25 passes for 83 yards and had a pass intercepted.

Miami won the field-position game handily, took a 23-0 halftime lead and took the Carrier Dome crowd of 49,327 out of the game. The stands were more empty than full after Todd Sievers kicked a 33-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

Of their eight possessions in the opening half, the Hurricanes started either near midfield or in Syracuse territory six times.

Leading 3-0 on a 23-yard field goal by Sievers early in the first quarter, Miami scored three touchdowns in the first five minutes of the second quarter.

Ken Dorsey got the Hurricanes going with passes of 32 yards to Jeremy Shockey and 23 yards to Daryl Jones. A key 11-yarder to Santana Moss on a third-and-10 play set up Jackson's five-yard scoring run on the first play of the second quarter.

Syracuse entered the game with the nation's seventh-rated pass defense, having given up 163.8 yards a game. Dorsey completed nine of 19 passes for 183 yards in the first half alone. One was a 32-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne that put Miami ahead, 16-0, with 11:51 remaining in the half.

Strong safety Edward Reed got Miami's 21st interception of the season to stop Syracuse's next possession and Jackson scored on a 33-yard run two plays later to make the score 23-0.

Syracuse had relied all season on its defense, which was expected to help the Orangemen challenge Miami, despite the absence of defensive end Dwight Freeney, who sat out his third consecutive game because of an undisclosed viral infection.

But the pressure that harried Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick in a 22-14 loss to the Hokies a month ago never materialized against Miami. Dorsey was rarely hurried and completed 16 of 28 passes for 263 yards, with no interceptions.

Syracuse, which suffered its first shutout since a 62-0 loss at Virginia Tech last season, gained only 83 yards rushing in 31 attempts.

Syracuse mounted only two sustained drives, and the best came in the first quarter.

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