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West Virginia's Defense Keys 21-18 Win Over Virginia Tech

November 21, 2002|From Associated Press

West Virginia ran over No. 13 Virginia Tech for three quarters and then made two defensive stands in the final minutes to preserve a 21-18 victory -- and its slim hopes for a Big East title.

First, the Mountaineers (8-3, 5-1 in the conference) stopped the Hokies on three successive rushes from inside the one-yard line, the final one with 3:51 left. Then, Brian King intercepted Bryan Randall's pass into the end zone with 12 seconds left -- a questionable decision by Virginia Tech, considering the Hokies were in range for a tying field-goal attempt.

The loss was the third in a row for Virginia Tech (8-3, 3-3).

Virginia Tech's Lee Suggs ran 28 yards for a touchdown in the first half, giving him a touchdown in 24 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

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Maurice Clarett promised to be in Ohio State's lineup against No. 12 Michigan on Saturday, but how much he will play is unknown.

Clarett has been struggling to recover from a shoulder injury that has limited his play in the last three games for the No. 2 Buckeyes.

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There are no Big East championship banners hanging in the Orange Bowl. There are no signs of Miami's seven conference titles in the team's locker room, weight room or meeting room. And there's hardly a mention of them in the media guide.

"Just winning the Big East isn't good enough for us," linebacker Howard Clark said. "Obviously it's important -- it gets us to the next level, but just winning the Big East has never been enough. Our real goal is the national championship. I'm not saying the Big East is something shabby, but for this caliber team and what we expect, it's not really important."

Miami (9-0, 4-0) plays host to No. 17 Pittsburgh (8-2, 5-0) tonight, and the winner will have the inside track for the conference title and the league's automatic berth in the bowl championship series.

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