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USC VS. MICHIGAN | ROUNDUP

Coker leaves Miami with win

January 01, 2007|From the Associated Press

On a cold night in Boise, Idaho, Larry Coker got the warmest possible send-off from his Miami Hurricanes.

Kirby Freeman threw for 272 yards and two long touchdowns, ran for one touchdown and the Hurricanes' defense came through in the final moments to help Miami (7-6) defeat Nevada, 21-20, in the MPC Computers Bowl on Sunday night, Coker's final game at Miami.

Nevada had a first down at the Miami 36 in the final minute, but a diving interception by Chavez Grant with 18 seconds left sealed the win and got Coker the send-off that his players wanted.

"I still love these players," Coker said.

Coker was fired Nov. 24 but agreed to stay for the bowl game -- largely, he said, because the players wanted him there. He finished his six years with a 60-15 record and one national title.

While battling temperatures in the upper 20s, Freeman threw a 78-yard touchdown pass to Sam Shields with 5 minutes 59 seconds left in the third quarter to end a 14-14 tie. Freeman had a 52-yard scoring pass to Ryan Moore late in the first half.

Jeff Rowe threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Marko Mitchell, and Brett Jaekle kicked four field goals for Nevada (8-5).

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Georgia Tech cornerback Jamal Lewis might sit out today's Gator Bowl against West Virginia after being involved in a car crash that killed a family friend.

Lewis was riding Saturday with Corey L. Russ, an off-duty Jacksonville police officer. Russ drove the wrong way on a downtown street when his patrol car ran a red light and was hit by another motorist, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The driver of the second car was not injured. Lewis, a junior, was treated for minor injuries and released from a hospital.

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West Virginia All-American tailback Steve Slaton has a bruised thigh that could keep him out of today's game.

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