Virginia scores dramatic win over Miami in final seconds

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Virginia scores dramatic win over Miami in final seconds

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Michael Rocco threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee with 6 seconds remaining Saturday and Virginia rallied from a 10-point deficit to stun Miami 41-40.

Rocco threw four touchdown passes and Virginia (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its second in a row after a six-game losing streak. It was the Cavaliers third straight win against the Hurricanes.

The victory kept the Cavaliers' slim bowl hopes alive. Virginia still has to beat North Carolina and Virginia Tech to become bowl eligible.

Miami (5-5, 4-3) lost despite three touchdown passes from Stephen Morris and a brilliant performance by Duke Johnson. The freshman ran for 150 yards, returned a kickoff for a touchdown and threw a TD pass. The victory also cost the Hurricanes control of their Coast Division title race.

But in the end, it was Miami's defense that let the Hurricanes down.

Rocco led a 16-play, 87-yard drive, keeping it alive with a 9-yard completion to Dominique Terrell on fourth-and-7 from his own 44. Penalties also hurt Miami. There was a late flag for holding against cornerback Thomas Finnie on another fourth down pass that Terrell did not come up with at Miami's 20.

Four plays later, Rocco found the 6-foot-5 McGee in the back of the end zone for the game-winner. He finished 29 of 37 for 300 yards and also threw touchdown passes of 7 yards to Miles Gooch, and 6 and 5 yards to Darius Jennings. The second TD to Jennings pulled Virginia within 38-35 with 5:33 left in the game.

Morris threw for 179 yards with three touchdowns: a 12-yarder to Allen Hurns, 9 yards to Clive Walford and 35-yard strike to Phillip Dorsett, which gave the Hurricanes a 38-28 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Then Virginia coach Mike London ditched the quarterback rotation he had been using all day, put the ball back in Rocco's hands and the junior's pinpoint passing led two touchdown drives.

Rocco even appeared to get a break that went Virginia's way.

He was called for intentional grounding from the end zone under heavy pressure, giving Miami a safety and the ball with just over 4 minutes to play. Replays showed that Rocco was not in the end zone when he threw the ball away, but a review did not overturn the call.

Virginia had to kick the ball to Miami, but its defense held, setting up the finish.

Miami's Johnson would have stolen the show in the first half if the Hurricanes have stopped Virginia. Still, the freshman was impressive.

Johnson ripped off a 52-yard run on the Hurricanes' opening possession, dodging at least three defenders along the way. Two plays later, he threw a perfect 8-yard halfback option pass to Hurns for the touchdown.

Virginia took a 7-0 lead on Rocco's 7-yard pass to Miles Gooch, and after Johnson's scoring pass, Rocco drove the Cavaliers downfield again, and Jennings took a swing pass 6 yards for the TD.

Johnson followed with his big return to tie the score at 14, and Sims came on at quarterback as part of London's rotation. He led the team on a 52-yard march, capped by his 6-yard run to make it 21-14.

Morris hooked up with Hurns from 12 yards to tie the game at 21 on the first play of the second quarter, and the Hurricanes got a break when Virginia tailback Perry Jones unwisely threw a halfback option pass into double coverage and Brandon McGee intercepted and returned it to the Miami 48.

It was the first drive of the game that didn't end in a touchdown, and when the Cavaliers stopped Miami's progress at the 13, Jake Wieclaw kicked a 30-yard field goal for Miami's first lead.

After the wild first half, Walford's touchdown catch was the only scoring of the third quarter, and Virginia cornerback Maurice Canady kept the Cavaliers in the game when he stripped Morris of the ball as he headed for the end zone on a 22-yard run, and also recovered for Miami's only turnover of the day.

Morris atoned with his touchdown to Dorsett on the next series, but then Rocco took over.

The Cavaliers' only first-half drive that didn't end in a touchdown was ended by a halfback option pass that Perry Jones threw into double coverage and Brandon McGee intercepted and returned 26 yards. 

Virginia adds quarterback transfer from ECU

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USA TODAY Sports

Virginia adds quarterback transfer from ECU

Virginia has added another quarterback to its roster for next season as Kurt Benkert of East Carolina announced Sunday that he will transter to UVa.

Benkert announced on April 25 that he intended to transfer. The move to Charlottesville will reunite the quarterback with former head coach Ruffin McNeill who now is the defensive line coach for Virginia.

Benkert's bio on ECU's athletcis website lists him as 6-foot-3, 225 pounds and describes him as "A talented and polished signal-caller whose arm strength perhaps already ranks among the best in the history of the Pirate program ." He was named the starter by McNeill at ECU heading into last season, but a knee injury forced Benkert to miss the entire 2015 season.

As a graduate transfer, Benkert will be immediately available for next season. He will also have two years of eligibility remaining.

Benkert will now be thrust into a quarterback competition in Charlottesville with incumbent Matt Johns and fellow transfer Connor Brewer.

RELATED: TWO HOKIES SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY AFTER ARRESTS

Smart move: GW adds Harvard grad transfer

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Smart move: GW adds Harvard grad transfer

Harvard forward Patrick Steeves, a 3-point shooting threat, has committed to George Washington men's basketball program, a source revealed to CSNmidatlantic.com.

The 6-foot-7 Steeves, a native of Montreal, graduates from Harvard next month. He is eligible immediately at GW and has two years of eligibilty remaining. 

Injuries plagued him early in his career with the Ivy League program, but he turned in a solid 2016-17 campaign with averages of 9.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Steeves shined from long range, sinking 45.8 percent (33 of 72) of his 3-poit attempts.

California, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Richmond were also after Steeves, accorrding to a source.

Steeves joins a massive contingent coming to help for the 2016-17 season. The Colonials lost six players from a team that won 28 games last season and captured the season-ending NIT championship under coach Mike Lonergan. 

Former Seton Hall transfer Jared Sina is eligible after sitting out last season. The heady guard and Steeves will help offset the perimeter loss of seniors Patricio Garino, Joe McDonald and Alex Mitola. Guards Paul Jorgensen and Anthony Swan transfered out of the program after the season.

Incoming big man recruit Kevin Marfo headlines a five-player class. The Colonials also lost starting center Kevin Larsen to graduation.

Leading scorer and rebounder Tyler Cavanaugh returns along with fellow starting forward Yuta Watanabe.

VIDEO: Brian Mitchell helps Navy QB learn to return punts before draft

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VIDEO: Brian Mitchell helps Navy QB learn to return punts before draft

CSN's Brian Mitchell, one of the best punt returners in NFL history, is helping former Navy QB Keenan Reynolds to reinvent himself in advance of the 2016 NFL Draft. 

While learning to play another position to increase his chances of getting drafted or making a roster, Reynolds showed off his ability to field punts. And he's already pretty good. 

Watch the full segment featuring Mitchell, Reynolds, and CSN's Rob Carlin in the video player above.