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Sloppiness doesn't cost Miami in rout of Temple

The Hurricanes allow it to get close before pulling away and winning 44-21.

©Associated Press
September 15, 2002

[AP photo]
Temple's Jonathan McPhee stops Jason Geathers during Miami's Big East opener.
PHILADELPHIA -- Miami lacked motivation, couldn't stay focused, played sloppy and still won by 23 points.

Willis McGahee tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns and Ken Dorsey threw two touchdowns as the top-ranked Hurricanes beat Temple 44-21 Saturday in the Big East opener for both teams.

The defending national champions, coming off a 41-16 victory at then-No. 6 Florida last weekend, improved to 3-0 and extended the nation's longest Division I-A win streak to 25.

But the Hurricanes aren't satisfied.

"When we had an opportunity to put the hammer down, we didn't," Dorsey said. "You want to put a team away when you can."

McGahee, a sophomore, ran for 134 yards a week after a 204-yard performance at Florida.

His four touchdowns tied the mark set by Melvin Bratton and Alonzo Highsmith in 1984. Bratton did it against Boston College and Highsmith against Notre Dame.

"I didn't know I had four," McGahee said. "I just put my head down and try to make plays."

Dorsey finished 20-for-35 for 314 yards and no interceptions after throwing three interceptions against Florida.

After turnovers allowed Temple to get within 21-14 in the second quarter, the Hurricanes scored the next 23 points.

Tanardo Sharps fumbled the first play of the third quarter, giving Miami the ball at Temple's 24. McGahee went in from the 1 five plays later for a 31-14 lead.

The Hurricanes put the game away with a 70-yard drive late in the third, capped by McGahee's 4-yard run, for a 37-14 lead.

"We didn't have a letdown," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "But we lost a little of a mental edge."

Miami scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions to take a 21-0 lead. But then Miami got careless.

Punter Freddie Capshaw couldn't handle a low snap and fumbled after attempting to get the kickoff, giving Temple the ball at Miami's 21.

Sharps scored from the 1 seven plays later to make it 21-7.

McGahee fumbled on Miami's next possession, and Temple took over at the 16. Sharps scored on the next play to make it 21-14.

"We played a tremendous team," Temple coach Bobby Wallace said. "I'm proud of our players when we fell behind 21-0. Our offense played as well as they can. That was our smartest game plan to move the ball against them."

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