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McGahee setting records

By BOB HARIG, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 10, 2002

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- There was a drive late in the second quarter of Miami's 26-3 victory over Tennessee where UM tailback Willis McGahee simply took over.

He carried 10 times on the 15-play drive and gained 56 yards. Three times, he made first downs. He had runs of 16 and 11 yards. He took the crowd at Neyland Stadium out of the game.

It was McGahee's kind of game.

"My kind of game is winning," said McGahee, a sophomore who rushed for 156 yards on 30 carries, averaging 5.1. He scored a 1-yard touchdown and caught two passes for 17. "I don't care how we get it down the field, running, passing, as long as we win."

"Willis McGahee had an outstanding day, and he has just about every week," coach Larry Coker said.

McGahee has rushed for 1,188 yards this season, fourth in Miami history for single-season rushing yardage. He tied Edgerrin James for the school's season rushing touchdown record when he scored his 17th in the second quarter.McGahee also is two behind James' record of 19 total in a season.

"For a sophomore to match that record is close to phenomenal," center Brett Romberg said.

"He's an extremely tough kid," guard Sherko Haji-Rasouli said. "He loves to play the game, he takes a lot of hits and he doesn't want to come out. He wants to come back for more."

* * *

FEWER FLAGS: UM came into the game as one of the most penalized teams in the country. The Hurricanes had 79 penalties for 701 yards, an average of 87.6, and the worst in the Big East. Although the final numbers showed 10 for 69, UM had two for 20 in the first half.

FAMILY EMERGENCY: UM was without backup right tackle Vince Wilfork, whose mother, Barbara, suffered a stroke last week. Her condition was not known.

Wilfork's father, David, 48, died on June 5 because of complications from diabetes.

"Vince was worried about leaving the team, and I told him don't even think about it," Coker said. "I don't have all the details, but she's doing better now."

ALMOST A VOL: Tennessee was on the short list of schools UM quarterback Ken Dorsey considered when he was a high school senior in 1998. When the Vols got a commitment from Chris Simms, the phone calls stopped. When Simms changed his mind and decided on Texas, Tennessee again pursued Dorsey.

"It was too late," Dorsey said. "I had already committed here." RECORD WATCH: Dorsey set a Big East record for passing yards with his 20-yard pass to tight end Kellen Winslow in the third, breaking the mark of 8,389 held by former Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb (1995-98). Dorsey has 8,461 for his career and now holds three Big East passing records, including completions (598) and touchdown passes (78).

OODS AND ENDS: This was the second game between the two teams. The other meeting came in the 1986 Sugar Bowl, a 35-7 UT victory. ... This was the eighth time that UT faced a No. 1-ranked team (UM is first in the ESPN poll, second in AP). The Vols are now 2-6 and have lost their last four. ... Tennessee lost a homecoming game for the first time since 1983, against Ole Miss. ... For the first time since a 31-0 loss to Florida in 1994, a span of 105 games, the Vols failed to score a touchdown.

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