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Wright subdues Wake

UM's quarterback ties a school record with five TDs in a 47-17 win.

By KEVIN BRAFFORD
Published November 13, 2005


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A defensive letdown seemed inevitable and, sure enough, it came to pass for third-ranked Miami in the first half against Wake Forest on Saturday.

But Hurricanes quarterback Kyle Wright also came to pass, and the talented sophomore was at his best, throwing for 319 yards and a school record-tying five touchdowns in a 47-17 win.

Wright finished 17-of-24 with scoring passes to five teammates. Tailback Charlie Jones, starting in place of an injured Tyrone Moss, added 90 yards on 17 carries as Miami amassed 515 yards of offense.

The Hurricanes' eighth victory in a row since a season-opening loss to Florida State pushed them closer to a rematch with the Seminoles in the ACC Championship Game Dec. 3 in Jacksonville.

Miami (8-1, 5-1) needs only to handle Georgia Tech and Virginia at the Orange Bowl the next two Saturdays to capture the Coastal Division title.

"Coach (Larry Coker) told us to start thinking about Georgia Tech right now," Wright said. "This was a lot of fun tonight, seeing the defense and seeing receivers come open. It was a lot like practice. Now we've got to go back to work."

Coming off last weekend's emotionally draining 27-7 victory at Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes came out lethargic, and the league-leading rushing attack of Wake Forest (3-5, 4-7), coupled with a little trickery, took advantage against the nation's top defense.

Senior tailback Chris Barclay ran for 78 yards in the half, and flanker Nate Morton threw a 71-yard touchdown to Chris Davis as the Demon Deacons took a 17-14 lead into the last five minutes of the half.

That's when Wright went to work and the defense stiffened. First, Wright hooked up with Sinorice Moss for a nifty 64-yard catch and run for a touchdown.

The Hurricanes then forced turnovers on consecutive possessions - Wake Forest finished with six - and Wright converted both into TDs, tossing scores of 11 yards to Darnell Jenkins and 15 yards to Ryan Moore.

In 2 minutes, 40 seconds, the Hurricanes scored 20 - Jon Peattie missed an extra point after the first TD - to assume a 34-17 lead.

Wright added TD passes of 76 yards to Lance Leggett and 10 yards to Greg Olsen on Miami's second and third possessions of the third quarter. Wright played three more series before giving way to backup Kirby Freeman, who played the bulk of the fourth quarter.

"That's what they can do to you," Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "They've got great athletes with great speed. You have to play almost a mistake-free game to beat them, and we certainly didn't do that."

Coker liked what he saw from his offense, particularly Wright, whose best was 264 yards passing against Colorado.

"This was Kyle Wright's best game," Coker said. "He threw the ball extremely well, and our receivers did a great job of catching the ball. We got into a great offensive rhythm tonight. I was extremely pleased."