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Tech paid back for big mouths

By BOB HARIG and JOE FRISARO

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000


MIAMI -- Al Blades has heard his share of trash talking over the years, and he has dished it out as well. His brothers, Brian and Bennie, played on Miami teams whose reputation was made on such banter.

Nonetheless, the UM senior safety was a bit taken aback before Saturday's game against Virginia Tech at the Orange Bowl.

There was Tech quarterback Michael Vick, who wears the same No. 7 as Blades, giving him the business while the teams warmed up.

"He told me he was the real No. 7," Blades said. "There was a lot of trash talking going on out there before the game. They were pumped up. We were just trying to stay focused."

Vick, who played just over a quarter and completed 5 of 9 passes, was humble afterward.

"I take my hat off to them," he said. "They are a great football team. I admit I wasn't the real Michael Vick out there. I was about 75 percent."

BIGGEST BIG EAST CROWD: The largest crowd in conference history was on hand for the first Big East meeting between top five teams. The 77,410 at the Orange Bowl eclipsed the mark of 70,222 when Miami lost to West Virginia on Nov. 20, 1993 at Mountaineer Field.

MOSS AMAZES AGAIN: If it's not punt returns or end reverses, Santana Moss can beat you deep as a receiver, his natural position. The senior caught touchdowns of 42 and 80 yards, which matches a career long. In 1999, Moss had an 80-yard reception against FSU. The touchdowns were his 16th and 17th as a Hurricane.

BACK IN THE BACKFIELD: One week after separating his right shoulder, UM freshman fullback D.J. Williams was in the lineup. Williams didn't start, but he saw action in the second quarter.

His flexibility was immediately tested on a swing pass, which was high, causing him to extend the shoulder. The toss fell incomplete. Williams continued to play, but he didn't have any carries.

JUST LOOKING: Kenny Kelly made his first appearance at UM since leaving the program in February to pursue a baseball career full time with the Devil Rays. Kelly was injured during last year's 43-10 loss at Virginia Tech. This time, he simply was an interested observer on the sideline.

"I miss it, but just a little bit," Kelly said. "I'd love to be here for the title run, but I'm happy where I'm at. These guys deserve it. They have worked so hard."

ET CETERA: Moss is averaging 49.1 yards per scoring play. He has 25 career touchdown plays that have covered 1,227 yards. ... James Jackson went over the 100-yard mark for the third time this season and the 10th time in his career. The UM tailback had 145 yards on 28 carries, an average of 5.2 yards. ... Sophomore tight tend Jeremy Shockey's 44-yard touchdown catch from Ken Dorsey in the second quarter was the longest reception of his career. Shockey caught the winning touchdown in Miami's 27-24 victory over Florida State. ... Miami's 41 points was the most allowed by Virginia Tech in a regular-season game since a 52-21 loss at Syracuse in 1996.

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