Sept. 23, 2006
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Curtis Brinkley rushed for 108 yards on 15 carries and scored once, and Syracuse beat Miami 34-14 Saturday night for its first two-game winning streak in nearly two years.
Syracuse (2-2) was coming off a 31-21 victory at Illinois that snapped a school-record 11-game losing streak. Miami, which has had 12 consecutive winning seasons, has yet to win in four outings.
Syracuse scored on its first two possessions and, after sputtering in the second quarter, scored 20 straight points in the second half to take control.
The Orange defense, which sacked Miami quarterback Mike Kokal seven times before he left the game in the final quarter, limited the RedHawks to 13 yards in the third quarter and 86 overall in the second half.
Linebacker Ben Maljovec intercepted backup Daniel Raudabaugh's first pass of the game and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown with 5:02 left for a 34-7 lead. It was the seventh pick of the season for the Orange, who entered the game tied for the most interceptions in the nation.
Patrick Shadle kicked a 36-yard field goal early in the third for a 17-7 lead, and Brinkley set up the Orange's third TD of the game with some dazzling running. He ripped off a 21-yarder on the final play of the third, then gained 26 two plays later to set up Perry Patterson's 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tom Crabtree with 12:28 remaining.
Brinkley, in his first year as a starter, led the way on the Orange's first possession of the game. He scored on a 1-yard dive over the middle after gaining 24 yards on a weaving run through the Miami secondary on the previous play.
After the RedHawks went three and out, Patterson hit Taj Smith on a pretty 52-yard scoring pass down the right side on the first play from scrimmage. Smith caught the long throw over the outstretched arms of defensive back Frank Wiwo at the 10 and loped into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the season.
Miami, which had been held scoreless in the first half in its first three games, settled down defensively and battled back.
The RedHawks held the Orange to zero points and only 17 yards on offense in the second quarter and pulled within 14-7 at halftime on a 10-play, 60-yard drive. Kokal keyed it, going 5-for-6 for 55 yards.
Ryne Robinson caught a 9-yard scoring pass from Kokal on the first play of the second quarter and added a 3-yard TD catch from Raudabaugh in the final minute of the game.
Robinson, third in the nation with 122 receiving yards per game, finished with seven catches for 72 yards.
Smith, the Orange's leading receiver, injured his right shoulder on a run early in the third quarter and did not return.