Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATLANTA -- On a day Georgia Tech honored one of its greatest football teams, it was the opponent, Miami, that looked more like a team from its glory years.

The Hurricanes rolled up 507 yards of total offense, while the host Yellow Jackets couldn't get out of their own way, committing costly mistakes that helped Miami blow things open in the second half and cruise to a 35-10 victory.

Miami (7-3, 5-2 in the ACC) got 10-of-18 passing from freshman quarterback Stephen Morris -- with three scores going to Leonard Hankerson for 132 yards and a score -- to leave a dark cloud hanging over Tech partisans among the 47,425 fans at Bobby Dodd Stadium to honor the 1990 national championship team.

"It was a tough game," Tech coach Paul Johnson said after the Yellow Jackets suffered their third straight loss to fall to 5-5. "We made way too many mistakes against a team as talented as Miami. We dug ourselves a hole we could never get out of."

The tirst shovel-full of dirt came when the Hurricanes blew right through the Tech defense, rumbling 88 yards in 10 plays -- eight of which came on the ground for 80 yards -- on the game's first drive.

Lamar Miller finished the drive with a 21-yard touchdown run, and Miami had a quick 7-0 lead just 3:39 after the opening kickoff.

And the mistakes Johnson referred to began to take their toll on Miami's next possession.

Two crucial penalties -- a pass interference call on Mario Butler after an apparent third-down stop and an encroachment call when Miami lined up for a 40-yard field goal attempt -- kept the drive alive.

Damien Berry cashed in with a 5-yard touchdown run, and the Miami lead was 14-0 with 4:13 left in the first quarter.

"When I got the pass interference called on me on third down, I was mad at myself," Butler said. "I knew exactly what route was coming, but I jumped it too early. I beat myself over the head, but I tried to move on."

So did the Tech offense in its first full game under Tevin Washington at quarterback after taking over for an injured Joshua Nesbitt.

After a slow start, Washington played fairly well, finishing with a game-high 122 yards on 21 carries, plus 101 yards and a score on 7-of-16 passing.

"I think I did all right," the redshirt sophomore said. "I think there are a lot of positives I can build off of. I've just got to do a better job of keeping the team up and putting us in a position to win the game."

He and the Tech offense did just that on the first possession of the second half down, 14-3.

The Jackets drove 76 yards in six plays, with Washington completing three passes, including a 22-yard scoring strike to Kevin Cone to pulled Tech to within 14-10 just 3:59 in the third quarter.

But once again, mistakes proved costly for Tech, and it took Miami just one play and 22 seconds to cash in.

Morris hit Leonard Hankerson through broken coverage near midfield, and the 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior sliced through the Tech secondary to turn it into a 79-yard touchdown to push the Hurricanes' lead to back to 11 points at 21-10 with 11:34 left in the period.

"It's been the tale of our season," Johnson said. "I could go game after game. You try to get a little momentum back, and what happens? The very next possession, they score."

And momentum changed for good on Tech's next possession.

It looked like the Jackets might answer by marching 74 yards in 11 plays to set up first and goal at the Miami 3.

But Orwin Smith couldn't handle Washington's pitch, and Ray-Ray Armstrong recovered the fumble on the 14 to kill the drive.

The Hurricanes then answered with an 11-play, 86-yard drive -- picking up three straight third-down conversions along the way.

Mike James scored from 7 yards out to increase the lead to 28-10 with 1:39 left in the quarter and essentially put the game away add to what has become a frustrating season for Tech.