MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — A cat survived a scare. So did the Miami Hurricanes.
D’Eriq King threw for 200 yards and rushed for 67 more, freshman Andy Borregales kicked a go-ahead 43-yard field goal with 2:04 remaining and No. 22 Miami rallied from a halftime deficit to beat Appalachian State, 25-23, on Saturday night.
Cam’Ron Harris rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown for Miami (1-1), and Don Chaney Jr. had a rushing score before leaving in the first half with a leg injury. King led a 10-play, 55-yard drive in the fourth that set up Borregales for what became the winning points.
“Obviously, we’re going to be happy,” Harris said. “I’m not satisfied with the win, but that was a great team that we played.”
And the Mountaineers — who still get talked about for their stunning win at Michigan in 2007 — put a big scare into Miami.
“App State is a really good football team,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said. “They made it tough on us. We made it tough on ourselves. … This is what they do. They go on the road and they take down people on the road. But they didn’t take us down.”
Jalen Virgil had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Camerun Peoples had 95 rushing yards and a score for the Mountaineers (1-1), who took a 23-22 lead with 5:48 left when Malik Williams caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Chase Brice.
But Appalachian State’s last chance stalled near midfield, and Miami got the ball back with 55 seconds left and ran out the clock.
“Our players took them down to the wire,” Appalachian State coach Shawn Clark said. “It’s a gut-wrenching loss.”
Brice completed 21 of 34 passes for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The catch that some in the crowd won’t forget anytime soon wasn’t on the field — and didn’t even involve a football.
A cat somehow got into Hard Rock Stadium and ended up dangling from the facade of the upper deck, hanging on with its front paws before eventually falling. The cat was caught by fans who unfurled an American flag to serve as a makeshift net. The cat did not appear to be injured and was eventually taken away by stadium staff.
A safety on a botched punt — two points that proved big — helped Miami take a 9-7 lead after the first quarter, but Virgil’s kickoff return helped stake the Mountaineers to a 14-12 edge going into halftime.
The lead changed three times in the second half, the last of those on Borregales’ kick that helped Miami escape.
“It’s a good step in the right direction,” Borregales said.
Appalachian State: Virgil’s kick-return touchdown was the second of his career. He also had a 100-yard return score last season against Georgia State. It was the fourth consecutive game in which the Mountaineers had a non-offensive TD against a Power Five conference school. They had an interception return score against South Carolina in 2019, a fumble return score against North Carolina that same year and a kick return score against Penn State in 2018.
Miami: Injuries took a toll on the Hurricanes throughout the game and Diaz said postgame that the initial diagnosis for both Chaney and LB Keontra Smith was not good. Chaney was ruled out with what appeared to be an injury to his right leg almost immediately after entering the evaluation tent. He returned to the Miami sideline in the second half, aided by crutches and with a brace on his leg. Smith was lost as well in the first half, also with a lower extremity injury. Both will be evaluated again Sunday.
Miami will likely remain in the AP Top 25, though a two-point win at home over an unranked opponent should mean the Hurricanes won’t move up far in the rankings.
King went over the 10,000-yard mark in total offense for his career, coming into the night needing 241 to reach the milestone. He is 10 yards shy of 8,000 passing for his career and went over the 2,000-yard rushing mark Saturday.
Appalachian State: Hosts Elon on Sept. 18.
Miami: Hosts Michigan State on Sept. 18.
Miami Dolphins fans ranked least rowdy fan base in the NFL
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — As more and more fans pack NFL stadiums across the country thanks to lessened COVID-19 restrictions, America seems to be embracing the return of parking lot tailgates, and, yes, “rowdy fans.”
However, it seems a South Florida team’s fanbase is lacking in that department.
According to a new survey by Bookies, Miami Dolphins fans rank as the least rowdy fan base in football.
Read more from ABC Miami.
Miami Dolphins lose fifth straight game, 23-20, to drop to 1-5; Jacksonville Jaguars end 20-game skid with 53-yard FG for London win
LONDON, U.K. — The Jacksonville Jaguars ended their 20-game losing streak when Matthew Wright kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired in a 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in London.
Trevor Lawrence connected on a short slant pass to Laviska Shenault Jr. and the Jags (1-5) called timeout with 1 second remaining after the Dolphins (1-5) gambled on a fourth-and-1 from their 46 and came up short.
Lawrence threw for 319 yards and a touchdown as he and coach Urban Meyer finally earned their first NFL victories — even if it required a trip to Europe to get it done in a “home” game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Dolphins lost their fifth consecutive game, spoiling the return of Tua Tagovailoa, who made his first start in a month. The second-year quarterback threw two touchdown passes to Jaylen Waddle.
Wright had tied the game at 20 on a 54-yard field goal with 3:40 remaining.
The Dolphins took a 20-17 lead when Tagovailoa finished a seven-play, 91-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Waddle with 10:22 left in the game. Waddle caught the ball and stuck it over the goal line as cornerback Nevin Lawson tackled him.
Jacksonville grabbed a 17-13 lead early in the third quarter on James Robinson’s 1-yard run after he rumbled 24 yards on the previous play. The drive included a 29-yard reception by Jamal Agnew and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Miami safety Jevon Holland.
Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense started hot, scoring on their first drive, but squandering two other chances from inside the Jacksonville 10, settling for field goals both times.
On the opening drive, Tagovailoa completed eight of 10 passes and finished a 75-yard opening drive with a 6-yard slant to Jaylen Waddle to put Miami ahead 7-0. They converted three third downs including a 20-yard reception by tight end Mike Gesicki and Tagovailoa’s 7-yard scramble to the 6, setting up Waddle’s touchdown.
The Jaguars answered with big plays of their own, when Lawrence connected with Agnew for a 24-yard gain on their first play from scrimmage. The drive stalled, though, when Dan Arnold dropped a third-down pass at the 16-yard line. The Jags settled for a 40-yard field goal from Matthew Wright — their first field goal of the season — to make it 7-3.
After field goals of 33 and 24 yards by Jason Sanders, the Jaguars forced a three-and-out and got the ball back on the Miami 49 with 1:45 left in half, down 13-3.
Lawrence then finally exploited Miami’s depleted secondary, launching a perfect pass to Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone for a 28-yard TD pass with backup cornerback Noah Igbinoghene in coverage to make the score 13-10 with 40 seconds left in the half.
Miami played without starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, who were both out injured.
Before Sunday, the Jags hadn’t won a game since beating Indianapolis 27-20 in the 2020 season opener, when Gardner Minshew threw three TD passes. The 20-game losing streak is the second-longest in the Super Bowl era.
Jacksonville’s win also snapped the London hex on rookie quarterbacks, who had been 0-5 since the NFL started staging regular-season games in England’s capital in 2007.
Now, it’s the Dolphins racking up losses. They haven’t won since beating New England in the season opener, back when Miami was considered a possible playoff team after a 10-6 season in 2020.
Miami is the only one of the four teams that played in London to not get a bye the following week.
Sunday’s game featured a rematch of quarterbacks from the College Football Playoff national championship game from the 2018 season. Lawrence and Clemson beat Tagovailoa and Alabama 44-16.
Dolphins: host Atlanta on Oct. 24.
Jaguars: bye week, then at the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Oct. 31.
Miami Hurricanes nearly pull off comeback, fall short to Sam Howell’s 4 TDs and North Carolina, 45-42
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Sam Howell threw two touchdowns and ran for two more as North Carolina held off Miami, 45-42, sending the Hurricanes to their worst record at the midway mark of a season in more than two decades.
Miami was in position to tie or win when reaching the North Carolina 16-yard line in the final minute, but linebacker Cedric Gray intercepted a tipped pass with 6 seconds left.
Ty Chandler ran for two touchdowns for the Tar Heels (4-3 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) in a matchup of two teams that began the season in the Top 15, but are trying to gain traction midway through the season.
The Hurricanes (2-4, 0-2) are 2-4 for the first time since 1997 when they were on NCAA probation and stuck with scholarship limitations.
Howell was 17 for 26 for 154 yards in the air with an interception while running for 98 yards on 17 carries. Chandler gained 104 yards on the ground on 18 attempts.
Howell’s touchdown runs covered 30 and 11 yards, both times pinballing off Miami defenders.
Miami nearly erased an 18-point deficit, pulling within 38-34 before stalling in North Carolina territory early in the fourth quarter. Then the Tar Heels drove 58 yards for a touchdown, aided by 30 yards on Miami penalties.
Freshman Jaylan Knight ran for two Miami touchdowns, including a 4-yard run to cap a 97-yard drive with 3:08 remaining that was followed by a successful two-point conversion pass play.
The Hurricanes, after using all their timeouts, regained possession at the 2:46 mark and picked up 56 yards before the interception.
Miami used Tyler Van Dyke, who made his third career starter and first away from home, at quarterback just days after it was announced that D’Eriq King would be lost to season-ending shoulder surgery.
Van Dyke, who was 5 for 15 and picked off twice in the first half, finished 20 for 45 with 264 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.
Miami’s first points came on Jahfari Harvey’s 33-yard return with a first-quarter interception.
Miami: The Hurricanes don’t seem equipped to overcome much adversity and they encountered more of it in their first true road game of the season. Miami lost team rushing and scoring leader Cam’Ron Harris to a lower-body injury on the first drive of the second half.
North Carolina: Receiver Josh Downs has scored on a touchdown reception in every game this season, including the team’s first TD on a 45-yard play Saturday. He has an eight game TD streak dating to last season. He made 10 of his 11 receptions in the first half, ending up with 96 yards.
Miami is home against No. 22 North Carolina State on Saturday.
North Carolina has a bye week before traveling to Notre Dame on Oct. 30.