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Colleges

Hokies look to clinch Coastal

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 22, 2013 at 01:59 AM
MIAMI -

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer understands the reality.

He's choosing not to accept it yet.

Yes, the 14th-ranked Hokies - written off after an 0-2 start - are in the Atlantic Coast Conference's most enviable position. They've gone 8-0 since that miserable beginning, matching the school's longest winning streak since 1999, and need only to win one of their final two games to secure a spot in the ACC title game Dec. 4.

"All our attention right now is not on two games," Beamer said. "It's on one game."

With that, his mindset is clear: Virginia Tech (8-2, 6-0) is coming to No. 24 Miami (7-3, 5-2) today to clinch the Coastal Division title, something he doesn't want left to chance in a rivalry game against Virginia next weekend. The Hokies have owned Miami like no other team in the nation since 1995, winning 10 of 15 meetings with the Hurricanes in that span.

And this weekend, the Hokies can deal Miami another fierce blow by celebrating a title on the Hurricanes' home field.

"Honestly, man, we've got a lot more to fight for," Miami cornerback Ryan Hill said. "Everything's at stake. ... We still have faith. We still have a future, if we can just play hard and do what we have to do."

The Hurricanes can still win the Coastal, but only if they beat Virginia Tech today, then have the Hokies fall to Virginia next week. If Miami hadn't lost at Virginia on Oct. 30, then this game would have decided the Coastal Division title and possibly been enough to send the Hurricanes to the ACC title game for the first time.

Instead, they have to win this week, then hope.

"We just have to play our game," running back Lamar Miller said. "We can only control what we can control, so we're just working hard, working hard in practice, putting it all on this game."

They're putting it all on quarterback Stephen Morris again, too.

Morris will make his third straight start; not only did Miami win its first two under Morris, but also they racked up back-to-back 500-yard offensive efforts for the first time in nearly eight years. Beating Maryland and Georgia Tech, though, won't measure up as the sort of challenge that Virginia Tech will bring, especially with a championship up for grabs.

The Hokies, who rolled past Miami 31-7 in Blacksburg last season, don't want to wait another week for their title.

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