by Tom Morgan
Duke Johnson ran for a career-high 249 yards and scored two touchdowns as Miami defeated Virginia Tech 30-to-6 Thursday night to move within a 1/2 game of the ACC Coastal Division lead.
Johnson, who did not play against Virginia Tech last year because of an ankle injury, also caught two passes for 37 yards in Miami's first win at Blacksburg since 2005.
The Hurricanes dominated the first half, outgaining the Hokies 255-36 to take a 24-0 lead, then took the ball away on the Hokies' first three drives of the second half.
The first takeaway came at Miami's 1 as Deon Bush stripped Marshawn Williams and made the recovery, too.
Jermaine Grace had a big night on defense, recovering two fumbles and recording a quarterback sack.
Williams rushed 21 times for 100 yards for the Hokies, who are now 4-4 and 1-3 in the ACC.
Virginia Tech averted a shutout by scoring with just under two minutes to go in the game.
Miami is 5-3 and 2-2 in conference play.
In other state sports news...
- USF visits Cincinnati Friday night in an American Conference game. The Bulls are only 3-4 overall but 2-1 in conference play. The Bulls are one game behind division leader East Carolina. UCF is 2-0. The Knights play host the Temple on Saturday.
- Thursday was not a good day for the Florida Gators in recruiting. Adonis Thomas a four-star linebacker out of Lawrenceville, Georgia has opened up his recruitment. Thomas, once commited to UF, says he's still considering the Gators along with Alabama and LSU. Also on Thursday, Palm Beach Gardens linebacker Tevon Coney commited to Notre Dame over the Gators.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars could be without two cornerbacks Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Coach Gus Bradley says starter Alan Ball is ``highly unlikely'' to play because of a biceps injury. Ball traveled to San Francisco for a second opinion earlier this week, but the Jaguars (1-6) don't expect it to be a season-ending injury. Making matters worse for Jacksonville, Ball's replacement, Dwayne Gratz, left practice Thursday with hip flexor tightness.
- The Miami Heat and Orlando Magic play their final preseason games Friday night. The Heat will be in Memphis to take on the Grizzlies. The Orlando Magic will entertain the Dallas Mavericks.