Everything had gone so well for Miami football to start the 2023 season. The Hurricanes were 4-0 for the first time since 2017, and the team had scored at least 38 points in each of its first four games for the first time since 2002. With a marquee game next week against undefeated North Carolina looming, the Hurricanes first had to get past a middling Georgia Tech team at home.
Georgia Tech stunned Miami, 23-20, to end the Hurricanes’ unbeaten season. Miami had the game locked up late in the fourth quarter, but blew it with one of the most questionable coaching decisions you will ever see.
Miami had a three-point lead and the ball in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. Facing a third-and-10, Miami could have taken a knee to run out the clock and assure their victory. Instead, the Hurricanes chose to run the ball. They fumbled.
A few plays later, Georgia Tech QB Haynes King hit Christian Leary with a 44-yard touchdown pass to win the game as time expired. Watch the plays here:
Miami head coach Mario Cristobal may never live this one down. The Hurricanes were one kneel down away from a 5-0 start. Somehow, a decision to run the ball led to the most heartbreaking loss of the young college football season.
Miami had a 99.9 percent chance to win the face while facing third down. They lost!
After the game, Cristobal admitted his team should have taken a knee:
“We should have taken a knee,” Mario Cristobal said.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 8, 2023
Miami thoroughly out-played Georgia Tech on the night, but they just kept shooting themselves in the foot.
We’re gonna forget that Miami had outgained GT by nearly 300 yards and held them to under 200 yards and 17 points before that final drive, that two of the Van Dyke picks were in FG range, that Miami lost seven yards and settled for a FG off a pick and long return. So much bad.
— Andy Hutchins (@AndyHutchins) October 8, 2023
We’ve seen some wild clock management blunders over the years in college football, but this one might take the cake.
What a way to lose an undefeated season for the Hurricanes. This one falls squarely at the feet of Cristobal.