No. 15 Miami pulls away in 2nd half, tops Southern Miss 30-7

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Some in-game adversity hit Miami for the first time this season. The Hurricanes responded.

A pair of third-quarter touchdowns – barely 2 minutes apart – changed the game, Henry Parrish rushed for 102 yards and a score, and No. 15 Miami pulled away in the second half to beat Southern Miss 30-7 on Saturday.

The Hurricanes (2-0) trailed for most of the second quarter, then shook off the slow start by scoring the game’s final 27 points.

“I think it’s a good thing, actually,” said Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who completed 19 of 29 passes for 230 yards, a touchdown and an interception. “Obviously, we want to move the ball with ease … but I think adversity, we needed that for the rest of the season, just to experience that a little.”

Thaddius Franklin Jr. rushed in from 7 yards out for a 17-7 third-quarter lead, Van Dyke connected with Key’Shawn Smith for a 35-yard flea-flicker touchdown on Miami’s next offensive snap, and the outcome wasn’t in doubt again.

“Certainly, when you’re 1-0 for the week, that’s your goal,” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said. “But certainly, we want to play more polished, more precise, football. So, we’ve got to practice better, we’ve got to keep coaching better and we’ve got to keep working it better. We’ve got to go get better.”

Parrish had a 1-yard touchdown run late in the first half for the Hurricanes, who have started with two wins for only the seventh time in the past 18 seasons.

Jason Brownlee caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Zach Wilcke for Southern Miss (0-2). That capped a six-play, 75-yard drive for the Golden Eagles — but they managed only 122 yards on their next seven drives, five of which ended in punts, one with an interception in the end zone and the other with a fumble.

“We came out here to win the game,” Southern Miss coach Will Hall said. “Credit to Mario and his guys. Man, I’ve got great respect for him and a lot of the guys on their staff for making the adjustments to win the game. I thought they wore on us as the game went on.”

Frank Gore Jr., the son of Miami Hall of Famer Frank Gore, was held largely in check by the Hurricanes’ defense in his return to his hometown. Gore Jr. had seven carries for 10 yards, and two catches for 18 more yards. That’s after he rushed for 178 yards last week in Southern Miss’ opening-game loss to Liberty.

Wilcke completed 16 of 27 passes for 207 yards for the Golden Eagles. Brownlee had five of those catches for 102 yards.

Andy Borregales kicked three field goals for Miami.

THE TAKEAWAY

Southern Miss: The Golden Eagles were 20 seconds away from doing something that the program hasn’t done in nearly 12 years. The last time Southern Miss led an AP-ranked team on the road at halftime was Nov. 13, 2010 in what became a win over then-No. 25 UCF. That week marked UCF’s first-ever appearance in the AP poll; Miami was ranked this week for the 511th time.

Miami: There will be much on the film, especially the first-half film, for the Hurricanes to correct before going to Texas A&M next week. The offensive line will be a key point of emphasis, after it let Southern Miss sack Van Dyke four times and get in his face on several other occasions.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Hurricanes will remain ranked, probably right around the No. 15 spot they held this week and set up a ranked-vs.-ranked game in College Station next week. The last three of those games – when both teams enter ranked – haven’t exactly gone great for the Hurricanes; they’re 0-3, having gotten outscored 148-56.

INJURIES

Miami DE Akeem Mesidor, who had four tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in last week’s win over Bethune-Cookman, was held out with a lower body injury.

UP NEXT

Southern Miss: Host Northwestern State on Sept. 17.

Miami: Visits No. 6 Texas A&M on Sept. 17.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.