MIAMI (AP) -- Brock Berlin slowly walked through the Orange Bowl
with his girlfriend on one side, his parents on the other and two
security guards close by.
He needed consolation -- and maybe some protection.
Berlin threw two interceptions and fumbled once as No. 18
Tennessee stunned sixth-ranked Miami 10-6 Saturday, knocking the
Hurricanes out of the national championship picture for the first
time in four years and ending the nation's longest home-winning
streak at 26 games.
The Volunteers (7-2) became the first visiting team to celebrate
a victory at the Orange Bowl since Penn State did it Sept. 18,
1999. Tennessee won with just 170 yards of offense, 81 passing and
"It was probably the prettiest, ugliest win I've ever had,"
said coach Phillip Fulmer, who posed for pictures with his family
in the Orange Bowl after the game.
The biggest play came when Fulmer gambled on fourth-and-goal
from the 2 in the second quarter. Derrick Tinsley scored on an end
around to give Tennessee a 10-3 lead.
"I thought we could make it and I felt we needed to make a
statement that we were down to win the football game," Fulmer
said. "We had no fear of Miami and what they've accomplished."
The Hurricanes (7-2) failed to score a touchdown at home for the
first time since 1984. It also was the first time since a 47-0
drubbing at Florida State in 1997 that Miami failed to scored a
touchdown in any game. And they looked bad doing it.
The Hurricanes had 12 penalties for 121 yards, including a key
one that helped Tennessee score its only touchdown. And Berlin had
three turnovers, giving him 17 on the season.
Berlin's second interception cost Miami a chance at winning the
On second-and-goal from the 9, defensive back Mark Jones blitzed
up the middle and hit Berlin just as he released the ball. His
fluttering pass was intercepted by Gilbril Wilson. The Volunteers
tried to run out the remaining 4:11, but were forced to punt with
1:55 to play.
Sean Taylor fumbled the punt -- Miami's fourth turnover of the
game -- and the Vols ran out the clock from there.
"Nobody believed we could win, but in the end we did what we
had to to win," said Casey Clausen, who was 11-of-18 passing for
81 yards and improved to 13-1 as a starter on the road.
The victory helped Tennessee's chances of getting a berth in the
Bowl Championship Series.
The Vols, Georgia and Florida all have two losses in the
Southeastern Conference East division. If all three still have two
conference losses at the end of the season, the division champion
will be decided by the BCS standings and head-to-head matchups.
Beating the Hurricanes could vault Tennessee past the Bulldogs
in the BCS standings. The Vols are 13th in the BCS, four spots
ahead of Florida and three behind Georgia.
"We weren't intimidated by them," Tinsley said. "From the
beginning of the game we wanted to make a statement. We knew we had
a three-way tie and we needed this game to go to Atlanta."
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, can still win the Big East if they
can knock off Pittsburgh on Nov. 29.
But with its first two-game losing streak since 1999, the
Hurricanes hardly look like the team that played in back-to-back
national title games and had an outside shot at getting a share of
the national championship in 2000.
Miami has scored just one touchdown in two games.
Most of the problems have stemmed from Berlin, who threw two
interceptions against Virginia Tech last week.
"The interceptions are unacceptable," said Miami coach Larry
Coker, who benched Berlin against the Hokies and said he will
re-evaluate the quarterback situation this week.
Berlin had a towel around his neck and was biting on one end as
he walked through the stadium. He then waited just inside the
Orange Bowl while his father got the car, quite possibly trying to
avoid any negative feedback from fans.
"I'm really disappointed," he said. "But we will bounce back
and learn from our mistakes. Everyone hates losing."
Tennessee capitalized on just about all of the Hurricanes'
mistakes -- much like the Hokies did in snapping the Hurricanes'
39-game regular-season winning streak.
Kevin Simon intercepted a pass from Berlin on the first play of
the second quarter, and James Wilhoit kicked a 41-yard field goal
five plays later to tie the game at 3.
The interception was Berlin's 13th of the season, one more than
Ken Dorsey threw in any of his three seasons as the starter.
The Volunteers made it 10-3 just before the half with a 15-play
drive that took more than nine minutes. Clausen worked the clock
well, snapping the ball every down with the play clock in single
The Hurricanes, widely considered on of college football's most
undisciplined teams, were penalized 15 yards for roughing the
punter to keep the drive alive. Tennessee picked up another 15
yards on a personal foul after an incomplete pass on second-and-12.
Then, after five consecutive runs and a timeout, Fulmer decided
to go for it on fourth-and-goal and Tinsley scored.
"It's like golf: It's not how you drive, it's how you arrive,"
After surviving the Les Miles telenovela, which landed LSU's big cigars at No. 5, we're left to ponder who can claim the Bottom 10 title.
Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty has put up big numbers for the Hilltoppers, but he still faces doubters about his NFL readiness.
Third-ranked Oklahoma can't improve its resume but is unlikely to fall out of the top 4 as the Big 12 champ and having three wins over top-20 foes.
Stanford will need to beat USC and hope for a lot of upsets this weekend in order for the Cardinal to sneak into the playoff.
The Tar Heels could benefit greatly from winning the ACC title as the playoff committee showed its willingness to reward conference champs last year.
Missouri on Tuesday interviewed Cal coach Sonny Dykes for their head coaching vacancy, according to multiple reports.