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Miami holds off Pitt

MIAMI -- Pittsburgh threatened, and Miami held on.

Willis McGahee ran 19 times for 159 yards and scored two touchdowns as the top-ranked Hurricanes overcame another slow start and a frantic finish to beat the 17th-ranked Panthers 28-21 Thursday night at the Orange Bowl.

In a nationally televised game that gave Miami (10-0, 5-0 Big East) a chance to showcase Heisman Trophy teammates Ken Dorsey and McGahee, the sophomore running back had the majority of the highlights. But Rod Rutherford had almost as many for Pitt.

''McGahee was great. He was the key guy in this game,'' Pitt coach Walt Harris said.

McGahee had a 69-yard touchdown run that tied the game just before halftime and added a leaping 4-yard score in the fourth quarter. After his second TD run, McGahee placed his fingers in the shape of a diamond -- a pop-culture symbol that represents a dynasty.

The gesture might have been appropriate for the Hurricanes, but a bit premature.

The defending national champions extended their nation-best winning streak to 32 games, their Big East-record streak to 22 games and moved two victories away from a berth in the Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl. They finish the season at Syracuse and at home against struggling Virginia Tech. Miami also took over sole possession of first place in the Big East.