Miami outlasts Virginia Tech

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 8, 2002

MIAMI (AP) -- Top-ranked Miami will play for the national championship in the Fiesta Bowl after completing a second straight perfect season with a wild 56-45 victory over No. 18 Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Willis McGahee ran for a school-record six touchdowns and career-best 205 yards.

The Hurricanes (12-0, 7-0 Big East) rolled up enough points to handle the Hokies (9-4, 3-4) and set up a national title game between the only unbeaten teams: No. 1 Miami vs. No. 2 Ohio State (13-0) in Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 3.

Email newsletter signup

It was the Hurricanes won their 34th game in a row.

While Miami seemingly had control with a 49-21 lead early in the third quarter, the Hokies came up with three big plays to make it close.

Willie Pile returned an interception 96 yards for a score, then D'Angelo Hall returned a punt 71 yards to set up a field goal, and Roynell Whitaker ran 56 yards with an interception to set up Lee Sugg's 9-yard TD run.

No. 7 Washington St. 48, UCLA 27

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Jason Gesser and the Washington State Cougars earned a Rose Bowl berth in spite of themselves.

Gesser, wearing braces on his sprained right knee and ankle, passed for 247 yards and two touchdowns as the Cougars beat UCLA 48-27 Saturday to get to the Rose Bowl for just the third time.

WSU won despite botching a fake field goal and an onside kick, and getting a field goal blocked.

WSU (10-2, 7-1 Pac-10) probably will face the Big 12 champion on New Year's Day. The final BCS standings and bowl pairings will be announced Sunday.

UCLA (7-5, 4-4) will play a lower-tier bowl.

Gesser completed 15 of 24 passes with two interceptions.

UCLA freshman Drew Olson completed 13 of 27 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns with two interception and was sacked four times.