Posted: Saturday January 01, 2000 06:36 PM
JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Freshman Clinton Portis scored on the longest run in Gator Bowl history and 23rd-ranked Miami frustrated Joe Hamilton and the nation's top offense in a 28-13 victory over No. 15 Georgia Tech.
Portis, spelling injured tailback James Jackson, took a handoff and went up the middle before bouncing off two tackles and racing 73 yards down the left sideline with 3:09 left in the first half. It restored Miami's 14-point lead just 63 seconds after Hamilton scored Georgia Tech's lone touchdown.
Portis finished with 117 yards on only 12 carries while Jackson added 116 on 21 rushes.
Kenny Kelly and backup Ken Dorsey each threw for a score for the Hurricanes (9-4), who won on New Year's Day for the first time since blanking Nebraska, 22-0, in the 1992 Orange Bowl. Under coach Butch Davis, Miami has won three straight postseason games.
Hamilton, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, never got in sync and was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season. Georgia Tech had been averaging nearly 41 points per game.
"I just don't think we came ready to play and for what reason, I don't know," Hamilton said. "I wish I could put my hand on it, but I can't and I just have to give credit to Miami. We missed a lot of opportunities. I think if we play the game that we're capable of playing, we can beat Miami. ... I thought we had a game we should've won and we just let it slip out of our hands."
The Hurricanes never trailed after taking the opening kickoff and moving 67 yards. Jackson scored on an eight-yard run just over 2 1/2 minutes into the game for a 7-0 lead.
Kelly found Andre King over the middle for a 15-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to double the advantage. He suffered a dislocated right index finger and split time thereafter with Dorsey, who capped the scoring in the final period with a 17-yard strike to Kenny Wayne.
Kelly completed 9-of-17 passes for 127 yards with an interception. Dorsey, a freshman, was 7-of-15 for 81 yards.
Luke Manget kicked a pair of third-quarter field goals for the Yellow Jackets (8-4), who had a five-game bowl winning streak stopped and suffered their first postseason loss since the 1978 Peach Bowl.
Hamilton was a consensus All-America after finishing second in the nation in passing efficiency. But he had trouble finding the range throughout and was hurt by numerous dropped passes. In his final collegiate start, he was 20-of-40 for 245 yards and two interceptions against a Miami defense that has not allowed a TD pass in 26 quarters.
"Miami did the same things we saw on film and didn't change up anything," Hamilton said. "We didn't make the plays and they did. We just didn't execute when we needed to."
"I don't think a lot of Joe's problems today were Joe's problems," added Georgia Tech coach George O'Leary. "He had some receivers breaking routes and we needed to sturdy up our offensive line. Too many times he was throwing off his back foot because of pressure. Credit the coverage of the University of Miami. They did a great job of clamping people."
Hamilton got Georgia Tech on the board late in the second quarter on an option, keeping the ball and running 17 yards down the right sideline.
But Portis responded quickly for the Hurricanes, who overcame nine penalties for 90 yards.
The presence of Hamilton and in-state school Miami did not attract fans to 73,000-seat Alltel Stadium. The crowd of 43,416 was the smallest at the Gator Bowl since 1958, when Mississippi edged Florida, 7-3.
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