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Sunday September 7, 2003Late Gridiron Comeback Lifts Miami Over Gators

Miami, Fla.

After building a 23-point lead midway through the third quarter, No. 18 Florida couldn’t hold on as No. 3 Miami scored 28 unanswered points to escape with a 38-33 victory at the Orange Bowl before a crowd of 79,932.

The Hurricanes took their first lead since the early stages of the second quarter when Frank Gore scored on a 12-yard run with 1:44 remaining to propel Miami to a 38-33 advantage.

The Gators had a chance to reclaim the lead as quarterback Chris Leak, who finished 9-for-15 with 93 yards, drove Florida into Miami territory before Hurricane cornerback Alfonso Marshall intercepted Leak at the Miami 14-yard line with 10 seconds remaining to seal the game.

DeShawn Wynn led the Gators offensively with 100 yards rushing on just eight carries, one of which went for 65 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter. Ingle Martin paced Florida with 114 yards through the air on 7-for-10 passing with one touchdown toss.

The Hurricanes took an early 7-0 lead when freshman Devin Hester ran the game’s opening kickoff back 97 yards for a touchdown. The Gators responded when Matt Leach connected on a 26-yard field goal on Florida’s first possession.

After a Miami field goal bumped the Hurricanes’ lead back to seven, Florida tied the contest when Martin threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Perez with 4:15 left in the first quarter.

The Gators took the lead when Keiwan Ratliff returned a Miami fumble 34 yards for a score to give Florida a 16-10 lead with 11:36 remaining in the second. Leach then added his second field goal of the night from 30 yards with 11 seconds left in the half to give Florida a 19-10 advantage heading into the locker room.

On the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Wynn scampered around the right side for 65 yards and his first collegiate touchdown to extend the Gators’ lead to 26-10.

Johnny Lamar picked off Miami quarterback Brock Berlin to set up a Ran Carthon four-yard touchdown run up the middle to give Florida a 23-point lead at 33-10 with 9:20 left in the third.

Miami then scored on its next four possessions to regain the lead.

Florida returns home to face Florida A&M on Saturday, Sept. 13 with the kickoff at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium scheduled for 6 p.m..

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