Graig Cooper rushed for a career-best 152 yards and a touchdown, Damien Berry ran for a pair of second-half scores and No. 16 Miami eased past struggling Virginia 52-17 on Saturday.
Thearon Collier had a 60-yard punt return for the go-ahead touchdown, and Jacory Harris finished 18 of 31 for 232 yards with two TDs for the Hurricanes (7-2, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). The 35-point margin of victory was Miami's biggest in an ACC game since beating Duke 52-7 in 2005.
Rashawn Jackson had a 34-yard rushing touchdown for Virginia (3-6, 2-3), which has lost 10 of 13 starting with an overtime defeat to Miami last season, a slide that's placed coach Al Groh's future at his alma mater in doubt. The Cavaliers were outgained 515-149 and played without starting quarterback Jameel Sewell, who warmed up but was eventually ruled out with a shoulder injury.
Cooper, who also had a career-long 70-yard carry, now has 2,001 yards in his Miami tenure.
Virginia blocked two punts early _ the Cavaliers hadn't done that since 1996 _ to keep things close for a while. Marc Verica was harassed all day, finishing 11 of 29 passing for 75 yards with an interception, and Miami scored the game's final 28 points.
Berry's touchdown runs 1 and 2 yards came in the third quarter. Cooper added a 3-yard run in the fourth, and backup quarterback A.J. Highsmith completed his first career scoring pass, a 15-yarder to Kendal Thompkins with 3:34 left.
After halftime, it was one-sided: Miami outgained Virginia 282-57 in the final 30 minutes.
The win kept Miami one loss back of Georgia Tech in the ACC Coastal standings. Georgia Tech played Wake Forest later Saturday.
It was an odd opening two quarters, where Miami dominated in yards (233-92) yet only led 24-17. Harris completed 13 passes to 11 receivers. Virginia benched its starting punter. And a 3-3 game late in the first quarter took off quickly _ 28 points scored in a span of 5:04, mostly after sloppy special teams play.
The outburst started when Terence Fells-Danzer blocked a Miami punt, setting up Jackson's TD that put Virginia up 10-3. Miami tied it after Leonard Hankerson spun off Rodney McLeod's tackle and finished what was a 35-yard TD reception.
A minute later, Collier followed with the play of the day. He took Nathan Rathjen's low punt near the Virginia sideline, and two defenders dove for him.
They missed, and the race was on.
Collier retreated 13 yards and evaded Perry Jones while making a wide arc toward the Hurricanes' sideline. Two blocks, the last from Chavez Grant, finally sprung him free, and 16 seconds after catching the ball Collier hit the end zone for a 17-10 lead.
Harris' 5-yard TD pass to Graham extended the margin, following a shanked punt by Rathjen, who was replaced shortly after.
Virginia got within a touchdown with 2:28 left in the half on its second punt block of the day when Trey Womack snuffed out Matt Bosher's kick. Bill Schautz picked up the bouncing ball at the 20 and walked in for the score, but it was all Miami from there.