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Miami coach Mario Cristobal: ‘Wrong call’ lost game to Georgia Tech

Miami offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson tried to take responsibility Monday for calling the wrong play in the Hurricanes’ improbable loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday, but head coach Mario Cristobal was not having it.

“I made the wrong call,” Cristobal said at his weekly news conference. “I take full ownership in not taking a knee and giving them the opportunity to have a couple extra plays and preventing us from sealing the win.”

Miami (4-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) was leading 20-17 and could have taken a knee on third-and-10 from the Georgia Tech 30 with 26 seconds to play and run out the clock. The Yellow Jackets had no timeouts remaining.

Instead, Donald Chaney Jr. fumbled after a 4-yard gain, and the Yellow Jackets’ Kyle Kennard recovered at the 26. Four plays later, Haynes King’s 44-yard touchdown pass to Christian Leary with one second left gave visiting Georgia Tech a stunning 23-20 upset over then-No. 17 Miami.

“What we did at the end was the wrong decision. I called it,” Dawson said Monday. “… It was the wrong thing to do.”

Cristobal said the Hurricanes practice situations such as the victory formation.

“We didn’t do it Saturday, and we should have,” he said.

Earlier Monday, the coach of the now-No. 25 Hurricanes appeared as a guest on WQAM sports talk host Joe Rose’s radio show and didn’t shy away from the decision that’s been heavily criticized since Saturday night.

“There’s no way to rationalize it,” Cristobal said. “It’s the wrong decision. Should have kneeled it and didn’t do it.

“Like everything,” Cristobal told Rose, “we have a process. We got the first down and then after that, again, there’s no way to rationalize it. Just the wrong decision. Should have taken a knee, taken it out of the players’ hands.

“… We gave ourselves a chance at the end. But again, like I mentioned before, this entire program is based on accountability. We gave ourselves a chance to win and just gotta make that decision to take a knee. That’s it.”

Miami visits No. 12 North Carolina (5-0, 2-0) on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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