CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -One day last week, as Miami coach Randy Shannon implored his team about the importance of finishing games strongly, he brought the tale of Frank Reich into the conversation.
Shannon was a freshman at Miami in 1984, when Reich rallied Maryland from a 31-point halftime deficit to stun the Hurricanes, 42-40. There's the proof, Shannon told his team, that anything can happen as long as time remains on the clock.
How prophetic.
Since Reich - the quarterback better known for another huge rally, leading Buffalo over the Houston Oilers in a 1993 NFL wild-card game - brought the Terrapins back in Miami 24 years ago, the Hurricanes had won 111 straight at home when leading by at least 10 points in the final quarter, according to university records and research by The Associated Press.
That streak ended Saturday, when North Carolina scored 14 in the final nine minutes and pulled off a 28-24 win.
tice. ... We're trying. That's all we can do is keep trying. I think it's coming a long way. I think offensively we're doing a lot of great things. I think defensively we're doing some great things, but then we're killing ourselves on one or two big plays a game. We know if we can get those things corrected, we've got a good team. But in that fourth quarter, we've got to turn that light on.''
Over the Hurricanes' last 15 games, they've been outscored 149-71 after the third quarter, and Shannon has stressed the importance of ``finishing'' since taking over before the 2007 season.
Miami (2-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 24-14 when Robert Marve threw his third touchdown of the game Saturday with 9:59 left, but once again, the 'Canes didn't finish.
``It's hard to beat Miami in Miami,'' North Carolina coach Butch Davis said. ``Do the research.''
He's right, but even Davis probably didn't realize the magnitude of the Tar Heels' comeback.
Since the start of the 1985 season, Miami had gone 225-13 when leading at any point after the third quarter. The last team to erase a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit against Miami was East Carolina in 1999, when David Garrard rallied the Pirates in a game moved to Raleigh, N.C. because of Hurricane Floyd.
That was the lone blip in 194 games with such a late lead, until Saturday.
the final moments and replaced by DeMarcus Van Dyke, who was beaten by Brooks Foster for North Carolina's winning touchdown with 46 seconds remaining. ``Any time you lose a game, it hurts. It bothers us because we know we're a better team, that we play a lot of teams that we can beat.''
Davis was a first-year defensive assistant at Miami in 1984 and said he was having visions of ``Hail Flutie'' when Marve threw his final, potentially game-winning, pass into the end zone with 10 seconds remaining. The ball sailed a bit high, off the hands of Kayne Farquharson and into the arms of North Carolina defensive back Trimane Goddard for a game-sealing interception.
At the time, though, Davis surely wasn't thinking of Reich's comeback - which was one game prior to Doug Flutie's Miracle in Miami.
Two weeks before Flutie found Gerard Phelan for a 47-45 Boston College win, an unheralded Maryland team came into the Orange Bowl as colossal underdogs, and the first half was a predictable blowout. But Reich came in and steadily brought the Terrapins back, getting them within 34-21 entering the fourth period and never slowing down.
``A long time ago,'' Shannon said.
The Hurricanes don't have long to shake it off the North Carolina loss.
elming odds in its respective divisional race. That means by the first weekend of October, whatever Bowl Championship Series hopes either the Seminoles or Hurricanes had could be doomed.
``The good thing about it is now we don't have time off to think and dwell,'' Shannon said. ``We've got snap right back and play. And it's FSU. Those guys will respond real quick.''

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