As Miami began to celebrate its biggest win in years, Hurricanes coach Al Golden threw his right arm skyward and sprinted over to the Florida sideline for the traditional postgame handshake.
He offered congratulations.
He probably could have offered thanks.
Stephen Morris threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to put host Miami ahead, and Florida gave the ball away on four red-zone trips to make sure the Hurricanes stayed there. Miami knocked off the 12th-ranked Gators, 21-16, on Saturday, almost certainly ensuring that the Hurricanes — dogged for the last 26 months by a still-unresolved NCAA probe — will return to the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2010.
‘‘It’s been such a hard road,’’ Golden said. ‘‘It was just a very cathartic moment.”
Duke Johnson added a 2-yard touchdown run and a 21-9 lead with 3:29 left for Miami (2-0), which has won four straight dating to last season, the longest such streak for the Hurricanes since 2008.
Jeff Driskel completed 22 of 33 passes for a career-best 291 yards and a late touchdown for Florida (1-1). But he had two interceptions, fumbled once, and was stopped on a fourth-down try for another giveaway, all part of a messy effort by the Gators.
Florida outgained Miami, 413-212, had a 22-10 edge in first downs, outran the Hurricanes, 122-50, enjoyed nearly a 2-to-1 edge in time of possession, and held Miami to an abysmal 1-for-11 effort on third-down chances.
And the Gators still lost.
The one touchdown Florida had in the red zone was a gift, set up by a blocked punt in the first quarter. The other Florida trips deep into Miami territory ended thusly: interception, turnover on downs, fumble, field goal, interception.
“You cannot keep shooting yourself in the foot, especially on the road,’’ Florida coach Will Muschamp said.
Oregon 59, Virginia 10 — De’Anthony Thomas ran for 124 yards and three touchdowns, Marcus Mariota threw for two touchdowns and ran 71 yards for another score, and the No. 2 Ducks started fast and manhandled the Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va.
Oregon (2-0), which gained a school-record 772 yards last week against Nicholls State, looked capable of breaking that mark against a Virginia defense that hoped to keep the Cavaliers in the game. Oregon finished with 557 yards despite possessing the ball for just 21:25.
The Cavaliers (1-1) trailed, 21-0, after 10:32. David Watford was 29 of 41 for 161 yards, but threw three interceptions and fumbled once. All four turnovers led to Oregon touchdowns. Virginia’s lone touchdown came on a 45-yard run by Khalek Shepherd.
Clemson 52, South Carolina State 13 — Tajh Boyd ran for a touchdown and the No. 4 Tigers returned two interceptions for scores for the first time in program history. Host Clemson moved to 27-0 all time against FCS teams.
Boyd, who accounted for five TDs a week ago against Georgia, scored the Tigers’ first touchdown and played only a half against the Bulldogs (0-2) before finding a spot on the sideline. Backup Cole Stoudt had three touchdown passes, two to reserve Germone Hopper, in the blowout.
Cornerbacks Martin Jenkins and Darius Robinson each had pick-6 scores to help the Tigers (2-0) to a 38-7 lead by halftime.
Northwestern 48, Syracuse 27 — At Evanston, Ill, Trevor Siemian threw for 259 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, Kain Colter passed for a touchdown and ran for one, and the No. 19 Wildcats pounded the 0-2 Orange.
Northwestern (2-0) racked up 581 yards in all and led, 34-7, at the half. It also intercepted Syracuse’s Drew Allen four times.
Siemian was 15 of 19, and Colter (15 of 18) seemed to be fine after suffering a concussion early in last week’s win at California. He also ran for 87 yards.
Virginia Tech 45, Western Carolina 3 — Trey Edmunds ran for two touchdowns and Detrick Bonner returned one of his two interceptions for a score as the Hokies rebounded from a loss to Alabama by trouncing the FCS Catamounts in Blacksburg, Va.
Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas led touchdown drives of 87 and 69 yards in the second quarter.
Western Carolina (0-2) has lost 12 straight overall and 28 in a row against FBS competition.
North Carolina 40, Middle Tennessee 20 — The Tar Heels ran out to a big lead at home, scoring at least 40 points for the seventh time in 14 games under coach Larry Fedora. Romar Morris scored twice and Bryn Renner accounted for two more scores.
Renner threw for 339 yards with a TD and also scored on a sneak for the Tar Heels (1-1), who scored the first 23 points, rolled up 511 yards, and never let the Blue Raiders (1-1) get closer than 13 points after halftime.
N.C. State 23, Richmond 21 — Niklas Sade’s 48-yard field goal with 33 seconds left lifted the host Wolfpack past the Spiders, who are ranked 15th in the FCS. N.C. State (2-0) rallied from an 11-point deficit.
Michael Strauss moved Richmond (1-1) downfield in the final seconds, but his deep heave with no time left was batted down by Hakim Jones just short of the goal line.
Maryland 47, Old Dominion 10 — C.J. Brown threw for two touchdowns and ran for two, Brandon Ross rushed for 149 yards, and the Terrapins picked off three ODU passes in a rout in College Park, Md.
Brown directed touchdown drives of 77, 46, 97, and 80 yards to stake Maryland (2-0) to a 31-3 halftime lead. The Terrapins amassed 392 yards and 20 first downs in the first half. The Monarchs (0-2) finished with 335 yards of offense.
Duke 28, Memphis 14 — Brandon Connette, subbing for injured starter Anthony Boone, threw for 198 yards and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the Blue Devils on the road. Duke is 2-0 for the first time since 1998.
Connette was 14 of 21 after entering in the second quarter when Boone left the game with an injury to his right side and didn’t return.