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    Recently, Local 10 News investigative reporter Christina Vazquez reported about gas station skimming operations that steal credit and debit card information.

    Detectives recommended paying in cash or handing the credit card directly to the cashier to avoid the fuel pump skimmers.

    Now, Zipline, a South Florida payment technology company, said it has developed a new type of payment system to protect consumers at the pump.

    Zipline CEO Danilo Portal showed Local 10 News how the technology works at a South Florida gas station.

    "I'm going to swipe it," Portal said, while inserting a magnetized plastic card into a gas pump card reader. "I'm going to get my token. It says enter PIN, so I enter this PIN."

    The Mobile Enabler App and card, known as ME, lets consumers pay for gas using their cellphone. It generates a unique token or PIN for each purchase and then sends a confirmation email to the account holder.

    The company hopes major oil companies will adopt the technology to both protect information and offer rewards, similar to a loyalty card.

    "Swiping a debit card at the pump is the worst thing you can do," Portal said.

    Earlier this month, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced the filing of legislation intended to help protect Floridians and visitors from skimmers, devices that steal credit card information, at gas pumps to help combat fraud at gas stations.

    Sen. Anitere Flores and Rep. Dana Young are sponsoring legislation in the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives.

    According to Putnam, the number of consumers victimized by each skimmer varies between 100 and 5,000, with an average of $1,000 stolen from each victim. Each skimmer represents a $100,000 to $5 million threat to the state of Florida and its consumers.

    Click here to read the full news release from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

    Follow Christina Vazquez on Twitter @CallChristinaTV

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A Doral man was sentenced Tuesday to more than three years in federal prison for organizing a Ponzi scheme involving aircraft parts.

    Anthony Saumell, 45, pleaded guilty in August to seven counts of wire fraud.

    U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke sentenced Saumell to three years and two months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

    According to court documents, Saumell organized and engaged in a complex fraudulent scheme to defraud investors in South Florida.

    Saumell deceived his victims into investing about $3.9 million into his company, Gear Management Corp. Victims were told their investments would be used to purchase aircraft parts that would be sold for a profit.

    Prosecutors said Saumell guaranteed victims a 10 percent profit within 30 days, but instead he used the money to pay other investors or fund his lifestyle. Prosecutors said he used the money to buy jewelry, pay alimony, pay for private school and make purchases at art galleries.

    By October 2013, Saumell had spent all of the investors' funds, and his company went bankrupt. Investors lost about $1 million in the scheme.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Police have identified a man wanted for questioning in a hit-and-run crash that killed a man who was walking his dog in Miami.

    Miami police said Tuesday that they are looking for Bayron Villalobos in connection with the crash, which killed Pedro Gonzalez. The announcement came hours after police found the car involved in Saturday's crash.

    Gonzalez, 33, was struck and killed by a speeding car as he attempted to cross Northwest 12th Avenue. The impact was so great that his body became wedged underneath a parked car.

    Witnesses told police that the driver of the car got out, looked at the victim, got back into the car and drove off.

    Gonzalez was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he died.

    Police said the green Chrysler 300 with front-end damage was found Monday parked outside Villalobos' home.

    "I'm scared because I'm pretty sure I know this guy from the area," Gonzalez's mother, Carmen Montoya, told Local 10 News. "I'm pretty sure I have seen him around here eating in restaurants."

    Montoya went around the neighborhood Tuesday asking residents if they know Villalobos or where he could be.

    Police said Villalobos has a history of leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.

    "Every day is harder," Montoya said.

    Follow Erica Rakow on Twitter @EricaRakow

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    Broward, Miami-Dade hit-and-run crashes of 2015


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    A North Miami Beach police officer injured in a crash will spend Thanksgiving at home.

    North Miami Beach police said Officer Nicole Mood was released from Aventura Hospital on Tuesday.

    Mood was driving her police cruiser at Northeast 163rd Street and Northeast 19th Avenue early on the morning of Nov. 15 when another car slammed into the cruiser. The impact sent Mood's car into a light pole.

    Police said the driver of the car at fault tried to run away but was immediately taken into custody.

    Mood had to be extricated from the car and had been in the hospital ever since.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A 22-year-old man fell off a ladder in a Pompano Beach warehouse Tuesday and was impaled by a pool cue, a city spokeswoman told Local10.com.

    The man was working at the warehouse on Southwest Eighth Street when he fell off the ladder and landed on the pool cue, city spokeswoman Sandra King said.

    She said the pool cue entered the front of the man's body by his arm pit and exited through his back.

    Pompano Beach Fire Rescue crews arrived and trimmed a few feet off the stick. The man was then taken to Broward Health North to undergo surgery to remove the pool cue.

    The man's name and condition weren't immediately known.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A jury deliberating in the murder trial of a South Florida man who claims that he fatally shot his wife in self-defense and then posted a picture of her body on Facebook will return Wednesday at 10 a.m.

    Jurors began deliberating late Tuesday night after attorneys made their closing arguments.

    Derek Medina is accused of fatally shooting Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in the kitchen of their South Miami townhouse in August 2013. Police said Medina uploaded a photo of her body to Facebook after the shooting.

    Medina told Miami-Dade County Judge Yvonne Colodny that he didn't wish to testify, meaning jurors never got a chance to hear his explanation about what happened that day.

    Assistant state attorney Leah Klein reminded jurors that Medina emptied the clip when he shot Alfonso.

    "Every single shot hit her, because he was aiming and he wanted her dead," Klein said.

    Klein told jurors that the evidence during the trial shows that the shooting was premeditated and that Medina had plenty of time for reflection after the shooting.

    Prosecution in Facebook murder trial He wanted her dead

    "She's lying on the kitchen floor, soaked in her blooded clothing, and he puts on fresh clothes before he leaves," Klein said. "He doesn't drop to his knees and say, 'Oh, my God. I killed the love of my life even though I had to. I need to get help.' Nope. Watch the video. He leaves calmly."

    Defense attorney Saam Zangeneh told the jury during his closing arguments that Medina shot Alfonso in self-defense after she charged at him with a knife.

    "The only thing you can come to a decision on is that this knife was in Jennifer Alfonso's hand," Zangeneh told the jury.

    Klein also told the jury that Medina even had time to take a picture of her body.

    "Why did he post that picture? I have no idea," Zangeneh said in his closing arguments. "It doesn't matter, because it's not a who-done-it."

    Colodny said she would let the jury deliberate into the evening before deciding whether they will need to return Wednesday. The judge has said she wants a decision before the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Medina faces life in prison if convicted of killing Alfonso.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    Many faces of Derek Medina


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    Most Americans have turkey on Thanksgiving, but some go all-out and get a Turducken. That's chicken stuffed inside duck stuffed inside turkey -- with stuffing. It sounds complicated, but one Texas shop has made it their specialty.


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  • 11/25/15--22:04: Thanksgiving Day fast facts
  • Here's some background information about Thanksgiving Day, celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. In 2015, Thanksgiving is Nov. 26th.


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    A retired South Florida teacher and her husband are fighting to stay in their home after taking out a reverse mortgage.

    Local 10 News Consumer Investigative Reporter Christina Vazquez uncovered thousands of complaints filed against the Texas-based lender.

    This comes as federal regulators issue a warning about the integrity of reverse mortgage advertising.

    "This is what I spent 47 years as a crane operator to do," said Willie Leland. "Buy myself a home for my family."

    Leland and his wife of more than 50 years, Rose, a retired teacher, raised a family in a modest home in Miami Gardens.

    According to their attorney, Johnny Gaspard, the couple took out a reverse mortgage in 2008.

    A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows homeowners 62-years and older to borrow against the accrued equity in their homes. The loan must be paid back when the borrower dies, moves, or no longer lives in the home.

    There are also loan requirements explained Gaspard, "Homeowners are required to pay the taxes and insurance every year."

    Gaspard said the Lelands forgot to make that payment in 2013.

    After learning of the oversight Gaspard said he worked with Champion Mortgage to develop a repayment plan for the nearly $9,000 owed.

    He said the Lelands agreed to the plan, signed the agreement, and mailed it to Champion Mortgage along with the initial payment.

    But according to Gaspard, the lender claimed that agreement was lost in the mail this time last year.

    He said Champion Mortgage also "erroneously, force-placed insurance on the Lelands’ home for 2014."

    Despite paying for insurance and taxes in 2014 and 2015, Gaspard said the company placed an eviction notice on the couple’s door last month.

    "The bank is unwilling to accept the money and is instead wanting to take their home," Gaspard stated during a news conference on Tuesday. "The bank should be willing to work with them to at least make the payment which is what they are willing to do. The Lelands aren’t saying we don't want to pay it and they have since then paid 2014, without the bank’s help, and 2015, without the bank’s help. And they have the means to cover the outstanding amount for 2013 as well."

    "It hurts to the core," stated Leland. "It is just overwhelming."

    Champion Mortgage is a division of Nationstar Mortgage, which has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. There were 3,260 closed complaints with BBB in the last three years, 796 closed in the last 12 months.

    "When they first approached us about this, just the way they explained it, it was something that we couldn’t lose, but now at the end, now we know it is different," Leland said.

    Just this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a consumer advisory about reverse mortgage advertising.

    Click here to view the CFPB advisory

    Click here for a closer look at reverse mortgage advertisements and consumer risks

    They found, "confusing, incomplete, and inaccurate statements" regarding borrower requirements and risks in their review of advertisements from a variety of lenders.

    They also found "many ads" didn't mention that "seniors could lose their homes if they don't satisfy the loan requirements such as paying property taxes or homeowners insurance."

    "If you forget, they are coming after your property and they are going to foreclose on you," stated consumer protection attorney Jason Weaver.

    "In a reverse mortgage the bank is sending you a check. So when you are getting a check every month it's easy to assume that you don't have an obligation or responsibility and don't have to pay anything but that’s not true," explained Weaver. "It is really a loan, there are terms, there is a mortgage, and unlike what you hear on TV if you don't make certain payments, they can take your house."

    Weaver said while a reverse mortgage does work for some people; it is something you need to review in detail.

    "It is not that they are overall a bad deal, it is that you really have to be careful about what you are getting into," Weaver said. "If you are not careful and you don't understand what your obligations are, in particular if you don't pay those taxes and insurance, you are going to find yourself in trouble. What sometimes makes it more confusing is that there are different kinds of reverse mortgages."

    Watch video here

    Leland said his advice to others is to "think about it, don't sign anything until you are sure. This is something that's being advertised and it is really not the truth, not the way they are advertising it."

    "My first advice is to get a good mortgage broker and don't call the people on TV," Weaver said. "I don't know if they are good or bad, but I would go with someone who maybe gives you a little more personal attention, where you can ask questions about the loan, and where somebody is going to maybe tailor a loan program to your specific needs. Make sure you understand what you are actually going to have to pay. Ask the mortgage broker what could happen to make me lose my property, because they always sell it as this is yours forever, that it is a great thing."

    The CFPB said to consider these reverse mortgage facts when you see advertisements:

    A reverse mortgage is a home loan, not a government benefitYou can lose your home with a reverse mortgageWithout a good plan, you could outlive your loan money

    "It is sort of like a trick, to get (homeowners), especially older people, to give up their home," Gaspard said.

    Willie Leland and his wife Rose can't understand why the lender wants to kick them out despite a previous repayment agreement to pay back 2013's missed payment toward taxes and homeowners insurance.

    "We agreed to do what they asked us to do," Leland said.

    "These elderly people who have been in their home almost 36 years, 37 years, four generations have been here, and they want to keep their home yet, this bank had decided that this $8,000, $9,000 is not enough," Gaspard said of the Lelands. "They don't want that money, they want the home, and that to me is what the problem is. There is substantial equity in this property and I am believing that that’s the bank's main motivation for trying to take the home."

    Gaspard filed an emergency motion to stay the writ of eviction and vacate certificate of title and vacate judicial sale.

    A hearing is scheduled for Monday before Judge Antonio Marin.

    Click here to learn more about Judge Marin

    Gaspard said the eviction is on hold pending Monday’s hearing.

    "So, hopefully they will change their mind," said Leland of the lender. "I really do I hope they change their mind because I have a lot of memories here. We've been here a long time, we love it here."

    "It gives a bad name to reverse mortgages, despite all those nice commercials they seem to promote on TV," Gaspard said.

    Local 10 News called Champion Mortgage on Wednesday requesting a statement, but no one returned that call.

    If you are having a problem with your reverse mortgage or having problems getting through to your mortgage servicer, you can submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


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    A woman and her son were found dead inside a Miami home in an apparent murder-suicide.

    The discovery was made Wednesday afternoon in the 1700 block of Northwest 30th Street.

    Miami police said a woman entered the home, found her mother lying in a pool of blood and saw her brother sitting in the living room with what appeared to be a gun, so she ran out of the house and called 911.

    When police arrived, they found the woman's mother and brother dead of gunshot wounds.

    "As of right now, what we're saying is this is a domestic situation," Miami police Officer Kenia Fallat said.

    The mother has been identified as Concepccion Loholfftz, 70, and the son has been identified as Roberto Jose Reyes, 43.

    Police said homicide detectives are still investigating, but they believe Reyes fatally shot Loholfftz and later turned the gun on himself.

    Sources told Local 10 News that Loholfftz was preparing a Thanksgiving turkey when she was shot. They said Reyes' sister and friend told them he was an Army veteran and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Edwin Rivera, who rents an apartment behind the home, told Local 10 that Loholfftz was originally from Nicaragua. He said she was like a mother to him, always feeding him and his roommate.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    It was all smiles Thursday afternoon at Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport as holiday travelers arrived looking forward to a turkey dinner. By late afternoon, the airport was nearly a ghost town.

    The only place seeing any activity was arrivals because most people started their travel day between 6 a.m. and noon. For folks traveling at that time, it could be summed up in one word: "Crowded."

    President Barack Obama's message to the American people that there is no credible terrorist threat may have reassured the flying public.

    "It was fine, every seat was full," said Charles Taylor, who flew in from Houston. "I flew Delta and they did a great job. I have not flown in a decade, so it was an enjoyable experience. "

    It was smooth sailing for the most part both at Ft. lauderdale Hollywood International and at Miami International Thursday morning.

    "I would say it was a very smooth trip," said Tracy Walker, who traveled from Kansas City. "Very fast. Easy to get through the T.S.A. The flights took off on time. It was just a really easy trip."

    Of course, Thursday is a little less busy than Wednesday or Sunday, so most people we spoke to were pleasantly surprised.

    "I expected it to be horrific, but it was wonderful," said Nicole Curry, who had no delays or problems. "Both of my connecting flights were on time and the staff couldn't have been more wonderful."


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    Gloria and Emilio Estefan's 8th annual feed a friend event at Bongo's at the Hardrock in Hollywood was a fun and festive event serving meals to those in need from a dozen different local agencies.

    "In the long run, it is about bringing people together," Emilio said. "That is what we do. I think it is a great thing and our hope for the future of the United States because we are one country, one place and we are proud to be part of the community."

    "I am so thankful for the Estefans," said Mark Hariton of Big Brother. "And of course, to the Big Brother organization. Also, to my little guy, or my big guy, Trevion."

    There was also a kids craft zone to keep the little ones entertained, and plenty of food served up by dozens of volunteers who take time out on their Thanksgiving holiday to give back. 

    "How does it make you feel? Happy!" said volunteer Smith Leville. "I am warm on the inside. It is a beautiful feeling and I love giving back. I have been a mentor for over eight years and I feel like it is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle to give back."

    In the last seven years, the Estefans have fed over 13 thousand people. Families in transition, the homeless and children in crisis all come for some fun and good food served up by celebrity volunteers.

    "Not everyone can afford a Thanksgiving dinner," said volunteer Neki Mohan. "It is priceless and I get to eat."

    The Estefans have certainly had a blessed year. They opened a show about their life on broadway and just this week received the freedom medal from President Barack Obama 

    "We flew back here last night," Glorida said. "We got here at about midnight because there was no way we were going to miss this. I think it is a beautiful thing and it is my favorite event of the year being able to share."

    They feed thousands of people each and every year. This year was yet another success. They said they feel so blessed and that they really love giving back to South Florida.


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    Former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning and his wife continued their annual Thanksgiving tradition Thursday, going door to door delivering prepared meals to those who aren't able to provide for their families.

    For the past 15 years, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning have made it their mission to deliver Thanksgiving meals to less fortunate families in Miami. This year, they chose 10 families to visit.

    The Mournings and their foundation call it 33 Thanksgivings, because they started delivering food to 33 families in 2000 and now feed more than 400 families during Thanksgiving week.

    "I want people to realize that, you know, regardless of how bad you think you got it, there's a whole lot of people out there that has it a lot worse than you do," Alonzo Mourning told Local 10 News. "We visit those homes every year, helping them understand that, you know, people out there do care about your well-being."

    Alonzo Mourning said South Florida has been his home for 21 years, and fans continue to cheer him on, even though his days on the hardwood are over.

    "South Florida has been good to us. It has been," he said. "The fans have supported me here in South Florida for years."

    Alonzo Mourning said it was a true community effort. The food was provided by Publix, and FedEx helped with the food delivery.

    "Life is about serving others," Tracy Mourning said. "That's what we are here for and we're blessed that we're able to do it."

    Follow Sanela Sabovic on Twitter @SabovicSanela

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    It was a day of thanks and giving Thursday at Camillus House in Miami as volunteers lined up to serve more than 500 people who without this food might not have had a Thanksgiving meal.

    "Camillus is sending a message that no matter how down you are, you can be part of a family," Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado told Local 10 News.

    A woman by the name of Janna was among those who took advantage of the free meal.

    "I don't know. I can't describe it, but it feels good," she told Local 10.

    Not far away, volunteers woke up at 2 a.m. to be able to serve 3,000 people at the Miami Rescue Mission.

    Calvin McFadden helped mix and stir 120 pounds of mashed potatoes to go with the 300 pounds of string beans, 300 turkeys and 400 pumpkin pies.

    McFadden has been serving the community for more than a decade. Local 10 News reporter Ben Kennedy first met him in the same kitchen on Thanksgiving six years ago.

    "What does this meal mean to them?" Kennedy asked McFadden.

    "This meal means a lot to them because this is something we do every year," McFadden said.

    Follow Ben Kennedy on Twitter @BenKennedyTV

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A man who escaped from police custody while in handcuffs will likely be spending his Thanksgiving in jail.

    Carlos Valladares appeared before a Miami-Dade County judge, who set his bond at $20,500.

    West Miami police said Valladares escaped from their custody Wednesday.

    Miami-Dade police said Valladares was eventually caught as he tried to swim across a canal near Northwest 73rd Avenue and Northwest 35th Street.

    Valladares now faces charges of trespassing, burglary, criminal mischief, resisting an officer without violence and escaped prisoner.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    One man was airlifted to a Miami hospital after he was found severely beaten and lying in the middle of the street, while two other men were arrested after they attacked deputies who were called to investigate, Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.

    Deputies were called to 15th Street in Marathon late Wednesday night and found the victim, Echererria Aguila, lying in the middle of the street with swelling, bruising and lacerations to his face. He was taken to Fisherman's Hospital and then flown to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

    As Deputies Titus Hodges and Matthew Pitcher were investigating, they were attacked by several men, who may have been involved in the altercation with Aguila, Herrin said.

    Two other deputies arrived and saw several men surrounding Hodges and Pitcher and yelling at them. Herrin said the men refused orders to step back and calm down, so the deputies attempted to restrain one of the men. That prompted another man to fight back, kicking and punching the deputies.

    Eventually, the men were subdued and handcuffed.

    Yacel Hernandez, 27, and Asniel Espinosa, 23, suffered minor injuries as they fought with deputies. They were taken to Fisherman's Hospital to be treated before going to jail.

    Herrin said they continued to fight with deputies at the hospital, at one point knocking over a table that was attached to a wall in the waiting room.

    Hernandez and Espinosa were arrested on charges of resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer. Another man, Yordany Marmol, 24, was arrested on a charge of resisting arrest without violence.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    A rabbi was robbed by three gunmen in North Miami after they followed him from an Aventura jewelry store, police said.

    The armed robbery happened about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in an alley near West Dixie Highway and Northeast 140th Street.

    North Miami police said the man had just left the Jewelry Exchange in Aventura when he was followed and robbed as he got out of his car.

    The victim, who lives in upstate New York, was a rabbi and diamond dealer who was in South Florida for business.

    Surveillance video shows a white car pull up behind the rabbi's rental car, blocking him in. Three men then get out of the car and rob the rabbi.

    Police said the robbers got away with $35,000 worth of diamonds.

    Local 10 News crime specialist John Turchin said the rabbi was pistol-whipped and his car's tires were slashed before the robbers left.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Two people were injured in a Thanksgiving Day shooting in southwest Miami-Dade County.

    Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg said three people were sitting in front of a home near Southwest 104th Avenue and Southwest 173rd Terrace in West Perrine when two gunmen approached and opened fire.

    One victim was shot in the leg and taken to Jackson South Community Hospital.

    A second victim drove himself to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the torso. He was later airlifted to Kendall Regional Medical Center.

    The third person wasn't injured.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Americans are wasting more food than ever, thanks partly to confusion over expiration dates. Find out which food you may be tossing too early.


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    All the ingredients were there for a collapse. A fired head coach. Dashed expectations. A fan base equal parts angry and apathetic. A locker room in need of some guidance. Larry Scott would have none of it. Neither would his resilient team.

    Discarded in late October after Al Golden was fired, Scott and Miami responded with a nervy November. Friday's 29-24 win over Pittsburgh left the Hurricanes surging at a time of year in which they often sink instead.

    Clay Ferraro: 'Canes top Pitt 29-24 to close out regular season

    "People know us for folding at the end of the season," wide receiver Rashawn Scott said. "We don't got time for that anymore."

    Miami (8-4, 5-3 ACC) improved to 4-1 under Scott after racing to a 20-point halftime lead then holding on. Brad Kaaya threw for 261 yards and a touchdown and ran for another, Michael Badgley tied a school record with five field goals and Joseph Yearby ran for 99 yards as the Hurricanes survived when Pitt's last-gasp lateral was fumbled out of bounds as time expired.

    Athletic director Blake James declined to get into specifics about the search for Golden's replacement or indicate whether Scott is a candidate, though James praised Scott for holding the program together when Golden was let go in October following a 58-0 home loss to Clemson.

    "Credit to Larry for connecting with the guys," James said. "Those last five weeks, those guys have really bought in."

    It was never more evident than in the finale. Miami attacked early, calling a flea flicker, a double reverse and twice going for it on fourth down. Kaaya converted the first into a 1-yard touchdown lunge and the second — on a fourth-and-inches at the Miami 31 — extended what became a 17-play, 72-yard drive that ended with Badgley's third field goal of the opening half and a 23-3 Miami lead.

    "We just go all out," said Kaaya, who leapfrogged four players into fifth place on the school's all-time passing yardage list. "It's our last game of the season, we wanted to start early, start fast."

    Nathan Peterman threw for a touchdown and ran for another and freshman Darrin Hall ran for 103 yards and a score for the Panthers (8-4, 6-2). Wide receiver Tyler Boyd finished with 117 total yards in perhaps his final game at Heinz Field but Pitt's resurgent fall under first-year coach Pat Narduzzi ended with an emotionally flat first half that put them in a hole they couldn't quite dig themselves out of.

    "If we start slow again, we have to find a way to get a jumpstart," Narduzzi said. "I might have to bring my jumper cables or something."

    The Hurricanes appeared in shambles at midseason when Golden's uneven tenure finally ended after the no-show against Clemson. Yet they have steadied themselves under Scott, feeding off their interim coach's aggressive approach. His tenure started with an eight-lateral (and referee abetted) miracle against Duke on Halloween and save for a misstep against North Carolina, Miami has played like the team picked to finish second in the Coastal Division over the summer.

    "They did everything I asked them to do and more," said Larry Scott, who took a moment to compose himself. "You're happy to see that when they do buy in and they believe in each other and they play for the right reasons ... they're hard to beat."

    Miami heads toward a bowl game — perhaps the Pinstripe Bowl in New York — with momentum. The Panthers, one of the ACC's biggest surprises, not so much.

    Fresh off a nearly flawless four-touchdown performance in a victory over Louisville, Peterman was inaccurate at best and sloppy at worst. He tossed his first interception in conference play on Pitt's second offensive snap and struggled to get comfortable until it was too late.

    Kaaya and the Hurricanes had no such issues. Miami scored on five of its six first-half possessions, with Kaaya hitting Rashawn Scott with a pretty 22-yard touchdown that made it 17-0 with 2:34 left in the first quarter. Pitt trailed at some point in six of its eight wins this season, but never by more than a touchdown. Unable to provide Peterman with protection or time to look downfield, the Panthers instead relied heavily on the running game.

    It made for effective but slow going. Pitt's first drive of the second half took more than five minutes but ended when a pair of penalties turned a fourth-and-1 into a fourth-and-11 and a punt. While Hall broke loose for a 35-yard sprint with 3:52 to play in the third to pull Pitt within 23-10, Miami responded by methodically driving for another Badgley field goal.

    Pitt rallied late, getting within five on a 5-yard scramble by Peterman with 2:32 to go. The Hurricanes recovered the onside kick and Pitt's shot at replicating Miami's magical finish at Duke didn't make it past the Pitt 33.

    ___

    AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org


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