It seemed every time Miami took over on offense, Allen Hurns was passing another player in the Hurricanes’ record book.
The senior receiver entered Friday’s game 11th in all-time receiving yards for a Hurricane and would pass Andre Johnson for seventh place by the time he finished a career day with 173 yards on nine receptions.
Hurns became just the fourth player in UM history to top 1,000 yards receiving in a season during Friday’s 41-31 victory over Pittsburgh at Heinz Field and nearly broke the single-season receiving record that Leonard Hankerson set in 2010.
Hurns now has 1,138 receiving yards this season and 1,867 for his career — totals he will increase wherever Miami plays its bowl game.
“He’s reliable, man,” quarterback Stephen Morris said. “He did a great job [Friday], broke the record, got his 1,000 yards. That’s just a testament to how hard he’s worked all offseason, how dedicated he was to getting better. He was in my ear every day.”
For some top wide receivers, always being in the quarterback’s ear would be taken as badgering him to get more passes. But Morris said Hurns has been the exact opposite.
“He’s never said, ‘Give me the ball,’” Morris added. “He’s always one of those guys who’s, ‘Hey, what do you think on this play? What happens if they go in this coverage? If they roll here or they blitz here, should I run this hot or run this quicker?’ He’s one of those guys who understands the game of football. I’m excited to see him grow from his freshman year to where he is now.”
Facing third-and-9 from the Miami 38 midway through the first quarter, Morris looked right and hit Hurns for an 18-yard gain, getting him over the 1,000-yard milestone.
“Once I saw I was close to 1,000 yards, that just motivated me more every day,” said Hurns, who found out he had broken the mark at halftime. “At the University of Miami, we have had a lot of great receivers that came through here. To put up the numbers I’m doing and to be listed as one of them means a lot to me.”
Hurns would later pass Johnson (1,092 yards in 2002) and Eddie Brown (1,114 yards in 1984) on the single-season receiving list, and can break Hankerson’s record of 1,156 with just 19 yards in Miami’s bowl game.
Hurns will likely stay in seventh all-time on the UM receiving chart, with Travis Benjamin sitting 279 yards ahead of him in sixth place.
Hurns has 60 receptions this season — 12 behind Hankerson’s single-season record — and 119 for his career, jumping to ninth on Miami’s all-time list. His big day also helped Morris raise his career passing total to 7,736 yards, enough to pass Gino Torretta for third on UM’s all-time list.
It was also Hurns’ sixth 100-yard game of the season and his fourth in a row.
“I don’t know what to say anymore,” UM coach Al Golden said. “He’s the epitome of someone who’s just continued to work, to the point where he’s one of the best receivers in our conference. He backs it up every day by how he performs.”
“Allen’s my roommate — I love him,” lineman Jared Wheeler said. “He’s playing his butt off.”