MIAMI - The Miami Hurricanes started shoving Virginia around during warmup drills, then relied on Tremain Mack to deliver the biggest blows.
Mack scored twice on turnovers and blocked a kick Friday to help Miami claim its first bowl victory in five years, 31-21.
Mack's 79-yard fumble return and 42-yard interception return gave Miami a 24-7 halftime lead, and he blocked Rafael Garcia's 29-yard field goal attempt to protect a 10-point lead in the third quarter.
No. 19 Miami (9-3) finished the season with three consecutive wins. Unranked Virginia (7-5) fell to 0-8 in Florida.
The Hurricanes took the field with an attitude reminiscent of their ill-mannered national championship teams. As they came out of the stadium tunnel 45 minutes before the game and made their way through the Virginia team conducting drills, players began pushing and shoving.
At least one Virginia player was knocked to the ground, and witnesses along the sideline said punches were thrown before coaches quickly separated the sides.
The Hurricanes' feistiness carried over into the game. After scoring to take a 24-7 lead, the kickoff unit began dancing in the huddle as the partisan crowd roared.
There was also plenty of hard hitting. Virginia's Tiki Barber, the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, bruised his left hip in the first quarter and was limited to 14 yards in seven carries.
Miami's Yatil Green caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Clement but later left the game with a jaw injury.
Clement, a junior, passed for a career-high 274 yards, completing 16 of 26 attempts with two interceptions.
Mack was a unanimous choice as the most valuable player. He came away with one of four turnovers in a wild first quarter, scooping up Thomas Jones' fumble and racing along the sideline untouched to make the score 14-0.
Mack struck again in the second period, stepping in front of Tim Sherman's pass near the sideline to score for a 24-7 lead.
Aaron Brooks relieved Sherman for one series in the first half and produced a touchdown with a 29-yard pass to Germane Crowell. The Cavaliers closed to within 24-14 in the third period when Anthony Poindexter's punt block punt gave them the ball at the 1, setting up a touchdown by Brooks on a sneak.
But the Cavaliers, who squandered several scoring chances, could get no closer. They lost the ball on downs at the Hurricanes 12 in the first half, and Miami blocked two field goal attempts in the second half by Garcia, who led the nation this season with 21 field goals.
The bowl victory was the Hurricanes' first since beating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to clinch the 1991 national title.