WOW! WHAT A GAME! Miami, Florida State. A rivalry on the same level as Alabama and Auburn or Ohio State and Michigan. Boy did it live up to the hype. Florida State was one of only three teams to ever beat Miami five straight games at home. The other two being Florida and Notre Dame. The last time Florida State had come to Miami and left with a loss was in 2004. So the stakes were high for Miami. All pressure was on them. From the beginning of the game it showed.
Red-shirt Freshman quarterback, N’kosi Perry, was off and missing throws that he normally threw right on target. Miami’s first drive was a 3 and out. They then let Florida State drive right down and score a touchdown on their first drive of the game. The pressure would yet again be on Miami early in the 2nd quarter. They had a 4th and 2 from the Florida State 10 yard line. Coach Richt never hesitated, immediately sending his offence back out there on 4th down. The right call it was, as Perry hit Cager for Miami’s first score of the game and to tie the score at 7 a piece. Florida State would then score again a few drives later after Perry was sacked and fumbled the ball over to the Seminoles. The Seminoles would then get the ball all the way to the Miami 25 yard line before the Canes defense tightened and held State to a field goal.
The Seminoles and their fans were rumbling and hysterically loud and it got to the Canes. They went 3 and out yet again. 6 plays later State was back in the end zone again, making the score 17-7 Florida State. With the ball on the FSU 48 yard line the and with the game slipping from their grasp, the Canes decided to go for it on 4th down. They didn’t get it and turned the ball over to the Seminoles with 36 seconds to go the the first half. FSU kicker Ricky Aguayo then hit a 53 yard field goal to end the half and make the score 20-7 at halftime.
Florida State would strike again early in the 2nd half on a punt returned for a touchdown. The score was now 27-7 and both the Miami faithful and the players were silent. The game was all but over. They would surely drop in the FBS standings. Their hopes at making the College Football Playoff gone. Maybe their shot at an ACC title gone. With their offense back on the field you could tell they had no life and FSU easily forced them to punt. On FSU’s next drive they completed a long pass down the sideline on a 3rd down and 8, but offsetting penalties brought the play back and made them replay the down. Miami then brought a well designed blitz and Sheldrick Redwine sacked FSU QB Francios and forced a fumble.
Miami recovered and had the ball at the FSU 20. The turnover chain was out and Miami had life. A few plays later Miami would yet again convert on a 4th down pass to Cager to make the score 27-14. With FSU’s offense back on the field and the crowd back in it, it felt like a new ballgame. In their first play back on the field after the fumble Miami’s defense converged on Francios and sacked him. The crowd roared and you could feel the tide starting to change. The next play Francios was intercepted on a screen by Michael Pinckney. The crowd was BALLISTIC! The very next play, Perry hit Jeff Thomas for a Miami touchdown and to make the score 27-21.
A few drives later Miami would get the ball back and threaten again. On 3rd and 10 Perry dropped back and threw a 40 yard dime to Jeff Thomas again to both covert the 3rd down conversion and to start Miami’s drive. The next play Perry threw a dart in the the flat to tight end Brevin Jordan. Jordan did the rest taking the ball 43 yards and into the end zone to bring Miami back from 20 down and to put them up by one. Great specials teams plays and runs by running backs DJ Dallas and Travis Homer allowed Miami to run out the clock and keep the score right there as Miami ended the home losing streak and beat FSU 28-27.
MIAMI(16) @ VIRGINIA Prediction:
The Hurricanes take their talents to Virginia to play the Cavaliers this Saturday. Virginia gave Miami quite a scare last year and I believe that this year will kind of look quite the same. I would expect Miami to have a “hangover” of sorts from their astonishing and hard fought win over FSU. I think that Miami will struggle in the first half, but completely take over in the 2nd half. Expect the defense to be the difference in the game and Perry’s arm to be too much for the Cavaliers. Expect him to throw 3+ touchdowns and the Miami offense to rush for at least two more.