The Daily Nole

FSU at Miami: Gameday Primer

Jeff Romance/FSU athletucs

The day has finally arrived as No. 23 Florida State looks to make it seven straight over rival Miami. The Hurricanes are off to a 4-0 start for just the second time in a decade while FSU is looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking 37-35 home loss to North Carolina and pick up its first ACC win.

The problem for Florida State has not been on the offensive side of the ball, but rather the defensive. Against FBS opponents this year, the Seminoles are giving up 42.3 points per game. Not having safety Derwin James has obviously hurt, but outside of senior defensive end DeMarcus Walker, bright spots have been few and far between. Running back Dalvin Cook leads an offense that is among the best in the country. Cook leads FBS in yards from scrimmage and ranks fifth in rushing and in two games against hometown Miami, he has 379 total yards and five touchdowns.

Miami junior Brad Kaaya will look to build upon two very good efforts against the Seminoles in years past. Kaaya has a nice array of skill players around him, most notably at tailback with Mark Walton and Joseph Yearby. Defensively, 10th-ranked Miami is giving up just 11 points per game. A deep defensive front and experienced secondary has kept the trio of freshman linebackers from being exposed.

Quick Hits

  • In his six previous years as head coach, Miami is one of only two schools Jimbo Fisher has defeated each year. The other is Boston College.
  • The Hurricanes have not defeated Florida State at home since 2004. Back then, Miami was still playing home games in the Orange Bowl.
  • Saturday’s contest will mark only the third time both teams have entered the contest ranked in the last 10 meetings. The others were in 2010 when 23rd-ranked Florida State beat Miami 45-17 in South Florida and 2013 when No. 3 FSU defeated No. 7 Miami in Tallahassee, 41-14.
  • A victory on Saturday would tie Florida State’s longest winning streak over Miami. The Seminoles won seven straight from 1963-72.
  • In five career starts at Florida State, quarterback Deondre Francois has more wins over AP ranked opponents than Miami junior quarterback Brad Kaaya.
  • As FSU head coach, Fisher is 6-6 against top-10 opponents.
  • Mark Richt will look to become the third Miami head coach in four tries to beat FSU in his first meeting. Larry Coker and Randy Shannon beat FSU in 2001 and 2007, respectively. Al Golden lost his first meeting against FSU in 2011, 23-19.
  • Florida State is 9-2 in its last 11 games against Miami, but the Seminoles have led the Hurricanes in the fourth quarter in each of the last 12.

Good Times, Bad Times

All-Time Series: Miami leads 31-29
Good Times: Although Miami was able to win the 1989 national championship, it was unable to claim the state championship, falling to Florida State in Tallahassee, 24-10. Dexter Carter led a rushing attack that went for 220 yards while the FSU defense forced six turnovers against the Miami offense, led by quarterback Gino Toretta, who was making his third career start. Linebacker Kirk Carruthers had a game-high 16 tackles for FSU and two interceptions.

In a match-up of No. 1 Florida State and No. 3 Miami in 1993, FSU put up 450 yards of offense in a 28-10 victory. Eventual Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward passed for a touchdown and rushed for another before safety Devin Bush put the game away with a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The largest margin of victory for FSU over Miami in the series came by a 47-0 margin in 1997. The FSU defense held Miami to just 133 yards of offense and a negative 33 rushing. With Miami threatening to break up the shutout late, FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews put his starters back in. Samari Rolle’s second interception of the game preserved the shutout.

Bad Times: In a match-up of top 5 teams in Tallahassee in 1987, No. 4 Florida State raced to a 19-3 lead over No. 3 Miami before the Hurricanes stormed back with 23 unanswered points. With less than a minute to play, Danny McManus found Ronald Lewis for an FSU touchdown, but the 2-point conversion pass attempt for tight end Pat Carter was knocked away. The Seminoles would go on to begin a streak of 14 straight top-5 finishes, but Miami went on to win its second national championship.

Florida State lost to Miami four times in a 12-year span from 1991-2002 on a missed last second field goal. Gerry Thomas missed wide right in 1991 in a 17-16 loss in Tallahassee, Dan Mowrey missed wide right in a 19-16 loss in Miami the next season, Matt Munyon missed wide right in a 27-24 loss at Miami in 2000 and Xavier Beitia missed wide left in a 28-27 loss in Miami in 2002.

The last loss for Florida State in the series came in the 2009 season-opener on Labor Day by a 38-34 score in Tallahassee. There were five second half lead changes, but with just seconds to play and FSU on the Miami 2-yard-line, it looked as though the Seminoles may steal the victory. Unfortunately for the Seminoles, quarterback Christian Ponder’s pass into the end zone was dropped by Jarmon Fortson.

For Your Reading Pleasure

Here are all The Daily Nole articles leading up to the top 25 match-up between Florida State and Miami:

FSU Football: A First Look at Miami
Miami with Golden Opportunity to Shift Tide in FSU Rivalry
Weather Watch: FSU-Miami Sticking to Schedule
Preview: FSU Heads South for Top 25 Match-up with Rival Hurricanes
FSU-Miami: Five Things to Watch
Staff Predictions for FSU-Miami

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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