The Daily Nole

FSU’s Top 10 Moments vs. Miami — Part I

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It’s that time of year again as Florida State and Miami get set to renew their rivalry. The Seminoles and Hurricanes have played a number of big games with national implications over the last 30 years or so and narrowing the top moments for FSU down to five this week seemed like too tall of a task.

Instead, we’ll be breaking up the series into two parts with each containing five moments. We start with moments six through 10 as FSU and Miami get set to meet for the 63rd time. Narrowly missing the list was Thurston Taylor’s game-winning touchdown in the 1966 contest and Stanford Samuels’ memorable punishing hit on Roscoe Parrish in 2003, but that one at least deserves to be seen:

10. FSU Blasts Defending National Champions
Sept. 22, 1984
(15) Florida State 38, (4) Miami 3

Miami had suffered a loss at Michigan earlier in the season, but the Hurricanes carried the title of reigning national champions and a top-5 ranking into the 1984 home contest with Florida State. What would ensue was sheer domination. After three Derek Schmidt field goals in the first half gave FSU an early lead, the Seminoles started scoring touchdowns. Long touchdowns from Jessie Hester and on a pass from Eric Thomas to Hassan Jones provided the fireworks while Roosevelt Snipes scored a pair of shorter touchdowns. Hester finished with 218 yards of offense while Eric Williams had two interceptions for an FSU defense that forced four turnovers and held Miami to just 10 yards rushing. The 35-point victory, at the time, was the largest ever for the Seminoles over Miami.

9. Smith’s Fourth Touchdown Saves the Day
Oct. 4, 2008
Florida State 41, Miami 39

A contest that looked like an easy victory for Florida State was turning into anything but. FSU’s 24-0 lead had been reduced to two and it looked as though the Hurricanes would have a chance to win the game as the clock ticked toward four minutes. The Seminoles faced 3rd-and-goal from their own 20-yard-line and decided to run the ball on the wet field to create a more makeable field goal. Instead, running back Antone Smith took a hand-off right up the middle to the end zone for a 20-yard game-sealing touchdown. The score was the fourth of the day for Smith as FSU finished with 310 yards rushing in what is the highest scoring game in series history.

8. Biletnikoff Ices the Game on Defense
Sept. 20, 1963
Florida State 24, Miami 0

Florida State wide receiving legend Fred Biletnikoff had already caught two touchdown passes from Steve Tensi to give the Seminoles an early lead, but with Miami threatening to break up the shutout, Biletnikoff put the final nail in the Hurricanes’ coffin on defense. George Mira, a Miami quarterback who entered the year with preseason hype, looked toward the end zone with over 10 minutes to play, but Biletnikoff stepped in front of the pass near the goal line and returned it 99 yards for a score to seal what would be just the second-ever victory for the Seminoles over the Hurricanes.

7. What a Start
(2) Miami 10, (9) Florida State 24
Oct. 28, 1989

Twice in the history of Florida State and Miami have the Seminoles taken the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, but one of the most electrifying starts for FSU in the series came at home in 1989. Miami took the opening kickoff, but quarterback Gino Torretta was intercepted on the first play by safety LeRoy Butler at the Miami 37-yard-line. On the first play from scrimmage for the Seminoles, running back Dexter Carter was able to get the edge and race down the sideline for a 37-yard touchdown to set the tone. Miami would even the game, but FSU never trailed and shut out the Hurricanes in the second half. The 24-10 loss would serve as the only blemish for Miami on its way to a third national championship. The title of state champions would belong to Florida State.

6. Devin Bush Seals the Deal
(3) Miami 10, (1) Florida State 28
Oct. 9, 1993

Big plays stole the show in the first half during the top-3 contest in 1993 as Florida State scored on a 69-yard touchdown run by Sean Jackson and a 72-yard beauty of a pass from Charlie Ward to Matt Frier. In the second half however, it was the defenses that dominated. As the clock ticked toward five minutes, the only points of the half had been a Miami field goal and the Hurricanes were on the short end of a 21-10 score. Miami needed two scores quick, but FSU safety Devin Bush saw to it that there would be no comeback. With 4:59 to play, Bush stepped in front of a Frank Costa pass and returned it 40 yards to seal the contest and end Miami’s 3-game winning streak against the Seminoles.

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

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