Miami defense asserts dominance in 27-10 win over Florida State

Behind one of their strongest defensive performances this season, the Miami Hurricanes defeated the Florida State Seminoles for the third consecutive year, finishing the game 27-10.

“Winning on the road of your rival is one of the most special nights you have,” head coach Manny Diaz said. “For our guys to come here to play the way they did from start to finish. We are becoming what we thought we could become as a team. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The Hurricanes defense may have played their best games yet, recording a season-high nine sacks, 16 tackles for loss and two interceptions.

Florida State’s star running back Cam Akers, who came into the game averaging over 114 yards per game, was held to just 66 rushing yards. Seminoles’ starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook went 17-24 with 135 yards and one interception, but was sacked eight times.

“They were relentless,” Diaz said. “I thought we took away all their ability to create explosive plays which is such a big part of their offense.”

After recording four sacks in the game, defensive-end Greg Rousseau now has 12 sacks on the year and is currently tied for most sacks in FBS.

“Its great,” Rousseau said. “It really feels good when all the work you put in pays off.”

“He’s very difficult to block,” Diaz said. “He’s got great length. He’s very difficult to put your hands on as an offensive lineman.”

Defensive leader Shaq Quarterman also had nine total tackles, while Gurvan Hall Jr. and Bubba Bolden both recorded interceptions.

After leading last week’s game winning touchdown drive, quarterback Jarren Williams made his first start against Florida State and went 21-37 with 313 yards and two touchdowns.

On Miami’s second possession of the game, Williams hit receiver Jeff Thomas on a 39-yard pass to put the Canes up 7-0.

“The intensity and the effort really prevailed today,” Williams said. “The offensive line did a really good job. The receivers were able to make plays in space.”

After giving up a field goal early in the second quarter, running back DeeJay Dallas six-yard touchdown run gave Miami a 14-3 lead, and a field goal by Camden Price as time expired at half would make it 17-3.

“DeeJay, as everyone knows, is the heart and soul of our team,” Diaz said of the running back, who had 105 total yards of offense.

Florida State’s first and only touchdown of the game came five minutes into the third quarter when Akers scored on an 18-yard pass from Hornibrook.

Miami further extended their lead after Williams threw a 56-yard pass to receiver Dee Wiggins – the first touchdown of his career – who easily caught the ball in stride and ran into the end zone.

“First touchdown, big game, I was very excited,” Wiggins said. “I’ve been waiting on that moment my whole life.”

A field goal by Price later in the fourth quarter provided extra padding and gave the Canes a 27-10 lead, which would hold for the remainder of the game.

Diaz and Williams have faced criticism this season over Williams’ inability to throw the ball deep, but Williams put those fears to rest by throwing two touchdowns and a 34-yard pass to receiver Mike Harley.

“Jarren with the accuracy on some of those deep balls was outstanding,” Diaz said. “In the critical moments to come up with the plays we came up with was really encouraging.”

Miami (5-4, 3-3 ACC) needs to win at least one of their last three games in order to be eligible to play in a bowl game.

The Hurricanes will face Louisville on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Hard Rock Stadium.

Featured image source: Twitter, @MiamiHurricanes