Revenge is sweet, but it is even sweeter when it is against a rival. With a desire to win and with a fired-up football team, the Miami Hurricanes (4-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)) are playing for revenge Saturday as they take on conference rivals Florida State (FSU) (5-3, 3-3 ACC) at 7:30 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium.
The rivalry is easily the biggest at the University of Miami and one of the biggest in all of sports. The two teams first met in 1953, with Miami leading the series 35-31. The rivalry began to reach its prime in the 1980s when both teams were powerhouses in college football.
“To me, personally, that is the greatest rivalry in sports,” Miami head coach Mario Cristobal said at the ACC Media Day in July. “The intensity, the caliber of player, the caliber of play, the physicality and of course the dramatic turns of those games were incredible.”
Cristobal, a former Miami offensive lineman, was on the winning side of the rivalry three times. He was also part of the 1989 and 1991 National Championship teams under legendary head coach Jimmy Johnson.
Recently, it has been Miami’s caliber of play that has been the better of the two teams. The Hurricanes have won four out of the last five matchups against the Seminoles, with the loss coming last season when they lost a 31-28 heartbreaker in Tallahassee, Florida.
“The locker room [was] frustrated and sad; especially for the guys in their last year,” tight end Will Mallory said after last year’s defeat. “We wanted to send them out the right way. This one stings. You say, ‘move on from it’ but you don’t forget that. You don’t want to forget that feeling, because you don’t ever want to feel that feeling again.”
The game had started off poorly for the Hurricanes, giving up a 17-0 lead early on. The ‘Canes were able to climb back and take a lead of 28-23 going into FSU’s final drive with 2:19 remaining in the game.
Led by quarterback Jordan Travis, who will lead the Seminoles’ offense again this time around, FSU marched 80 yards down the field to take the lead with less than 30 seconds left and beat Miami.
In the last game these two teams played at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami thrashed Florida State, 52-10. The Hurricanes had 517 total yards of offense and were led by quarterback D’Eriq King, who finished the contest with 267 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and 65 rushing yards on eight attempts. He currently plays for the DC Defenders of the XFL.
This matchup against FSU may be one that defines the rest of the season. The Hurricanes have lost their three previous games at Hard Rock Stadium and are trying to improve to a positive record for the first time since being 2-1 more than a month ago.