‘Canes travel to Tallahassee seeking revenge against #4 Ranked Florida State
In the world of college football, very few rivalry games are as intense as the Miami Hurricanes (6-3, 3-4 ACC) and the Florida State Seminoles (FSU) (9-0, 7-0 ACC). With the two teams meeting every year for the past 54 years, the battle between the two programs is one that players mark on their calendars years in advance.
“Everybody comes to Miami because they want to play in the big games like FSU,” Miami offensive lineman Jalen Rivers said. “It’s a game everyone tunes into every year.”
This year’s matchup will be the 67th game between the two programs, a rivalry that brings the best out of both teams. Among these matchups, 32 came down to a one-score difference, a three-point margin determined 19, and nine won by one singular point. The Hurricanes own the all-time bragging rights in the matchup, with a 35-32 lead over the ‘Noles.
Last year’s rendition of the rivalry was one for the history books, in all the wrong ways for the Hurricanes. With a sold-out Hard Rock Stadium crowd for the first time all year, FSU wallopped Miami, routing them in a 45-3 blowout. The Hurricane offense turned the ball over four times, and the passing attack finished the game with a poor 67 yards, while the Seminoles would score 38 unanswered points en route to their second straight win against Miami. Now, as the ‘Canes gear up for their 67th all-time matchup against the ‘Noles, it may be their most challenging.
The fourth-ranked Seminoles enter the rivalry game undefeated, dominating every team in their way. Senior quarterback Jordan Travis and Michigan State transfer wide receiver Keon Coleman have led the way for the FSU offense. Travis has been one of the premier quarterbacks in the country, throwing 19 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season. Coleman, a projected 1st round pick in this year’s draft, has been one of the best wideouts in college football, tallying 538 yards and nine touchdowns so far.
Coleman, at 6-foot-4, has been a nightmare for opposing defenses and will be a tough challenge for a Hurricane’s defense whose top defensive backs, Jaden Davis and Daryl Porter Jr., went down against N.C. State a week prior. In his weekly press conference, Miami head coach Mario Cristobal was optimistic about Porter’s availability this week and confirmed that Davis is good to go for Saturday.
Miami will need their offense to play like it did at the start of the season if they want to win this week. In the season’s first four weeks, Miami averaged over 43 points a game. Since ACC play, however, the Hurricane offense has looked dormant, averaging 22 points a game. Some of these offensive struggles have fallen on the burden of quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.
“Most of it probably has to do with trying to do too much. Just let the defense dictate where the ball goes,” offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said. “I thought we would have hit a couple more shots on [N.C. State] and we didn’t hit any.”
Van Dyke struggled mightily against a solid N.C. State defense, throwing three interceptions and leading the offense to no touchdowns in their 20-6 defeat in Raleigh. Van Dyke now leads Power 5 quarterbacks in interceptions this season, with 11. With Miami’s field general throwing eight picks in his last four games, Coach Cristobal wouldn’t name the starting quarterback for Saturday’s game.
“From a game planning standpoint and a team dynamic standpoint, I wouldn’t use this forum to discuss a personnel move especially at that position,” coach Mario Cristobal said.
The last time an unranked Miami Hurricanes team went into Tallahassee and defeated a ranked Seminoles squadron was 2009 in a 38-34 scoring frenzy. Down for most of the game, Miami pulled ahead with about 1:53 left in the 4th quarter on a three-yard touchdown from then Hurricane running back Graig Cooper, following a Travis Benjamin 40-yard catch from Jacory Harris. FSU, led by quarterback Christian Ponder, would drive to the two-yard line with five seconds left. On the game’s last play, Ponder would find an open Jarmon Fortson, who failed to hold on to the ball while falling to the ground, sealing a thrilling victory for the ‘Canes. It would be FSU coach Bobby Bowden’s last game of the rivalry as he retired at the end of the season. The Hurricanes hope history can repeat itself with a win in Tallahassee.
The Hurricanes matchup with the Seminoles of Florida State will occur at Doak S. Campbell Stadium at 3:30 P.M. The game will air on ABC.