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FSU Escapes Miami/ACC Refs

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The Florida State Seminoles beat the Miami Hurricanes and the ACC officials, 23-19 in Doak Campbell Stadium.

Team Totals UM FS
Total offense plays 70 50
Average Gain Per Play 5.5 5.26
Fumbles: Number-Lost 3-2 1-0
INTs Thrown 1 0
PUNTS-YARDS 5-226 5-274
Average Yards Per Punt 45.2 54.8
Net Yards Per Punt 24.0 47.4
Inside 20 0 2
50+ Yards 2 4
Touchbacks 0 1
Fair catch 1 0
KICKOFFS-YARDS 3-197 6-410
Average Yards Per Kickoff 65.7 68.3
Net Yards Per Kickoff 43.7 49.2
Touchbacks 0 2
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD 2-17-0 3-106-1
Average Per Return 8.5 35.3
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD 4-75-0 3-66-0
Average Per Return 18.8 22.0
Avg Field Position Own 19 Own 35

Miami came play. That has to be said first and foremost. The very good Miami offense had an excellent game plan. Quick throws by Jacory Harris neutralized the FSU defensive front in the first half. Meanwhile, the FSU offense struggled mightily in the first half as E.J. Manuel (who is clearly injured more than FSU let on) seemed to have a serious case of the jitters. The young Florida State offensive line was routinely dominated. Miami's defensive front stifled the Florida State running game as EJ Manuel was clearly off and faced a ton of pressure.

Midway through the second quarter Miami had out gained Florida State 165 yards to 13 before FSU had even managed a first down. However, big plays from the Florida State defense as well as excellent special teams play kept the 'Noles in the game. After a methodical 18 play, 126 yard drive (with penalties), Jacory Harris facing pressure from Bjoren Werner, threw an interception with a great play by Florida State safety Lamarcus Joyner. This was one of three first half turnovers that kept the 'Noles in the game. And there should have been a fourth, as FSU was absolutely robbed of a strip and score by an inexplicable review.

Adding to the ridiculousness of the first half, there were 5 booth play reviews. One of which came on a play that was called an intentional grounding and then a safety in which EJ Maneul was clearly out of the endzone. The sold out crowd, which could clearly see that EJ was out of the endzone, went ballistic. Then, finally, there was a reversal after Jimbo Fisher went nuts. Thank you ACC refs for getting it right....

The Florida State offense struggled outside of a single solid drive resulting in a touchdown catch by Rodney Smith. Then it was time for Greg Ried to put the special in special teams. Florida State, clinging to a 10-7 lead, forced a Miami punt. Greg Reid would take the ensuing punt 83 yards for a TD after a lucky bounce landed right in front of him in full stride. Florida State, despite being outplayed in the first half, would take a 17-7 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, Florida State had to beat not only Miami but also an officiating crew hell bent on taking the game into their own hands. The Florida State offense and defense made adjustments in the second half. Bubble screens, and the running game managed to get the offense clicking, while the 'Nole defense adjusted and started taking away the quick throws.

With a chance to blow the game open on an outstanding kickoff return by Karlos Williams, the refs decided to take it away on what appeared to be a garbage call on James Wilder. Wilder, took his man and drove him into the turf. The ACC officials thought this was obviously not a very nice thing to do and called the TD back on a holding penalty. The FSU offense still managed to drive the field and score a FG.

In the 4th quarter it was more of the same. Florida State could have ended the game but could not convert enough 3rd downs to run out the clock on a Miami team that had burned 2 of 3 timeouts. Instead, by giving the ball back to Miami, it was the ACC refs that gave life to Miami's last gasps of hope. Late in the 4th quarter, down 23-13, Terrance Parks should have ended the game with a pick. That play was called back by a roughing the passer. True freshman Timmy Jernagin was a few steps late in popping Jacory Harris.

What followed, despite some of the worst officating in history, was just the cherry on top of a terd sundae. Nigel Bradham, who had a fantastic game (10 tkls, 1 tfl, one fumble recovery), was ejected for apparently hitting too hard. He crushed the Miami WR in the chest causing an interception by Dawkins. The ACC refs don't like hard hitting and Nigel was ejected. The game announcers on ABC called it a 'horrible call' and the ejection a 'disaster.' 'Nole fans agree.

After the Miami special teams missed the extra point the score was 23-19. Florida State would hold on to the Miami onside kick and run out the clock. It wasn't pretty, and the ACC officials made a game that should not have been in question interesting to say the least. FSU improves to 7-3, 5-2 in the ACC.

It has been 715 days since Florida State lost to an in-state team.