Florida State came into its game against Miami winners of the last six in the series rivalry, and made it seven with a 20-19 victory.
Even before the game had begun, Florida State and Miami players were going at each other, nearly getting into a scrummage after the coin toss. Once play actually started, Florida State’s defense got to work, forcing two consecutive three and outs on Miami, the first time all season the ‘Noles have done so. Florida State had an opportunity of its own, however failed to convert on fourth down in Miami territory.
The ‘Canes got on the scoreboard first with just over a minute left converting a 37-yard field goal. On the very last play of the first quarter, QB Deondre Francois went down with an injury, giving Sean Maguire his first reps of the season to begin the second quarter.
With Maguire at the helm, Florida State put together a drive into the red zone, however the quarterback threw an interception. Miami would capitalize and score on a 3rd and 19 pass from Brad Kayaa to Stacy Coley from 21-yards away. After a 51-yard field goal put UM up 13-0, Florida State’s final, 62-yard drive of the half resulted in a 31-yard field goal by Ricky Aguayo. The ‘Noles would go into halftime down 13-3, receiving the ball in the second half.
Getting a considerable amount of playing time was defensive back, yes, defensive back, Ermon Lane, who made two tackles in the half. After returning from injury, Francois threw for 58 yards on 5-11 passing.
The ‘Noles started off the second half with a three-and-out, allowing Miami to get the ball back, and drive into the ‘Noles’ red zone. Francois’ third down throw was batted down at the line of scrimmage for the third time on third down throughout the game.
Tarvarus McFadden made his team leading fourth interception in the end zone, eliminating the Hurricane’s threat. The interception proved to be valuable as Dalvin Cook would score on a 59-yard touchdown pass. However, QB Deondre Francois went down once again with an injury after being roughed that resulted in a penalty.
With the momentum going its way, Florida State halted the Miami offense once again, and on the ensuing drive, took the lead for the first time with 3:32 left in the third quarter on a 20-yard TD pass to Kermit Whitfield.
In the final quarter of the game, Ricky Aguayo extended the Florida State lead to seven after a 32-yard field goal. It marked 20 unanswered points by the Seminoles. With just over six minutes remaining, Miami was driving before Derrick Nnadi and Josh Sweat recorded back to back sacks, forcing a punt.
Miami, on a punt return, returned the ball 43 yards all the way to the Florida State 16-yard line with just over three minutes left. The ‘Canes were down to fourth down and four at the 10-yard line, when Kayaa stepped back and threw a touchdown pass to Stacey Coley. However, the extra point was blocked by DeMarcus Walker, salvaging a Florida State lead by one point.
On the final drive of the game, Deondre Francois and Dalvin Cook each had a first down rush, sealing the victory.
Deondre Francois finished the day 20-31 with 234 yards and 2 touchdowns with a lot of help from Kermit Whitfield and his team-leading 83 receiving yards. On the ground, Dalvin Cook lead the team in rushing with 150 yards on 27 carries. After an abismal performance on third down last week, the ‘Noles went 9-17 and out gained Miami in total yards 412 to 276.
On defense, Ermon Lane had a solid debut on the secondary, completing four tackles with Derrick Nnadi leading the team with seven tackles, two and a half for a loss, and a sack. After allowing 7.68 yards per play in last week‘s loss against UNC, the defense only allowed 4.6 yards per play against Miami on Saturday. The ‘Noles were also very successful defending the rush, allowing 62 yards per rush on 28 attempts.
Florida State will have one final game before it’s bye week when the team returns home to face Wake Forest on October 16 at 3:30 PM.