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Staff Predictions: Florida State vs. Miami

No love lost, no love found

Miami V Florida State

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

There’ll be much showboating

And hits will be flowing

When rivals are near

Florida State Seminoles football is set to take on Miami-Florida Hurricanes in a primetime, College Gameday-hosted matchup in Miami Miami Gardens. The No. 12 Hurricanes seemingly have the edge, with an offense that has come out of the gates hot in season opening wins vs. the UAB Blazers and Louisville Cardinals (though our number gurus say the number show that that may be a little inflated.)

What does our staff think? Check out our previews below, and then join us in our masochistic ways in the comment section below.

Frank DaNole:

Living in South Florida, all I’ve heard all week from Miami (of Fla) friends is how the U is back, baby.

If the U is indeed back, baby, then Miami (of Fla) fans owe everything to and their thanks,as well as a debt of gratitude to THE Florida State University.

Randy Shannon, a former cane failed miserably as a Miami (of Fla) head coach .

Former Temple superstar and former Enterprise Rental airport counter agent, Al Golden “Child” failed miserably as a Miami (of Fla) head coach.

Larry Scott, I can only laugh uncontrollably at the thought of his time as a Miami (of Fla) head coach.

Former Miami (of Fla) backup QB to Jim Kelly, Vinny Testaverde, and Bernie Kosar, “Savior Mark Richt,” failed miserably as the Miami (of Fla) head coach.

If the Miami (of Fla) U is indeed back, baby, it is only because of the FSU influence on their program and discipline brought to the Miami (of Fla) program by FSU Alumni head coach Manny Diaz c/o 1995, and FSU Alumni associate head coach Todd Stroud c/o 1985.

If Miami (of Fla) is back, baby, they should call themselves FSU 5.1.

That said, FSU will win this game for the 8th win in the last 11 games played. It will be a close game, but the Noles will play harder than Miami (of Fla) as a tribute to their missing coach, Mikey Norvell. The Noles will play with more heart and give more effort than the Miami (of Fla) players, and will pull out the win after a tough fought battle in Miami (of Fla)’s home stadium, with their normal huge crowd size advantage.


Juan Montalvo III:

Ahh yes, Miami week. The week I’m reminded that my mailman is a University of Miami (FL) graduate, or at least a fan. Are there any graduates? Does the school produce degrees?

CoachAB: Not gonna buy into all of the Rivalry Week mumbo jumbo. This is just another game, just another play, just another field.

Broken down a lot of film of Miami and it is not a great matchup for FSU. The sweet feet of Mr. King are going to be a problem for a team lacking their best defensive end. I expect the secondary to play better but I’m not sure FSU can keep up with this running game on the edges.

James Blackman or whoever plays QB has to be more accountable in game and take what the play presents. If it’s a short throw, keep the ball moving and give yourselves another chance. Establishing an identity on offense has to be job number one. I think FSU can block Miami until somebody gets banged up.

Miami 34 - FSU 20

Jon Marchant:

Well, after the GT game I guess this team isn’t as far along as I thought they’d be, even if they looked marginally better in some areas. Maybe that’s what happens when other areas look worse than you expect. But then again, we’re talking about an unprecedented and unforgiving offseason. Perhaps we should have dialed down our expectations. Speaking specifically about this game, I agree with CoachAB that I don’t think Miami is a good matchup for FSU’s defense. They’ll exploit the youth at the second level.

FSU’s offense? I’ve no idea what to expect. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated with this team, but here we are again. I also want to echo the idea that Blackman and this staff need to mostly stick with 3-step drop shorter rhythm throws and pick their shot play opportunities judiciously. I hate the idea of losing to Miami. However, I’m pretty much just going to look for week to week improvement here in Year -1, especially if the final record doesn’t matter and FSU will be bowl-eligible anyway. I think Miami is very beatable, but I don’t think FSU has the roster/talent/experience to get it done. Not yet.

Miami 35 - FSU 17

Kevin Sugar-Tank Eeyore:

So this might not be a fun game. Miami presents all sorts of problems and FSU has proven incapable of solving even their own problems.

That said I think Miami has been able to take advantage of some mediocre defenses.

If the same FSU team from two weeks ago steps out onto the field then this could get out of hand quickly but if Mike Norvell is the coach we think he is then FSU should be able to salvage some pride and walk away with a

35-21 loss to Miami


I think D’Eriq King is going to be a pain all night long with his legs. A poor man’s Russell Wilson. He’ll scramble from sacks, spin out of a few, gain a ton of yards with his legs and at some point suck the defense in on a roll out and hit a big pass. Miami’s defensive line will make the running game hard. FSU’s only chance is if the Jordan Travis package of plays is extended and he plays lights out. Maybe he does half that and FSU scores 20.

Miami 34, FSU 20

Evan Johnson: I don’t think Miami is a great team by any means. They are certainly in the upper half of the ACC but probably not by much. On offense they are too reliant on the big play and on defense they can get out of position pretty easily. Unfortunately FSU is not a team that can take advantage of much of this. I’m hoping the ‘Noles play better than their last outing but even if they do the result will probably look worse.

Miami 35, FSU 14

NoleThruandThru: Miami is going to score on some big plays. How will FSU respond? I’m worried that the game gets out of hand and snowballs on FSU. Snowballs don’t do well in that heat.

Miami 34, FSU 17

ricobert1: FSU was a few missed explosive plays from forcing a difficult comeback win by GT. Boom-or-bust offenses are like that, but the defense looking bleh outside of the few splash plays is literally the last thing anyone expected. I could see FSU’s offense busting out a few big plays and scores, but unless we all of a sudden get superior front-7 play - UM’s offense is going to chew us up on the ground. Getting UM to passing downs will be a hard task, and even when we do I expect them to execute more than a few on the ground with King’s legs and FSU’s man coverage. Feels like a long night for the garnet & gold.

Miami 41, FSU 19

Austin Cox:

What type of performance are FSU faithful looking for from their team reeling from a meltdown season-opening loss two weeks ago and without its head coach? In 2017 against Clemson, Florida State was an 18-point underdog but trailed 17-14 in the 3rd quarter to the defending national champion in a season where the FSU coaching staff had a disconnect with the players. The Noles need to find some play-makers on both sides of the ball and quickly, but most importantly, the team needs to have the controlled adrenaline required for rivalry games that players like defensive end Brian Burns played with in that aforementioned 2017 game. That is the type of effort FSU fans want to see on Saturday- don’t fold when you face adversity, try to keep the game close, and above all, play with some pride.

The point is- Florida State still has the talent to compete with Miami every day of the week. I think that in the past two seasons (0-6 in rivalry games), FSU has struggled with their mindset and emotions heading into games against Florida, Clemson, and Miami. This current roster of players normally seem to have the correct heightened sense of the importance of rivalries, but unlike more successful stretches in FSU history, they often fail to convert that energy to a higher level of play between the hashmarks when the lights come on.

Now in 2020, this coaching staff will try take a small step towards legitimacy in rivalry games in this tough situation with Mike Norvell out in just his second game as head coach. If FSU could somehow muster a strong performance against the Canes, it could do wonders for their overall season outlook. Unfortunately, this game will be much closer than the final score indicates- the Noles will play well in the first quarter and hang in there for a half. But no painful, last-minute field goal attempt this season as Miami quarterback D’Eriq King is far too much to handle with three total touchdowns in the second half.

Miami 45, Florida State 17

Matt Minnick:

Can the OL stay healthy for more than a quarter? Will Blackman take what the defense gives him, whether that’s an explosive play or a solid chain-mover? Do the receivers actually hold on to the football when it is delivered accurately? Can the d-ends maintain their leverage and keep King from running wild? Will the LBs make positive plays of any kind?

Answer all of these questions with a “yes” and FSU walks out of Doak South with a win. But that seems fairly unlikely.

Florida State puts forth a performance that would have won the GT game, but still can’t get the W against the ‘Canes.

Miami 30, FSU 20


Not a whole lot of confidence in the offense to resemble anything productive, as Miami is a significant step up from Georgia Tech’s second string defensive line. Missing the head coach on the sidelines certainly won’t help things. On the other side of the ball, Brevin Jordan will be a nightmare matchup for the defense, and King will have a night if the FSU defensive line fails to generate pressure like it did against Georgia Tech. Until we see any objective improvement, I have little reason for optimism. Maybe we’ll see a series with Rodemaker or Chubba. That’s about all I can muster until objective improvement is seen.

Miami 31, FSU 10

Perry Kostidakis:

Miami, through two games, has shown it has an ability to make plays on both sides of the ball. Florida State, through one game, has struggled with consistently executing on either front.

Chalk it up to a weird offseason, to jitters, to having to get a monkey of the team’s back to deer-in-the-headlights turtling (I’m leaning in hard on the animal references here apparently) but Florida State, after looking completely different for the first few minutes of the game, went back to the same play we’ve seen since Jimbo Fisher’s final year.

Does that get corrected in two weeks, and the result is FSU carries an iPad featuring Mike Norvell on Facetime off the field? Not likely, but man, would I watch that movie. The expectation and hope here should be seeing the Seminoles fight hard, consistently and efficiently, even when things start to go poorly. Those sound like low stakes, but that’s the next step for Florida State — fully embody the idea that how you do anything is how you do anything, and then the results will come from there.

Miami 28, FSU 13