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FSU vs. Miami: Staff predictions

Will it be a hard afternoon at Hard Rock?

NCAA Football: Florida State at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State vs. Miami. It just never gets old. But this one could get pretty tiresome for Seminole fans if FSU doesn’t come ready to play from the opening kick. Still, this series has a history of seeing the underdog put up quite a fight, and as is such, our staff picks are all over the place, as you’ll see below.

Evan Johnson:

There is a way for FSU to beat Miami. However, there’s not a ton that the Seminoles can do to get there. Certainly they’ll have to play their best game of the year, but even that might not be enough. ’Nole fans are going to have to hope N’Kosi Perry goes a bit sideways, which is possible considering he only has one start under his belt, so he is a bit inexperienced. I think FSU is going to have to be at least +2 in the turnover category, with one of those turnovers resulting in a score or directly setting one up. The run game, which has been okay but not great, needs to be great against Miami. They need to at least maintain their current success rate but really need a bunch of explosive plays. Finally, Florida State has to win special teams by either getting a couple of scores or setting the ’Noles up with good field position.

Even with all of that, I’m not sure FSU can keep the game close. Unfortunately, Miami has done a good job of recruiting and developing talent the last few years, while FSU has only done one of those well. Also, Deondre Francois is either not particularly interested or capable of running the offense correctly, and it really hampers what the rest of the team can do. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, if at all. Miami 37, FSU 10


Another chapter in the FSU-Miami rivalry will be written on Saturday, and on paper, everything seems to lead to a comfortable Miami victory. To be sure, FSU will have to strike early and handily win the turnover margin to have a solid chance at winning this game. Everything in my mind says that this Hurricanes team will be too much to overcome. But this is a rivalry dammit, and the heart wants what it wants.

FSU 24, Miami 23


Trey Rowland:

Mick Foley was outgunned in 1999.

The lovable underdog was set to go against The Rock for the WWF title and was expected by everyone to lose. Foley was tough, but this toughness led to a litany of injuries that were expected to be exploited by his more athletic opponent. During the match, Foley was beaten, battered and utterly abused...yet he persisted.

He took The Rock’s best and never wavered. He persevered, caught a couple of lucky breaks, and became one of the most improbable champions in the history of his great sport. An epic story to be sure, but what does it have to do with this game?

The Rock went to Miami.

I fully expect Robert Cooper to be carried off the field like this.

’Noles 27 Light Drizzles 24

Dakota Moyer:

Remember a couple of years ago when Florida State beat the brakes off of Miami? When it was so clearly obvious that the Seminoles were the better team? When players like Jameis Winston, Dalvin Cook, and DeMarcus Walker wrecked havoc against Miami and the ’Canes had no solution to anything Florida State threw at them?

So like that, but opposite.

Miami 34, Florida State 13


I’m gonna ignore the fact that Dak just likened, slightly, N’Kosi Perry, Travis Miner, and Joe Jackson to three FSU greats and just get right into my prediction. FSU wins: why? because FSU’s defensive line will takeover, that’s why. Marvin Wilson and Demarcus Christmas will feast, honey fried chicken style; Trinidad Terry scores two more TDs, because he hasn’t met a DB yet that he can’t run by; Burns gets to Perry twice, and FSU wins the turnover battle 3 to 1 en route to a:

FSU 21 Miami 20 result.

Miami fans are left clutching their pearls, I mean replica turnover chains in anger:

Jon Marchant:

This is big. It always is. FSU has momentum coming into this game, but the offense is still very much a work in progress and the defense, perhaps surprisingly, emerged from the Louisville game looking vulnerable. Miami has really good receivers, but a young, inexperienced quarterback.

Anything can happen in rivalry games, and they usually do. But relying on chaos isn’t a winning strategy. When a tropical storm sneaks up on you, there’s no need to panic or overthink it. You hunker down with some snacks and wait for it to pass. Next year you promise yourself you’ll be more prepared.

FSU 13 - 27 Miami


FSU starts slow. Francois gets sacked. Cam gets stuffed. The turnover chain reigns.

Miami 35, FSU 17

Austin DeWitt:

Where to even begin? My heart wants to go with the “throw out the record books” prediction that sees us steal a win, but every time I try to write it my rational self takes over and deletes it. I just keep thinking that FSU could play its best game of the year and still lose this one.

The ’Noles mounted the comeback against Louisville, but were fortunate that Jawon Pass couldn’t hit wide open receivers late in the game. It’s just his second start, but I think N’kosi Perry hits those receivers if given the opportunity, and I’m not confident the offense can match. Florida State will need to get up early and hold on for dear life.

There’s hope for the ’Noles, as my predictions have been WILDY inaccurate, but…

FSU 24, Miami 35

Matt Minnick:

On paper there’s not much to suggest that FSU can hang with Miami. But rivalry games aren’t played on paper and FSU has a long history of success in road games against “5 rangz.” A defensive slugfest early, FSU takes a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter on a nifty catch and run from DJ Matthews. Miami ties it up on a busted play in the secondary, but Florida State strikes again with a defensive score just before halftime (bust out the backpack, baby!).

Unfortunately, the third quarter woes rear their ugly heads yet again and Miami goes in front 17-14—a lead they never relinquish. FSU shows fight, but the improvement on the field isn’t quite enough to pull off a road win against a ranked opponent.

Miami 30, FSU 21



This will be the 40th FSU vs UM game in a row I will have watched or been at. I have seen things. I KNOW things.

I have witnessed a FSU 5 game win streak and a FSU 7 game win streak, but I also suffered through a UM 6 win streak, and of course their pathetic dated fallback, the 5 rAnGz yO.

I was there for the 1997 47-0 humiliating embarrassing cane beat down, which handed the canes their worst ever loss until Clemson upped us one in 2015, but I was also at the Seminole Rap game where my car had a tire slashed and my fender was kicked in.

This is the Noles vs canes rivalry, bitches. The ’Noles are going to rip out the canes hearts, take a bite out of it, spit it out, and stomp on it with their cleats. Then they’re going to cut out a piece of our own Doak South home sod, and bring it home for proper disposal where the losers remains are laid to rest.

FSU 31 - uM 21

David Visser:

I’ve heard others who cover FSU claim that the Seminoles have no shot to win this game, and while I think that’s going a bit too far, there are just so many things that have to happen for the ’Noles to come out on top. And so far this year, the breaks just haven’t been going Florida State’s way.

Yes, there’s been a plethora of bad luck. But there’s also been a litany of self-inflicted wounds, and FSU just doesn’t have enough margin of error to cover so many mistakes in this one, not on the road against a talented rival.

FSU 17, Miami 31

Want predictions from our Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith? Be sure to check in with the Nolecast.