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Staff predictions: FSU vs. Miami

Brilliance ensues.

Miami v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Throw the records out? Nah. Because these teams each coming in at 4-4 is an apt reflection of their respective mediocrity. To the braintrust (or something):

Juan Montalvo III:

Tesla vs Edison. AC vs DC. Up quarks vs down quarks. Airbus vs Boeing. SMU vs TCU. Ming Dynasty vs Qing Dynasty.

Rivalries are about more than pure hatred. They are about more than pure competition. They are about a pair which are simultaneously incompatible and symbiotic. The competition breeds growth. It breeds familiarity, and its kin contempt.

Oh and what contempt FSU vs Miami breeds. College graduates vs aspiring sanitation engineers. Doak Campbell Stadium vs whatever Dade County Pet Food Packager Has A Few Spare Bucks This Week Stadium. Bowden vs some random guy. 3 National Championships vs 5 RaNgZ yO!

A clash of color TV era college football titans whose histories are inextricably linked. Two relatively new powers whose cycles seemed to coalesce for decades, and are now diverging. FSU may not be rising steadily, but Miami has been mired in mediocrity since the middle Coker years. The idea of Another Canes Championship has not been realized since Miami joined the ACC; the Canes have only played for an ACC title one time.

Both are mediocre. Both have quarterback “controversies” with no one winning, poor offensive linemen and rosters ill befit to their historic greatness.

Kendal Briles will manufacture points for his team despite a poor matchup up front - he has shown this is part of his wizardry. The same cannot be said for Dan Enos, to date.

This game will be what the last decade plus of FSU Miami is: a sloppy, chippy, poorly played but tightly contested affair. And like most of the last decade, FSU will come out on top narrowly.

This is arguably the defining game of Willie Taggart’s tenure at FSU. It could be the turning point, in either direction, for the Taggart era of FSU.

FSU 27, Miami 20


Neither team can block each other; seriously this game might set offensive-line play back a couple of years. So when you’ve got two teams that cant block each other and can’t sustain drives who wins?

The team with more explosive plays, the team that can hit a bomb or two to flip the field or get in the endzone.

For Miami, the QB that has shown that he can do that is N’Kosi Perry but he’s not starting, Jarren Williams is.

For FSU, that QB is Cam Akers.

I’ll take Cam over both along with DJ returning another punt for a TD.

FSU 21 Miami 17


The offenses in this game could look very ugly. Miami will start who are QB? Is Cam QB1 for FSU? What a mess!

I anticipate there will be turnovers by both sides. Who ends up with more is the big question? Keep a close eye on the middle of Miami’s defense. If FSU Is getting some good push then that bodes well for the Noles.

I’m afraid Miami has to much on the edges and FSU just can’t keep themselves ahead of the chains.

Miami 27-FSU 24


If FSU plays Hornibrook or Blackman at quarterback for the majority of the game, I think the Seminoles will lose. If they decide to try the “WildCam”/“QB3” and stick with this offense, FSU might pull this one off. It really boils down to if FSU’s OL is able to block Miami. With the wildcat offense, FSU could possibly keep the Hurricane’s line off balance. In the end, I am not sure the coaches will commit to Cam and as a result will lose.

Miami 21, FSU 17

Trey Rowland:

Rivalries are the best. People can try to convince you that they’re great because of the competition, or the history, but we all know why rivalries are’s the hate baby!

Florida State and Miami hate each other. They have a great rivalry. Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva hated each other. They also had a great rivalry. It’s science, people.

Jackson and Silva’s fights were the stuff of legend in Japan’s PRIDE Fighting Championships and the UFC. The fights were heated, brutal, and bloody affairs. Sounds a lot like FSU and Miami over the years, no?

Silva sent Jackson’s nose “Wide Right”

Like any good rivalry, wins and losses were alternated.


At their best, Jackson-Silva was peak MMA, just like the glory days of FSU-Miami. In 2019, the game between the ’Noles and the Hurricanes resembles Jackson and Silva’s Bellator fight from 2018. It’s essentially a contest between 2 compromised, former greats.

Jackson came away with a victory in 2018 due to better defense, and I expect Miami to pull out the win on the road for the same reason.

FSU 21 Miami 24

Austin DeWitt:

The offensive line held up surprisingly well against a talented Syracuse defensive line, but Miami’s defense is a different beast. This will, without a doubt, be an ugly one. I think the offense will struggle, but the defense will get enough stops and eventually FSU hits on a few explosive plays.

There’s really no reasoning for this other than the fact that I’m making the four and a half hour trek up to Tallahassee for the game and I’m convincing myself we can win so I don’t have a bad time.

Something tells me FSU squeaks this one out.

Seminoles 24, Hurricanes 21

Kyle Griffis:

Double Agent Diaz, FSU Class of ‘95, appears to be doing fine work down in Coral Gables, despite his cover nearly being blown by Georgia Tech. #FMFFM

Florida State 24, Miami 23

Jon Marchant:

Nothing worth having comes easy, and if FSU wins this game they can restart their bowl streak since Alabama St shouldn’t pose an issue. There’s a lot riding on this game. I think it’s going to be close, contested, there’s gonna be a bunch of turnovers, some missed field goals, officiating shenanigans and chaos and punts and big plays and trash talking. In other words, stressful and awesome and impossible to predict who will win. Hopefully FSU finds a way. Also, Kyle stole my score.

FSU 24-23 Miami

Matt Minnick:

Last week’s domination of Syracuse brings me to 6-2 SU and 2-6 ATS. I really hope you’re only taking my straight up advice...

Here’s what I know about the FSU-Miami series after attending these rivalry games for more than 30 years:

F) The games are typically very close

M) The games are typically very hard hitting...though not always filled with great tackling

F) The games feature big plays made by speedy athletes on both sides of the ball

F) The games are often played in brilliant, mid-fall weather

M) The games have more penalties than the IRS rule book, with one flag 30 years ago being respectfully placed on an opposing player’s head

I expect all of these things to be true once again this season. Neither OL is even average, so big plays might be the only way points are scored. With FSU playing at home and the newfound threat of Cam Akers at QB, I’ll take the Seminoles to pull out another thrilling chapter in this storied rivalry.

FSU 20, Miami 17


After playing their best game of the season against Syracuse, I expect the Cnaes will accept the Noles invitation to come out and play.

Unfortunately, the Noles will talk with their pads, and play with the Cnaes heart. The FSU players know that as the season is winding down, this is a must win game in order to still have a chance to win the ACC Championship.

One team, one dream. First down to touchdowns, that’s how we roll. A team above all. Above all a team. Hey Cnaes, we’re the football team your mother warned you about. That’s all I got for this week.

Oh yeah I almost forgot, #FMFFM

FSU 38 - Cnaes 21

Perry Kostidakis:

Saturday, surely, will be full of hilarity on both sides, seeing as both teams seem to be the physical embodiment of a baby deer trying to walk. Miami will be trying to continue its first winning streak in the series since that 2004 benchmark and avoid going oh-fer against its two in-state blood enemies, and Florida State wants to get a little bit of bowl-eligible breathing room and close the gap on a series lead that was within its grasp just two years ago.

Miami has been super unlucky and bad this season, and Florida State has just been sorta unlucky and bad. A series defined by missed kicks might get a new chapter this Saturday, with both teams having kicker woes (though Florida State’s might be solved if Ricky Aguayo has gotten the children’s movie starring Robin Williams.)

Give me a missed Miami field goal to tie it followed by a long Cam Akers run to finish off the game.

Florida State 27, Miami 17

Evan Johnson:

I do not think either team is vastly superior to the other in this match up but I do think Miami is placed better to win this game. Miami struggles with their tackles in pass protection but FSU does not have any defensive ends. Jarren Williams struggles to push the ball downfield and holds onto it a bit too long. FSU doesn’t cover routes under 5 yards. Miami can struggle at times staying on schedule on the ground because they like to run outside and the offensive tackles aren’t that great. FSU is slow to fill with its linebackers and gives up good amount of yardage on outside runs.

It stays the same on the other side of the ball. Miami has really good pass rushers and FSU’s tackles are only slightly better than Miami’s. Miami doesn’t have to worry about the deep ball because Hornibrook can’t throw the ball more than 30 yards downfield with any authority. FSU’s best plays come on RPO and Miami has really good linebackers that are more difficult to attack.

I think using Cam at QB is a bit overblown. He looked good there against Syracuse but that defense is extremely different than Miami’s. I bet the Zephyrs shut that scheme down pretty well and Cam throws a pick or two if the ‘Noles force the issue.

However, this season Miami has lost three games they probably should have won and won two games they probably should have lost so maybe being the worse team on the field isn’t so bad against the Zephyrs.

FSU 10, Miami 24

David Visser:

Last year, Florida State got blown out on occasions, while winning some close games. This year, they’ve started putting some distance between themselves and lesser squads, which is a step in the right direction, but now the Seminoles are finding ways to lose close contests.

But there’s been one constant since Willie Taggart got to FSU: the ’Noles don’t win big games. This matchup provides yet another ugly installment to the series, and tension around the program continues to rise when Florida State drops a heartbreaker, 24-23.