By the time the first half was over, the Hurricanes had played arguably the strongest half in the history of the storied Florida State-Miami rivalry.
It was more than enough to coast to a win Saturday night.
Miami didn’t punt in the first half, scored 5 touchdowns on their first 5 possessions and grabbed a field goal on their sixth.
When the Mike Norvell-less Noles looked up at the scoreboard at halftime, they trailed by a stunning 38-3.
Cane quarterback D’Eriq King continued his strong start to 2020, slicing up the FSU secondary for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns, adding 8 carries for 65 yards on the ground.
Miami ate up field and game clock with touchdown drives of 13 plays and 19 plays on their first two possessions to go up 14-3. Florida State’s opening drive yielded a 14-play effort of their own, but they failed to punch it in and settled for a chip-shot field goal.
The wind was knocked from the collective sails of the Noles’ defense, forced to continuously take the field after four straight three-and-outs from a discombobulated offense.
A dangerous combination of a strong ground game and 11 of 18 on 3rd down from Miami blew away the Noles. The Canes outscored FSU 24-0 in the second quarter, and had 200 rushing yards for the game on 37 carries (5.4 yards per-carry).
Penalties, turnovers, and self-induced miscues did not help Florida State. All 3 quarterbacks who saw action tossed an interception. FSU had 12 penalties, setting them back 113 yards.
Coming out of the half, there was life for Florida State after all. FSU racked up more yards in their first two drives of the second half than they had the entire first half of play. With a chance to cut the lead to 21 with under 6 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter, redshirt junior quarterback James Blackman’s errant pass was batted into the air, landing into the hands of junior defensive back Al Blades Jr.
A 13-play, 77-yard drive punctuated by a Donald Chaney Jr. touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter made it 45-10 and iced the game.
True freshmen quarterback Tate Rodemaker saw his first action for Florida State, passing for 47 yards on 5 of 9 attempts. Lawrance Toafili, in his first extended playing time of the season, ran for 64 yards on 8 attempts, chipping in 2 catches for 35 yards.
Junior tight end Camren McDonald led FSU in receiving, hauling in all 6 of his targets for 58 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore linebacker Amari Gainer once again led the team with 7 total tackles.
FSU (0-2, 0-2 ACC) takes on FCS opponent Jacksonville State next Saturday at home.