Miami Looks to Make it Two Straight Against Rivals FSU: Game Preview

Written by: Darrell Wilkinson

The Miami Hurricanes will look for their first win at home against Florida State since 2004 when they face off against the Seminoles Saturday afternoon.


The 17th-ranked ‘Canes look to take advantage of a ‘Noles team that is struggling to figure out their identity and now could be the perfect time to sway recruits and further distance FSU’s seven game winning streak from current history and replace it with a win streak of their own. In this match-up however, anytime these teams take the field against each other the rankings go out the window, the rest of the season really doesn’t matter and it’s all about beating your rival. It could make or break a teams season and has done so before.


Miami is coming off of a 47 to 10 domination of UNC last Thursday which will give the team an edge in terms of rest and preparation while Florida State rallied from a 24 to 14 deficit against Louisville in the fourth quarter and found a way to win 28 to 24. The key match-up in this one is the ‘Canes defensive line against FSU’s offensive line that needs to protect Noles’ quarterback Deondre Francois if they’re going to survive. Miami’s defense leads the nation with 60 tackles for loss, 12 more than the next closest team in that category and just shows the dominating year this team is having.


It starts up front. I think Jess Simpson is doing a great job with our defensive linemen. Remember, it was only a month ago that we were worried about how our guys up front would handle the departures that we had.” Said Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz on why his team is so good at producing tackles for loss. “But we’re attacking blocks up front. Our linebackers are very active. We’re experienced at linebacker, so guys know how to hit their gaps. If they can’t run the ball in a straight line, they have to run sideways. Once they take the ball of the line and run sideways, you have a chance to tackle him for a loss. That’s really what it’s all about.”


The Hurricanes defensive domination shows up in several other categories as the ‘Canes defense leads the nation in third down percentage(.171), passing yards allowed(138.8 YPG), 2nd in total defense(244.8 YPG), tied-4th in turnovers gained(12), and tied-16th in scoring defense(16.8 PPG).


‘Canes Head Coach Mark Richt summed it up best in his presser on Tuesday. “We all know what a big game it is. We all know what’s at stake. We’re excited about playing it, and I’m sure they are too.”

Prediction: Miami 31 – FSU 24


            I’m going with the ‘Canes here and i’m basing most of that on how well Miami’s defense has been performing and a little on the promising start we’ve seen to N’Kosi Perry’s career as the ‘Canes starting quarterback. Perry will minimize the mistakes on the offense while the defense will maximize Florida State’s mistakes. Also with safety Jaquan Johnson back practicing and looking like he’ll suit up Saturday only adds to the confidence I have in Miami’s defense.


Once again, when these two teams face off forget everything. Forget their records, forget the rankings and remember this is Miami vs Florida State, one of the greatest rivalries in college football history. It’s going to get ugly, it’s going to be scrappy and both teams are going to do whatever it takes to come out on top. This isn’t only for a W in one column and a L in the other, it’s for recruiting, pride, community bragging rights, the whole nine yards. This is what college football is all about.


Miami vs FSU will kickoff at 3:30PM/EST Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium and can be seen LIVE on ABC, don’t miss it.


  • Darrell Wilkinson
  • Twitter: @TheSkyBoat
  • @DarrellW_Sports
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