November 14, 2014 - by

First and 10: No. 2 Florida State at Miami

No. 2 Florida State (9-0, 6-0 ACC) at Miami (6-3, 3-2 ACC)

When/Where: Saturday, 8 p.m., Sun Life Stadium (76,100)

TV/Radio: ESPN/Seminole IMG Radio Network (103.1 FM in Tallahassee)

Miami Hurricanes

Coach: Al Golden (28-18 in four seasons at Miami, 55-52 overall)

Last game: Duke Johnson torched North Carolina for 226 total yards and three touchdowns in a 47-20 rout over the Tar Heels on Nov. 1. The victory extended UM’s season-long winning streak to three. Freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya had an efficient day, completing 11 of 17 passes for 189 yards and three scores.

Last game vs. Florida State:  Playing against his hometown team, Miami native Devonta Freeman posted career highs for all-purpose yards (176) and touchdowns (3) as the third-ranked FSU cruised to a 41-14 victory over the undefeated Hurricanes on Nov. 2, 2013.

Miami vs. Florida State all-time: Miami leads the all-time series 31-27. Since UM joined the ACC in 2004, FSU is 7-4 against the Hurricanes.

FSU vs. Miami since 1990

1990: No. 9 MIAMI 31, No. 2 Florida State 22

1991: No. 2 Miami 17, No. 1 FLORIDA STATE 16

1992: No. 2 MIAMI 19, No. 3 Florida State 16

1993: No. 1 FLORIDA STATE 28, No. 3 Miami 10

1994: No. 14 MIAMI 34, No. 3 Florida State 20

1995: No. 1 FLORIDA STATE 41, Miami 17

1996: No. 3 Florida State 34, No. 6 MIAMI 16

1997: No. 4 FLORIDA STATE 47, Miami 0

1998: No. 8 Florida State 26, MIAMI 14

1999: No. 1 FLORIDA STATE 31, Miami 21

2000: No. 4 MIAMI 27, No. 1 Florida State 24

2001: No. 2 Miami 47, No. 14 FLORIDA STATE 29

2002: No. 1 MIAMI 28, No. 9 Florida State 27

2003: No. 2 Miami 22, No. 5 FLORIDA STATE 14

2003: No. 10 Miami 16, No. 9 Florida State 14 (Orange Bowl)

2004: No. 5 MIAMI 16, No. 4 Florida State 10 (OT)

2005: No. 14 FLORIDA STATE 10, No. 9 Miami 7

2006: No. 11 Florida State 13, No. 12 MIAMI 10

2007: Miami 37, FLORIDA STATE 29

2008: Florida State 41, MIAMI 39

2009: Miami 38, No. 18 FLORIDA STATE 34

2010: No. 24 Florida State 45, MIAMI 17

2011: FLORIDA STATE 23, Miami 19

2012: No. 12 Florida State 33, MIAMI 20

2013: No. 3 FLORIDA STATE 3, No. 7 Miami

2014: No. 2 Florida State at MIAMI, Nov. 15, 8 p.m.

  • Florida State and Miami are set to meet for the 59th time in a rivalry that dates back to 1951. The Seminoles are undefeated and ranked third in the College Football Playoff standings. Miami, meanwhile, is 6-3, but appears to be hitting its stride as the end of the regular season draws near. The Hurricanes have won three straight games by an average of 24 points.
  • Speaking of the playoff rankings, the selection committee raised eyebrows this week when it moved one-loss Oregon past FSU and into the No. 2 spot despite the fact that Oregon has a loss and the Seminoles remain undefeated. Committee chairman Jeff Long said that the difference between Oregon and FSU is “razor thin” but that “based on this week’s body of work and all things considered” Oregon had a slight edge over FSU.  The committee will choose the four teams that compete in the inaugural College Football Playoff at the end of the season.
  • Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is a perfect 4-0 against Miami since taking over as head coach in 2010. His 7-1 run against rivals UM and Florida is unmatched by any coach in FSU history.
  • Miami features one of the nation’s best players in its backfield. Junior running back Duke Johnson has run for 1,213 yards (7.7 yards per carry), added another 273 through the air and has scored 11 touchdowns. He ripped off 249 yards in a recent matchup against Virginia Tech and had a 90-yard touchdown run in UM’s last game against North Carolina.
  • Reinforcements are on the way for FSU’s injury-depleted roster. Coach Jimbo Fisher said earlier this week that he expects running back Mario Pender to be available for the first time in a month, and linebacker Terrance Smith (knee) should be good to go, too. Even better, the Seminoles could welcome back starting center Austin Barron, who has missed four games with a broken arm. “He’s ready to roll,” Fisher said. “He’ll be right back and ready to play.”
  • With a win, Florida State will clinch its third straight ACC Atlantic division title and fourth in five years under Fisher. The Hurricanes are still in the hunt for their first Coastal division title. They sit third with a tiebreaker over first-place Duke but a loss to second-place Georgia Tech.

One offensive and defensive player from each team who could swing the game

 Miami: Johnson rightly grabs his share of attention, but Miami’s hopes in this one could hinge largely on freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya. He arrived with a four-star pedigree but was thrust into action following the departure of assumed starter Ryan Williams. After struggling to losses in two of his first four games, Kaaya seems to have found his stride. He’s got 20 touchdowns against just nine interceptions and leads the ACC in passing touchdowns, pass efficiency and yards per completion.

Turnovers are always important, especially in a rivalry game played on the road and at night. Miami defensive back Deon Bush is tied for second in the nation with four forced fumbles this season, and the Hurricanes are in a tie for fifth with 11 fumble recoveries on the season.

Florida State: It feels like cheating to say Rashad Greene, since he’s been so outstanding on a consistent basis. But Greene is coming off a career performance (13 catches, 136 yards and a TD against Virginia) and this game could be his last chance to show out in his adopted hometown. And Greene will likely need to be at his best against a Miami secondary that ranks 10th nationally against the pass.

We saw last week what a healthy Mario Edwards means to FSU’s defense. He was a force from the outset, causing a fumble on UVA’s first play, and posted career-best numbers in the win. If Edwards can play at that level again, he’ll be a disruptive force to Kaaya and maybe even Johnson.

Total offense: FSU: 449.8 YPG (38th nationally); UM: 436.9 (44th)

Scoring offense:  FSU: 37.9 PPG (15th); UM: 33.0 PPG (42nd)

Passing offense: FSU: 319.9 YPG (10th); UM: 237.6 YPG (60th)

Rushing offense: FSU: 135.7 YPG (101st); UM: 199.3 (37th)

Total defense: FSU: 374.0 YPG (49th); UM: 312.4 (11th)

Scoring defense: FSU: 22.4 PPG (32nd); UM: 21.9 PPG (25th)

Passing defense: FSU: 238.8 YPG (81st); UM: 180.6 YPG (10th)

Rushing defense: FSU: 135.7 YPG (35th); UM: 131.9 (31st)

                                                             

“I thought the name of the game was to keep winning. I don’t know what (message) they’re trying to send or what’s trying to go on. … we’ve just got to control what we can control and keep playing well.” — FSU coach Jimbo Fisher on FSU’s place in the College Football Playoff rankings.

“You come to Miami to beat Florida State. It’s been four years and we haven’t beaten them. It’s been a rough road in that sense, but we have a great shot coming up this Saturday.” – Miami lineman Shane McDermott on what a win over FSU would mean for Miami.

“They’re doing well. Starting to get better and starting to win. The confidence of the team – and they’re taking it in a rivalry game and having it at home – it’s different. It’s definitely going to be a hostile environment and it’s going to be a tough game. Blood, sweat and tears out there.” – FSU running back Karlos Williams on what he expects to see from the Hurricanes on Saturday.

“That’s definitely one of the things we want to do — bother him, bother him early. Hit him, hit him often.” – Mario Edwards on FSU’s approach to stopping UM quarterback Brad Kaaya.

  • FSU has won 25 straight games dating back to 2012. A win over Miami on Saturday would tie FSU with Nebraska (1994-86) for the second-longest streak of the last 20 years. Miami (2000-02) holds the top mark with 34.
  • The Seminoles also own four straight victories at Miami. They haven’t lost to the Hurricanes on the road since Sept. 10, 2004.
  • Since 1988, the team that runs for more yards in the FSU-UM series has won 20 of the last 27 meetings.
  • Rashad Greene recently surpassed former Clemson star Sammy Watkins for third place in ACC history in receptions (242). Greene leads the conference in receiving yards (989), yards per game (109.9), catches (71) and catches per game (7.9)
  • FSU boasts six scholarship players from Miami – DT Fredrick Jones, RB Dalvin Cook, OG Ruben Carter, WR Jesus Wilson, LB Matthew Thomas and DE Desmond Hollin.

It’s somewhat slim pickings in the video department this week. But this collection of home movies from Miami in the early 1950s is pretty cool. You just might have to provide your own music.

 

There’s just something unique about the Florida State-Miami game. Some of the defining moments in each programs’ history have come in games against the other – yes, often times at FSU’s expense.

It’s undeniable, though, that the Seminoles have gotten the better of UM in recent years and that Miami’s home-field advantage hasn’t been quite the same since it left the Orange Bowl.

Still, if there were ever a time when the Hurricanes were going to rise up and put together a complete game, this would be it. There’s a primetime T.V. broadcast, a stadium that will likely be sold out by kickoff and an undefeated, top-ranked rival coming to town.

FSU should expect a challenge. The Seminoles have shown themselves this year to be a better team than Miami and, more importantly, should have an advantage at the quarterback position, where reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston is pitted against freshman Brad Kaaya, who will be playing in the biggest contest of his young life. But this is the FSU-Miami game. Strange things happen. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if this one is tight in the fourth quarter.

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