Sept. 10, 2004
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) – Frank Gore’s 18-yard touchdown run in overtime gave No. 5 Miami a 16-10
victory over No. 4 Florida State on Friday night.
The Hurricanes, playing their first game as a member of the Atlantic Coast
Conference, extended their winning streak over the Seminoles to six games.
“Are all the games like this in the ACC?” Miami coach Larry Coker said.
“I may not like this league.”
The Hurricanes, who used to be in the Big East, won this one with defense.
The Seminoles’ offense did little during regulation and even less in
overtime. After a holding call put Florida State in a first-and-20, Antrel
Rolle sniffed out a screen pass for an 8-yard loss. Chris Rix connected with
Craphonso Thorpe for a 15-yard gain on second down, but Rix fumbled on third
down and Miami’s Thomas Carroll recovered.
Gore scored on Miami’s second play.
“We never got tired; we were hungry all the way to the end,” Coker said.
“It’s a monumental experience, a game you’ll remember for the rest of your
life. It was just a great finish, a great finish.”
The game was originally scheduled to be played last Monday but was postponed
four days because of Hurricane Frances. A grandson and a former son-in-law of
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden were killed last Sunday when their car was hit
a by a utility truck that was helping to restore power outages caused by the
Miami (1-0) scored 16 straight points in the fourth quarter after Florida
State (0-1) took a 10-0 lead by capitalizing on two turnovers.
The Hurricanes also got some help from a missed field goal – something that
has defined this rivalry.
Florida State’s Xavier Beitia had a 34-yarder blocked with 3:58 to play. The
kick would have sealed a victory for the Seminoles. Instead, it gave Miami the
ball back with a chance to tie the game.
“We had our chance to put them away and we didn’t,” Bowden said. “They
had a chance to put us away and they did.”
Brock Berlin drove the Hurricanes 80 yards in five plays and 52 seconds. He
connected with Sinorice Moss for a 30-yard touchdown with 30 seconds to play,
and the extra point tied the game at 10.
After Miami tied the game, the Seminoles took a few shots deep, but the game
went to overtime.
It was the third meeting in less than 11 months for the in-state rivals.
Rix threw two interceptions and fumbled twice, including the crucial one in
overtime. He finished 12-of-28 for 108 yards – and Bowden hinted that he might
make a change.
“It wasn’t good, it wasn’t the performance I expected,” Bowden said of
Rix. “But you don’t want to blame it on one guy. It’s going to fall on the
responsibility of the coaching staff to do the right thing in regards to his
Florida State couldn’t run the ball, either, gaining just 57 yards – the
lowest in the series since 1994.
The Hurricanes had plenty of chances to win this one in regulation.
Following Rix’s second interception, Berlin hooked up with Moss for a
63-yard gain early in the fourth quarter. Then Berlin connected with Greg Olsen
for another 22 yards, setting up a first-and-goal at the 2. But the Hurricanes
couldn’t punch it in.
Gore was stuffed for no gain on first down, Berlin scrambled for a yard on
second and then misfired on third.
Jon Peattie hit the 19-yard chip shot early in the fourth for Miami’s first
Peattie also missed two field goal attempts earlier in the game. He missed a
52-yarder as time expired in the first half and was wide right on a 42-yarder
late in the third quarter.
The Hurricanes had a chance to try another field goal in the third, but
Coker opted to go for it on fourth-and-4 from the 32. Berlin threw an
incomplete pass. It was something Miami saw much of the night as Berlin
misfired short and deep.
He finished 20-of-36 for 255 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Gore ran 18 times for 89 yards.
Florida State’s offense, meanwhile, was outmatched against Miami’s defense.
The Seminoles lost for just the seventh time in ACC play.
“Our defense just stayed with it, and our offense finally made some big
plays to give us a chance to win,” Coker said.
No rivalry has affected the national championship picture as much as Florida
State-Miami over the last two decades.
Either the Seminoles or Hurricanes have played for the title 13 times in the
last 21 years, including six of the last eight. And only twice – Miami in 1989
and Florida State in 2000 – has the series loser been able to play for it all.
Now the game could decide the ACC, too.
The Seminoles have won 11 of 12 league titles since joining the conference
in 1992. But they could find it tough to win this season. They probably will
need the Hurricanes to lose twice to have a chance.