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Greatest Games - Miami-Florida State, 1991

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 18, 2011


Miami's Greatest Games: Miami 17 … Florida State 16 November 16, 1991



CFN's Greatest Games

Miami 17, Florida St 16, 1991


Miami's Greatest Games
- 1984: Miami 31, Nebraska 30 | CFN All-Time Miami Team
- 1989: Miami 27, Notre Dame 10 | 1993: Alabama 34, Miami 13
- 1987: Penn State 14, Miami 10 | 1986: Miami 28, Oklahoma 16
- 1988: Notre Dame 31, Miami 30 | 1984: BC 47, Miami 45
- 1984: Maryland 42, Miami 40 | 1991: Miami 17, Florida St 16
- 1987: Miami 26, Florida St 25 | 2003: Ohio St 31, Miami 24 2OT

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Miami 17 … Florida State 16 November 16, 1991


Was this FINALLY the season Florida State would get Miami off its back?

The Hurricanes had ruined FSUs national title hopes in three of the previous four years, and this was supposed to be the season that Bobby Bowden had the right team at the right time to put it all together.

The top-ranked Seminoles hosted the hated second-ranked Hurricanes, and it looked like it would be all Miami as Gino Torretta easily marched the offense early to take an early lead on a two-yard Stephen McGuire touchdown run. FSU looked like it would come back quickly as Casey Weldon hit Amp Lee with a 51-yard pass down to the Miami two-yard line, but the Miami defense made an early statement.

The Hurricanes hadn’t given up a touchdown in the first half in any game, and they stiffened when needed, forcing the Noles settle for a Gerry Thomas field goal. After a Miami turnover, the FSU offense went right back to work getting it to the goal line again, and this time it finally scored on a fourth down touchdown run by Paul Moore. Thomas hit the extra point – this was significant.

Miami turned the ball over three times in the first half, but its defense saved the day time and again as FSU only held a 10-7 halftime lead. On the opening drive of the second half, Weldon - and backup Brad Johnson for a few snaps – cranked out yet another long drive, but once again settled for a Thomas field goal that just barely got through instead of a game-controlling touchdown.

All throughout the game, the Miami linebacking trio of Jesse Armstead, Michael Barrow and Darren Smith kept the Seminoles from blowing the game wide open, and they held yet again after another good FSU drive stalled. After a third Thomas field goal, the Noles were up 16-7 with 14:22 to play and with the defense doing a strong job of keeping the Cane offense under wraps. But after the swarming Florida State defense stopped a Hurricane drive, Miami’s Carlos Huerta connected on a 45-yard field goal to make it a one score game.

After getting the ball back, Miami went on a nice drive but was faced with fourth-and-six from the FSU 12. The Canes went for it and Torretta completed a pass to Horace Copeland to the three. Larry Jones punched it in and Huerta nailed the extra point to give Miami the lead with just over three minutes to play, but FSU went back on the march.

The Noles countered with a good drive and converting on a fourth-and-one to keep the game alive. Then, Weldon took a shot at the end zone resulting in a pass interference and putting the ball on the Miami 18 with :53 to play with FSU down one. After one running play and spiking the ball to stop the clock, Thomas came on the field for a 34-yard try. FSUs other kicker, Dan Mowrey, normally kicked the long field goals, but Bowden chose to go with the hot hand - or foot - in Thomas.

Set up on the left hash mark, the ball went up, and Florida State started to celebrate, but the ball went wide right.

The Canes went on to win the national title.

Had the game been played the year before, Florida State would’ve won as the width of the goal posts had been narrowed before the 1991 season. Miami went on to share the national championship with Washington, while Florida State wouldn’t lose again. The following year, Mowrey pushed a last-second game-tying field goal wide attempt right against the Canes. 4. Boston College 47 … Miami 45 November 23, 1984

Yes, everyone knows all know about, arguably, the most famous play in college football history, the Doug Flutie-to-Gerard Phelan Hail Mary, but this game was so much more.

Played the day after Thanksgiving, and two weeks after the Hurricanes blew a 31-0 lead to lose to Maryland the biggest comeback game in the history of college football, both teams came out smoking.

In a game that resembled a pinball game, the points were flying fast and furious even though it was windy, rainy, and stormy. Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar threw for 447 yards and two touchdowns, while UM running back Melvin Bratton ran for 134 yards and four scores including what appeared to be the game-winning run with 28 seconds to play.

Fine, so this is only remembered for The Play.

With time running out, and down 45-41 and 48 yards away, Flutie ran to his right; narrowly averted a sack, and then let he it fly, letting it go from around his own 37-yard line, meaning the 5-9 quarterback would have to wing it more than 63 yards after already throwing it 45 times and scrambling around all game long.

Amazingly enough, Phelan had gotten behind the Miami secondary, with the Canes thinking there was no way Flutie could throw it that far – there was no way he could get it to the end zone. The ball came straight down and untouched over the mass of players and into Phelan’s arms – which was supposedly the hard part, as he had to adjust for the ball not getting tipped - for the improbable win.

Phelan finished with 11 catches for 226 yards, while Flutie completed 34-of-46 passes for 476 yards, three touchdowns, one miracle, and one Heisman Trophy. Boston College would finish the season 10-2 and ranked fifth in the nation. Miami went on to lose to UCLA in the Fiesta Bowl.

Miami's Greatest Games
- 1984: Miami 31, Nebraska 30 | CFN All-Time Miami Team
- 1989: Miami 27, Notre Dame 10 | 1993: Alabama 34, Miami 13
- 1987: Penn State 14, Miami 10 | 1986: Miami 28, Oklahoma 16
- 1988: Notre Dame 31, Miami 30 | 1984: BC 47, Miami 45
- 1984: Maryland 42, Miami 40 | 1991: Miami 17, Florida St 16
- 1987: Miami 26, Florida St 25 | 2003: Ohio St 31, Miami 24 2OT