2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 11, Miami at Florida St
ACC Fearless Predictions &
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Nov. 12 at Florida State 23 … Miami 19
CFN Analysis: Florida State committed ten penalties, but it didn’t turn the ball over and it didn’t make a whole slew of mistakes. However, it played just well enough to not get beat, and it almost got beat. The offense struggled in the second half managing just two field goals. … E.J. Manuel had an efficient game, even if he wasn’t making things happen on third down conversions. He completed 17-of-23 passes for 196 yards and a score. … Nigel Bradham was all over the field with a team-leading ten tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. … The Noles are on a five-game winning streak. Virginia might be a tougher battle than the regular-season finale against Florida.
The defensive front was great at getting into the backfield with pressure coming from all angles. The Canes finished with eight tackles for loss with three sacks. It was good enough in the second half to let the offense get back in the game. … Jacory Harris might not have had the game he was hoping for, but he stepped up late and finished with a solid 225 yards and a score with one pick. … With three turnovers and nine penalties, the Canes didn’t exactly play a focused, tight game early on. … As flaky as this season has been, next week’s game at South Florida is hardly a given. It might take a win over Boston College just to go bowling. However, all five losses so far, throwing Maryland in the mix, were by a touchdown or less.
(AP) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Greg Reid scored on an 83-yard punt return and Dustin Hopkins kicked three field goals Saturday to lead Florida State to a 23-19 win over longtime nemesis Miami.
Florida State (7-3, 5 -2 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 17-7 at the half and held Miami to its lowest scoring total of the season. The Hurricanes had scored at least 21 points in each of their previous nine games.
Florida State has won five straight games since an early-season three-game slide knocked them out of the rankings and a possibility at an ACC championship. Clemson clinched the Atlantic Division with its win Saturday over Wake Forest.
Miami (5-5, 3-4 ACC) couldn't overcome three early turnovers, but made it interesting late in the game with a pair of 80-yard scoring drives culminated by 1-yard runs by Mike James.
The Hurricanes led just once in the game at 7-3 on Jacory Harris' 2-yard throw to tight end Clive Watford in the second quarter before Florida State scored 20 unanswered points to build its lead to 23-7 early in the fourth quarter on Hopkins' third field goal. Miami's lead came on Harris' 2-yard TD pass to Clive Walford, but Florida State quickly regained the lead at 10-7 when Rodney Smith beat two Miami defenders in the end zone to grab a 21-yard throw from Manuel with 4:42 left in the half.
Reid's 83-yard punt return with 51 seconds left in the second quarter gave the Seminoles a 17-7 lead. Reid, who led the nation in punt returns two years ago as a freshman, fielded Dalton Bott's punt on one bounce and raced straight up the middle of the field untouched to the end zone. He finished his day's work with 106 yards on three punt returns.
Miami dominated the early going in a lengthy, bizarre first half delayed by five video replays, including a time-consuming double reversal where the initial replay call to overturn an officials decision was reversed. The second reversal, however, appeared to get that call correct.
By the time Florida State managed to gets its initial first down midway through the second quarter on EJ Manuel's 24-yard pass to Christian Green, Miami had outgained the Seminoles 165 yards to 13.
But three costly first half turnovers kept them from adding points. The Hurricanes used more than seven minutes on a lengthy drive from its own one to the Florida State nine before Harris was intercepted in the end zone by Florida State's Lamarcus Joyner.
The Hurricanes were haunted by three turnovers in the first half and trailed by 10 points despite having limited Florida State to 87 yards and three first downs.
Neither quarterback really got untracked. Harris completed 20 of 31 passes for 225 yards and an interception while Manuel, who was playing in this vaunted series for the first time, was 17 of 23 for 196 yards and suffered three sacks.
Hopkins' last two field goals gave Florida State a 23-7 lead with 11:07 left in the game. His second field goal made it 20-7 after the Seminoles failed to punch it in after an 83-yard opening drive in the second half.
Hopkins 37-yard field goal was the only scoring in a wild first quarter when both teams avoided potentially disastrous mistakes.
Florida State appeared to score on the game's first play from scrimmage when Joyner scooped up an apparent fumble by Miami receiver Allen Hurns and returned it 34 yards, But the touchdown ruling on the field was overturned by replay officials who decided Hurns didn't have possession long enough. It was instead called an incomplete pass.
But Florida State also dodged a bullet when Manuel's desperation pass near his own goal line was initially ruled a safety with the Seminoles leading 3-0. It was that call that led to a lengthy interruption as the replay booth overruled the field officials and the points were put on the scoreboard -- for a short time. That decision was rescinded as the final ruling in which Manuel's feet were still outside of the end zone, which TV replays appeared to confirm.
It was the first time in six years the home team won. The game was played four days shy of the 20th anniversary of Miami's 17-16 win over the Seminoles in a 1991 matchup of unbeaten teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2. Florida State's Gerry Thomas missed a 34-yard field goal in the final seconds after hitting his first three that day.
Miami, which still needs a win to become bowl eligible, visits South Florida next Saturday before hosting Boston College in its season finale, Nov. 25.
Miami (5-4) at Florida State (6-3) Nov. 12, 3:30, ESPN
Here’s The Deal … No, this storied rivalry doesn’t enjoy the same national notoriety as it did during the heyday of the 1980s and 1990s. Yes, it still matters in a big way to both programs and campuses.
Miami vs. Florida State is always a big deal, even when neither participant is in the hunt for a national title, let alone an ACC crown. There’s a genuine dislike for one another that transcends how the outcome will impact the standings or the polls. The recent history between the two has been odd, with the underdog winning the last six games, and the visitor taking the last five. For Hurricanes head coach Al Golden, this will be his first foray into the heated series. His maiden Hurricanes team has been wildly inconsistent, as evidenced by its mediocre 5-4 mark. The same team that’s lost games to Maryland and Virginia has also beaten Ohio State and Georgia Tech. The ‘Canes are still trying to find an identity, while also seeking that sixth win required for bowl eligibility.
Although Florida State won’t fully recover from its damning three-game losing streak that began in September, it has begun the healing process with four consecutive victories. The Seminoles are not going to contend for the Atlantic Division title, and haven’t beaten a ranked team, but they have rescued a season that appeared headed for a garage sale. A 10-win season, a bowl victory and a spot in the final polls are the remaining goals for a school that’s showing signs of finally approaching its preseason hype.
Why Miami Might Win: Okay, so Duke was playing defense, but the Hurricanes are just thrilled to be back on track offensively. QB Jacory Harris continued to redeem himself as a senior, throwing three touchdowns without a pick for the fourth time in the last five games. He’s been a different distributor under Golden, making better decisions, and helping transform WR Tommy Streeter into a star on the outside. The ‘Canes were also thrilled to see speedy RB Lamar Miller tear off his first 100-yard rushing game in nearly a month. How well will a rebuilt Florida State offensive line manage the quickness of the Miami front? The ‘Noles are using underclassmen in the trenches, which could be an open invitation for LB Sean Spence to pin his ears back on the blitz.
Why Florida State Might Win: With a healthy EJ Manuel back behind center, the Seminoles have scored at least 30 points in six consecutive games. That hasn’t happened in these parts in more than a decade. More steady than spectacular, Florida State is getting constant production on the ground from rookie RB Devonta Freeman, and efficient distribution through air from No. 3. The staff is cautiously optimistic that this is the week explosive WR Rashad Greene—finally—returns from a nagging ankle injury. During the winning streak, the ‘Noles have turned the corner on defense as well, allowing an average of only 10 points over four games. Only Alabama is yielding less yards per carry, and the sacks are flowing at a steady rate.
What To Watch Out For: When Miami has the ball, the battle at the point of attack will be as interesting as any of the skill position players. The Hurricanes boast a massive group that’s headed by all-star LT Brandon Washington, and ranks fourth in the league in sacks allowed. The Seminoles will counter with a deep and talented front seven that can cause trouble with ends Bjoern Werner and Brandon Jenkins, and an athletic set of linebackers. Harris’ run of successful games will have a short shelf life if Florida State is able to collapse the pocket, and force the quarterback to make throws on the move.
What Will Happen: The ‘Canes and the ‘Noles are always tight, so why should this year be any different? The host has the edge in talent and consistency, but it’s not without its problems, especially along the offensive line. However, Miami isn’t quite ready to go into Doak Campbell Stadium, and knock off a surging opponent. Florida State is not only playing well, but it’s also playing with confidence. Manuel, the glue that’s helped keep this program together after it hit rock bottom, will provide the spark, outplaying Harris in a game that requires all 60 minutes to determine a winner.
CFN Prediction: Florida State 28 … Miami 23
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Florida State -9.5 O/U: 50.5
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