FSU vs. Miami prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the rivalry showdown between the Seminoles and Hurricanes on Saturday in Miami Gardens, Florida.
FSU vs. Miami Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 8 – 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
TV Broadcast: ABC
The Seminoles (3-2, 0-2 ACC) are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to North Carolina, which nailed a 54-yard field goal as time expired to earn a 37-35 win and snap FSU’s 22-game home winning streak. The ‘Noles trailed 21-0 in the second quarter but rallied to take a 35-34 lead in the final minute on a 8-yard touchdown run by Deondre Francois. But a pass interference penalty on Tarvarus McFadden helped the Tar Heels’ field-position cause and set up the winning score.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes (4-0, 1-0) used fumble returns for touchdowns by Shaquille Quarterman and Joe Jackson in a span of less than a minute in the second quarter to help them beat Georgia Tech, 35-21, on Saturday. Head coach Mark Richt improved to 14-0 against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, including an 8-0 record at Georgia and 5-0 as an assistant at Florida State.
In last year’s meeting, Dalvin Cook ran for 222 yards and three touchdowns to help the ‘Noles beat Miami, 29-24, which was their sixth in a row against the Hurricanes. It is FSU’s longest winning streak in the series since winning seven straight from 1963-72.
What To Know About FSU
The Seminoles were supposed to be a College Football Playoff contender and fight Clemson for the Atlantic division crown, but now it doesn’t even look like the ‘Noles are a contender for a New Year’s Six spot. The defense is giving up nearly seven yards per play, which is among the worst in the FBS. Charles Kelly’s job will certainly be in jeopardy, because the ‘Noles can’t seem to stop any type of offense right now despite being littered with talent.
What to Know About Miami
The ‘Canes are playing very good football in their first season under Richt, and they were able to quiet some naysayers last week with their first win over a Power Five opponent. The ‘Canes had no turnovers against Georgia Tech, quarterback Brad Kaaya completed 13 of 19 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown, and the duo of Joe Yearby and Mark Walton is one of the better rushing tandems in the country. With the defense playing well, too, this is a Miami team that will be a factor in the Coastal division race.
Offense: Even. There is star power on this side of the ball for both squads.
Defense: Miami. It is a big-play unit that has performed very well under first-year coordinator Manny Diaz.
Special Teams: Miami. Florida State kicker Ricky Aguayo missed all three of his field goal attempts in the loss to North Carolina.
Coaching: Even. I’m leaning toward Richt here. Jimbo Fisher has a national championship, but Richt has started to change the culture in Coral Gables.
Intangibles: Miami. The ‘Canes know that the ‘Noles are wounded and susceptible.
Matchup To Watch
Cook vs. Miami’s 3-4 defense
In last year’s meeting in Tallahassee, Cook ran for 222 yards and three touchdowns, including a 23-yarder with 6:44 left, to help the ‘Noles extend Miami’s misery. The previous season, he also scored the go-ahead touchdown in a victory over the Hurricanes. This year, however, Diaz is running a defense that is making plays (the two fumble returns for scores against GT) and entered the contest against the Yellow Jackets ranked first in the nation in scoring defense, sacks and tackles for loss. If the ‘Canes can contain Cook, that puts even more of the load on the shoulders of Francois.
Spread: Miami -1.5
FSU vs. Miami Prediction
If it’s not this year for the Hurricanes, when will it be? Miami has lost six in a row to the Seminoles, but it was close to ending the skid last year. The ‘Canes had a fourth-quarter lead but could not close the deal, and this is an FSU squad that already has two losses. It is a new and improved Miami brand of football, with both the offense and defense clicking. Saturday night will be a throwback to when both of these teams were at the top of their game, and the ‘Canes will finally break their losing streak.
FSU vs. Miami Score Prediction: Miami 38, FSU 35