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Florida State 33, Miami 20
What started out tenuously ended in smiles for Florida State. An early turnover plus a shanked punt put host Miami in a position to take a 10-0 lead over 14th-ranked Florida State. From that point however, the Seminoles slowly took control on the way to a 33-20 win.
Seminole quarterback EJ Manuel threw for 230 yards and three FSU tailbacks combined for over 150 yards and three touchdowns as the 'Noles took the sixth of eight mettings with their in-state rival.
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris, who was doubtful the entire week of practice, finished with 221 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception on a hurt ankle. Morris played on a hurt ankle and was sacked four times for the game.
Several Seminoles went down at different times due to injury, with senior running back Chris Thompson headlining the group of injured players. Thompson exited the game with what the television feed called a "left knee" injury in the first half after gaining 94 yards on nine touches.
Florida State's advantage sat at just three points after two and three quarters. The Seminoles forged ahead in the final period, gaining 150 yards and scoring two touchdowns in the final 15 minutes.
The Skinny: The first quarter couldn't have started much worse for Florida State. Nick O'Leary fumbled on FSU's first offensive play, setting up a Miami touchdown to go up 7-0. That was followed by a three-and-out and a horrible punt by FSU's Cason Beatty that set the 'Canes up at the FSU 34. The defense got a stop, however, holding Miami to a 19-yard field goal with 7:32 left that made it 10-0.
Florida State lost two fumbles in the quarter, but picked up one - a Morris fumble recovered by Jones at the UM 31 - that led to a 33-yard field goal by FSU's Dustin Hopkins.
Key Play: Florida State handed over the momentum of the first quarter on its first offensive play. EJ Manuel found Nick O'Leary on a short out route, but O'Leary tried to hurdle the defender and fumbled, giving the Hurricanes a short field. Miami made FSU pay, scoring on the James touchdown run.
Key Stat: EJ Manuel is 3-of-8 passing for 30 yards in the first quarter.
The Skinny: Florida State righted the ship somewhat in the second quarter gaining about 150 total yards and nine first downs. The Seminoles tied it up on a 17-yard James Wilder Jr. with 9:14 left in the second quarter, then tacked on a 46-yard field goal to take the lead with seven seconds left in the half.
Key Play: It didn't factor much in the quarter itself, but it could have long-term ramifications for the Seminoles. Running back Chris Thompson caught a pass and rumbled for 32 yards to help set up an eventual 17-yard touchdown for James Wilder Jr. But Thompson injured his left knee on the play and will not return tonight.
Key Stat: Florida State was flagged nine times for 82 yards in the first half alone. Couple that with five fumbles - two of which were lost - and the Seminoles
The Skinny: Miami started out the quarter with a gamble - attempting an onside kick right away. Florida State did not capitalize when the Hurricane risk fell short - Dustin Hopkins was wide left on a 44-yard field goal after a three-and-out.
Miami answered the Hopkins made field goal with one of its own. Jake Wieclaw hit a 27-yard field goal in the final minute of the quarter.
Key Play: On a first down from the Miami 48, sophomore Devonta Freeman broke a run to his right for 33 yards and a Seminole first down in the red zone. In a quarter that saw three points scored on each side, this was the play that had the most impact on either side.
Key Stat: 11. Both Miami and Florida State had the ball at the opponents' 11-yard line or closer in the quarter. Both came away with just three points.
The Skinny: Florida State finally broke through for good in the red zone, scoring on a Freeman run from the four-yard line. The decisive drive went 71 yards in seven plays, featuring three passes and four runs. Florida State scored 10 more points in the quarter with a Hopkins field goal from 48 yards and Freeman's second touchdown - this time from five yards away.
Key Play: The four-yard run by Freeman put FSU in a position of dominance. It was the deciding score of the night.
Key Stat: Florida State allowed Miami just 26 rushing yards for the entire game. The Hurricanes had 23 yards on the ground after the first quarter. A partial factor to the final number is sack yardage - Stephen Morris finished the night officially with five rushes for negative 25 yards (four sacks).
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