MIAMI -- It wasn't always pretty for Florida State,
but Drew Weatherford isn't concerned with winning beauty
Weatherford directed a pair of fourth-quarter scoring drives as
the 11th-ranked Seminoles rebounded from an ugly first half to
post a 13-10 triumph over No. 12 Miami in a rainy season opener
for both teams.
It was the second straight victory in the series for Florida
State, which recorded a season-opening 10-7 win vs. Miami last
year. For the second straight meeting, neither team's offense
was productive, but Weatherford and the Seminoles made enough
plays down the stretch to open their campaign with a critical
In the first half, FSU was woeful offensively. The Seminoles
managed a total of 43 yards on offense, including only one yard
in the second quarter. They were 0-for-6 on third downs and
trailed, 10-3, heading into intermission.
But with Florida State facing the same deficit late in the third
quarter, Weatherford guided an eight-play, 67-yard drive to set
up Joe Surratt's one-yard TD run on the first play of the
Weatherford completed passes of 28 yards to De'Cody Fagg and 34
yards to running back Lorenzo Booker on the march, which
encapsulated just 1:55 but still changed the flow of the game.
"We just kind of opened up the offense a little more and we started throwing a little more," Weatherford said. "Miami did a great job of stopping our run game, I think we only had about 10 yards rushing all night. We finally opened it up and our offensive line did a great job, they gave me time to get the ball in the play-makers hands."
The Hurricanes went three-and-out on their next possession and
the Seminoles responded with a methodical 12-play, 43-yard drive
that Gary Cismesia capped with a 33-yard field goal with 8:02
Even with long history of wide rights, wide lefts and blocked kicks in the Orange Bowl, the 'Noles' junior place kicker calmly belted the kick between the same uprights that have haunted FSU kickers for years.
"I just went out there, lined up and just kicked the ball," Cismesia said. "I didn't have anything to worry about. I knew that the line was going to block and it was a tied game so if I missed it, I missed. We would still be tied. I just kicked the ball."
With one last chance to win the game, Miami's Kyle Wright was
intercepted by Michael Ray Garvin at the Hurricanes 27 with just
33 seconds left. Freshman Sam Shields dropped a wide-open pass
one play earlier that would have given Miami a first down.
Weatherford completed 16-of-32 passes for 174 yards and an
interception. Fagg finished with three receptions for 60 yards
and Booker three for 47 for Florida State, which had lost six
straight matchups with Miami prior to its current run.
Charlie Jones initially gave Miami a 7-3 lead with a four-yard
TD run early in the second quarter. Jon Peattie tacked on a
20-yard field goal just over eight minutes later to send the
Hurricanes into halftime with a 10-3 advantage.
Jones ran for just 29 yards on 13 carries and Darnell Jenkins
led the Hurricanes with four catches for 54 yards. The two were
starting in place of seniors Tyrone Moss and Ryan Moore, who
were suspended by coach Larry Coker for skipping study hall.
As a team, Miami amassed a grand total of two rushing yards,
while Florida State managed just one yard on the ground in the
damp conditions. The teams combined for just 17 first downs
and 282 total yards and finished a combined 8-for-31 on third
Wright was 18-of-27 for 130 yards and sacked four times.