Miami avoided a lightning delay, amped up the offense and overwhelmed its in-state rival.
D’Eriq King threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns and the No. 12 Hurricanes beat Florida State 52-10 on Saturday night.
The kickoff appeared headed for a delay because of lightning near Hard Rock Stadium, but the teams received clearance to start on time.
“We get to the stadium, we’re getting ready to go through warm-ups and you find out there’s a possibility of a lightning delay,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said. “All of our guys and their ability to adjust with all that’s been thrown at them this year – they were worthy victors tonight.”
Cam’Ron Harris and Don Chaney scored twice and Brevin Jordan and Dee Wiggins each caught touchdown passes for Miami (3-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Miami scored touchdowns on its five possessions and built a 35-point lead at halftime. The margin of victory was the largest for Miami in the series since a 47-0 rout in 1976, the first season of Bobby Bowden’s 34-year coaching career at Florida State.
“We had a great attitude and great focus all week,” Diaz said. “It showed the way we started the game.”
The Seminoles (0-2, 0-2) were without head coach Mike Norvell, who tested positive for coronavirus and remained in Tallahassee under quarantine. Assistant Chris Thomsen served as head coach.
“They really dominated in all phases,” Norvell said. “Disappointed for our team, for our players, for our coaches, for our fan base. Definitely not the way we wanted to play. This is something that completely falls on me. I’ve got to do a better job of putting our guys in a position to play a better brand of football.”
King capped the Hurricanes’ game-opening drive with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jordan.
After Ryan Fitzgerald’s 26-yard field goal ended Florida State’s first drive, Miami responded with Harris’ 3-yard-run late in the first quarter. Harris’ second touchdown from 12 yards put the Hurricanes ahead 21-3.
Asante Samuel recovered Mark Pope’s fumble inside the Miami 40 but the Seminoles turned it over on the next play after Jaelan Phillips intercepted Jordan Travis’ pass. Three plays later, King connected with Wiggins from 40 yards to make it 28-3.
King, a graduate transfer from Houston, has completed six touchdown passes without an interception through his first three games with the Hurricanes. He also ran for 65 on eight carries against Florida State.
“We still have a lot of football but I think it's coming together pretty good right now,” King said.
Chaney scored his first college touchdown on a 2-yard run with 3:37 late in the second quarter. Jose Borregales closed the first half with a 30-yard field goal as time expired.
“It felt so, so good,” Chaney said about his touchdown. “You have to take advantage of your chances.”
Camren McDonald caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from James Blackman on the Seminoles’ first drive of the second half before Chaney’s 5-yard run early in the fourth quarter gave Miami another 35-point lead.
“Any time you give up 52 points, it’s never progress,” Florida State linebacker Amari Gainer said. We’ve just got to go and get better and practice harder. Whatever we’re doing, it’s not working."
Miami won its fourth straight over Florida State and leads the series 35-30. The Seminoles enjoyed a seven-game winning streak before the Hurricanes’ current string.
SELLOUT BUT FAR FROM CAPACITY:
The attendance of 12,806 was listed as a sellout. The crowd total fell within the 20% capacity allowed at 65,000-seat Hard Rock Stadium to comply with coronavirus social distancing guidelines.
Florida State: Host Jacksonville State next Saturday.
Miami: At No. 1 Clemson on Oct. 10.