The 65th edition of the Miami-Florida State rivalry will look different than in past seasons - and unlike most meetings in the past decade, it’s the Hurricanes that come into this season’s game playing like one of the top teams in the country.
Miami’s 47-34 victory last Saturday over No. 18 ranked Louisville was the first win over a ranked team since their 2019 win over Virginia - and just the third win over a ranked team for the Hurricanes since the last month of the 2017 season.
Now, the No. 12 ranked ‘Canes (2-0) know they have to keep focus with the most emotional game of their season this upcoming weekend.
“All we’ve done is go 1-0 in our conference and we’re 2-0 overall,” head coach Manny Diaz said after Saturday’s game. “I think our players appreciate the difficulty of coming to Louisville and winning, but they know there’s a lot more meat on the bone.”
The Hurricanes played their most complete game this past Saturday against the Cardinals, with transfer quarterback D’Eriq King throwing over 300 yards and three touchdowns that including one to tight end Brevin Jordan and a 75 yard highlight pass to freshman running back Jaylan Knighton.
Running back Cam’Ron Harris had another 100 yard rushing game along with a 75 yard touchdown that helped ice the victory while the defense got their first three turnovers of the season.
"We talked about creating more explosive plays through the passing game, which we were able to do," Diaz said, "but we obviously had some through the running game, as well. We can still be so much better. The explosive plays, it was who we wanted to be."
FSU, on the other hand, comes into the game on a three game losing streak dating back to last season, increased due to a 16-13 upset loss on September 12th at home against Georgia Tech - the same Yellow Jackets team who upset Miami last season.
The Seminoles (0-1) were outgained in yardage 438 to 307 and, despite blocking three kicks and getting two interceptions from Fort Lauderdale native Asante Samuel Jr., still couldn’t get going offensively with quarterback James Blackman throwing for less than 200 yards and having fans calling for his replacement.
“Collectively as a football team, we were not consistent enough,” said first year head coach Mike Norvell after the game. “We missed out on some opportunities to get them off the field. Had some miscommunication and things that we just absolutely can't have in all phases.”
Novell won't be on the sideline for Saturday's game after testing positive for COVID-19. Instead, the Seminoles will rely on past history of underdogs winning in the series such as Miami's 27-10 win last season.
"Hey, it’s Miami vs. Florida State, it doesn’t matter what the record are, everybody knows that’s a huge weekend and our players understand what’s on the line when Florida State comes to town," Diaz said Saturday.