TALLAHASSEE – (CBSMiami) – Miami’s defense set the tone early, and the offense came alive in the second half to propel the Hurricanes to a 24-20 win over the Florida State Seminoles.
The finish to this game will be remembered by all and debated by some for years to come.
With six seconds left in the game, Miami junior receiver Darrell Langham scored the game-winning touchdown on a 23 yard pass from Malik Rosier. Initially ruled a touchdown, the play was reviewed to see if Langham’s knee hit the ground before the football broke the plane.
ACC replay officials couldn’t find evidence to overturn the call, and the play stood. Langham caught the pass over his right shoulder on a well placed throw by Rosier. It was Langham’s only catch in the game, and he couldn’t have asked for a bigger one.
Miami broke their seven year losing skid to the Seminoles.
Langham caught the exclamation point, but much of the heavy lifting was done by senior receiver Braxton Berrios. Berrios caught two passes for 28 yards on Miami’s game-winning drive, including an 11-yard reception to set up the final play.
Berrios scored two touchdowns on the day, hauling in nine passes for 80 yards. He’s emerged this season as Rosier’s favorite target.
Rosier played a strong second half, finishing the game with 254 yards passing with three touchdowns and an interception. Miami had been held scoreless in the first half, not running a single play in FSU territory.
Berrios caught Miami’s first touchdown in the third quarter to put the Canes up 10-3. It was a one play – 21 yard drive for the Canes. Berrios had set up the touchdown on a 44 yard punt return to the FSU 21 yard line.
Miami took the 10-3 lead into the fourth quarter, and both teams traded touchdowns before Florida State appeared to score the knockout punch late.
True freshman quarterback James Blackman threw a 20 yard touchdown strike to Seminoles leading receiver Auden Tate to put FSU ahead 20-17 with just 1:24 left in the game. The touchdown capped off an impressive 9 play, 75 yard drive.
But the Hurricanes answered the call. Miami’s deciding drive was also 9 plays, 75 yards and took only 1:18 to execute. In addition to the Berrios catches and the Langham touchdown, running back Travis Homer had two big carries for 24 yards to help set up the score.
The Hurricanes struggled to run the football all game. Starter Mark Walton managed just 25 yards on twelve carries, appearing still physically by an ankle injury sustained against Toledo. Homer led the way with 29 yards on three carries.
Florida State fared much better on the ground, getting 121 yards on twelve carries from freshman tailback Cam Akers.
Freshman quarterback James Blackman threw for 203 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
While Miami’s defense looked gassed late, they dominated early on. Miami recorded three of their four sacks in the first half, collected by Demetrious Jackson, Joe Jackson, and Kendrick Norton. Trent Harris sacked Blackman in the fourth quarter.
The Hurricanes matched their season average with nine tackles for a loss. Miami’s interceptions came from Michael Jackson (second quarter) and Dee Delaney (third). They each got a turn with the turnover chain.
The Hurricanes beat the Seminoles for the first time since 2009 and improve to 4-0 on the season. Miami has the overall edge in the all-time series at 32-30. Mark Richt becomes the first Miami coach to beat FSU since Randy Shannon. It’s Richt’s biggest victory on the Hurricanes sidelines.
Next up for the Hurricanes, they’ll host ACC Coastal Division rival Georgia Tech next Saturday, October 14th, at Hard Rock Stadium. The kickoff time is TBA.