MIAMI (CBSMIami) – In sixty-one all time meetings between the Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles, neither team has ever won eight straight games against the other.
The Hurricanes will try to avoid being on the losing end of eight in a row on Saturday when they face the Seminoles in Tallahassee.
Miami still clings to the overall edge in the series at 31-30, and enter this matchup as the slight betting favorite. The Hurricanes are 3-0 and ranked 13th in the country. Florida State is 1-2 and unranked.
The metrics favor Miami, but in rivalry games, you can throw the records out the window.
“There’s a reason we play them every year – it’s a rivalry,” said Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt. “Rivalry games are important. They’re better rivalries when there’s some winning and losing on both sides, and that hasn’t happened lately.”
Richt’s players, none of which have ever beaten the Seminoles, appreciate the significance.
“This is probably the best rivalry in college football,” said senior offensive lineman KC McDermott. “The tradition behind it, the history with it, the countless All-Americans and first round draft picks; this is a huge game. You always want to be one of the guys playing in it.”
McDermott and the other Miami seniors would love to finally beat Florida State. McDermott is 0-3 against FSU and his older brother, former Canes center Shane McDermott, also went winless against the Noles. “They are going to give us their very best and we have to be prepared for it,” McDermott added.
Not only do these teams reside in the same state and fight for many of the same recruits, but they also play in the same conference. Miami is off to a 1-0 start in the ACC while FSU is 1-1. The Hurricanes are trying to win the Coastal Division for the first time, and this is a game that counts for their conference record.
The ‘Canes are looking for their first 2-0 start in ACC play since 2013.
In their conference debut, Miami held Duke without a touchdown in a 31-6 road win. The Hurricanes sacked Duke quarterback Daniel Jones five times and registered eleven tackles for a loss.
Miami’s defensive front will look for similar results against a struggling Seminoles offensive line. In FSU’s win over Wake Forest, they gave up five sacks and seventeen tackles for a loss. True freshman quarterback James Blackman has been sacked nine times in two starts.
Miami’s defense is tied for tenth in the country in sacks at 3.33 per game. Senior defensive end Chad Thomas leads the team with a pair. Miami is second in the country in tackles for loss at nine per game.
Offensively, Miami has seen excellent play at the quarterback position from junior Malik Rosier. He threw for 270 yards with two touchdown passes in the win over Duke, bringing his season totals to 820 yards through the air with eight touchdowns to just two interceptions.
He leads the ACC in passing efficiency.
Rosier is the first Miami quarterback to begin his career 4-0 as a starter since Brock Berlin did it in 2003.
Rosier has plenty of talent to throw the football to. Speedy sophomore receiver Ahmmon Richards made his 2017 debut in the Duke game, catching three passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. He’s set to play again this week after being sidelined early in the season with a hamstring.
Miami’s leading receiver is senior Braxton Berrios with ten catches for 192 yards. He also leads Miami in receiving touchdowns with three.
On the ground, Miami has enjoyed great success from the rushing tandem of Mark Walton and Travis Homer. Walton already has 403 yards rushing in just three games. He averages a whopping 9.2 yards per carry while Homer averages 8.3. They’ve each scored three touchdowns.
Walton has dealt with left ankle soreness but will be ready to play on Saturday.
Miami faces a stingy FSU defense that ranks 15th nationally with eight tackles for loss per game. The Seminoles are 30th in rushing yards per attempt allowed at 3.4. So far their defense has rarely broken when bent, as they’ve only allowed five touchdowns out of thirteen opponents’ trips to the red zone.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is an incredible 17-1 against teams from the state of Florida. His Seminoles have won eleven straight matchups against in-state opponents.
Kickoff for Miami-Florida State is set for 3:30 PM on Saturday, October 7th from Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. You can listen to the game on 560 WQAM.