MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes failed to put a single point on the board in the first half of their matchup Saturday with rival Florida State.
The Canes went to the locker room trailing 3-0 at halftime. The defense had played exceptionally well, but the offense was looking for a spark.
Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt joined The Joe Rose Show Monday on 560 WQAM to discuss his team’s second half turnaround in their 24-20 victory at Florida State.
“Calm down, believe, and trust in your assignments and your technique,” said Richt, when asked what he told his team during halftime. “Narrow it down to the smallest component of your very movement on the snap, or whatever it is. Don’t think about the big picture. Don’t think about the score. Don’t think about all those things.”
The message was received, and the offense found their groove, scoring all twenty-four of their points after halftime.
And once again, senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios was a big part of it. Berrios caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Malik Rosier and made two clutch catches for 28 yards during Miami’s game-winning drive.
Berrios leads Miami in receiving with eighteen catches for 282 yards and five touchdowns this season. He caught eight passes for 90 yards in the FSU game, and was named ACC Receiver of the Week.
“It was pretty amazing what he did,” Richt told Joe Rose. “He was amazing. He practices that way every day and he leads that way. He’s been awesome. I’m really happy for the guy.”
Had Berrios not played as well as he did, Miami will likely be looking for answers after an eighth straight defeat to Florida State. Instead, the Canes thrived through a wild fourth quarter to end the skid.
“When it was 6:55 to go in the game, we’re down, we need a game-winning drive and we get a game-winning drive, so to speak,” said Richt, recalling Miami’s touchdown drive to take a 17-13 lead, ending with 5:09 left in the game.
“But then, guess what, [Florida State] gets a game-winning drive,” said Richt, referring to the James Blackman touchdown pass to Auden Tate to put Florida State ahead 20-17 with 1:24 to go.
“We need another game winning drive. After they had scored, their place went ballistic. Their players are dancing and enjoying what had just happened and the fans are going nuts. It’s as loud as it possibly can be, and adverse of a situation as you can possibly get into on the road. It was nuts. I can’t imagine how the players were feeling at that moment.”
Despite the chaos, the Hurricanes rose to the occasion. Their final drive began with just 1:19 left on the game clock, needing a field goal to tie it or a touchdown to win.
“We had to mount a drive and then we get two incompletions,” recalled Richt. It’s 3rd and 10 and we run a little bunch set and got a couple rub routs in there. Berrios broke free, thankfully. We had the protection and the time to make the throw and catch. That got us going again.”
Then, with 11-seconds left on the game clock, Malik Rosier connected with Darrell Langham on one of the most dramatic finishes in the 62 all-time meetings between Miami and FSU.
The Hurricanes remain undefeated (now 4-0) and climb up two spots to Number 11 in the Associated Press rankings.
Miami will host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, October 14th at 3:30 PM from Hard Rock Stadium. You can listen to the game on 560 WQAM.
You can listen to the full interview with Mark Richt on The Joe Rose Show above.