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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes are deep in preparation for Saturday nights encounter with rival Florida State.

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Historically quarterback play in this series has been a factor in who wins.

Canes QB Brad Kaaya is making his 2nd start in the series. It could be argued that for the first time in many years Miami might have the edge at quarterback.

Last year Kaaya completed 16 of 34 passes against the Noles for 316 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Kaaya goes into this game leading the ACC passing yards per game and total offense per game. He’s also 24th in the nation at 273 passing yards per game.

“FSU has a lot of great athletes on defense that can run to the ball and make plays,” said Kaaya. “The running game is going to be huge for us. It will help me with the play action game so I can get our passing game going down the field.”

Kaaya will have to be sharp against an FSU defense that has made clutch plays all season.

Against Boston College, FSU returned a fumble for a touchdown to seal the win and two of their three interceptions are in the end zone ending touchdown threats.

“In order to win we need to come away with touchdowns in the red zone not three points,” said Kaaya who has thrown just 4 interceptions in his last 342 attempts.

The FSU defense is allowing only 11 points per game and they’re 8th in pass defense allowing just 141 yards per game.

The Seminoles secondary is headlined by All American cornerback Jalen Ramsay who wrecked Miami last year with 4 break ups, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble.

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Notes

28 of the previous 59 matchups have been decided by eight points or less, including last year’s game.

Miami’s defense has recorded eight interceptions on 123 pass attempts

In Florida State’s 5-game win streak over Miami, the Noles have averaged 177 rushing yards per game.

Keys to the game

Canes can’t have self-inflicted wounds-penalties.

Win the ground battle.

Win the big plays and turnovers.

Weather the storm early. Finish the game late.

Listen to the Miami Hurricanes take on the Florida State Seminoles this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, your official radio home for the Canes! 

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Follow Joe Zagacki on Twitter (@canesvoice)