Thanks for joining this weeks "blog table!" It's a big week for our Canes as they go up against our hated rival Florida State. I think the best way to get things going would be to ask what is your fondest memory so far in this rivalry? Which play or game was your favorite and why?
For me it is a toss-up betweem the Ed Reed halftime speech "I'm hurt dawg.....Joaquin said dominate!" in 2001, and the Willis McGahee screen catch and run in ‘02. The speech because it represented everything that team was about, winning, team work, and excellence. McGahee's play because it was the epitome of that year. Every time UM was in trouble, #2 would make a huge play to bail them out. He really deserved the Heisman that season.
For me my two favorite games at Tallahassee were 1987 the epic Irvin TD late and then FSU botching the 2pt conversion for us to squeak out a 26-25 victory leaving FSU fans quite depressed and irate.
The second was Wide Right 1, 1991. FSU dominated us offensively but couldn't convert it to TDs, we went up late in the game 17-16 and I was in our endzone with a ton of other Canes fans with a birdseye view of the kick that went wide right. To this day I can still visualize clearly that moment and will never forget how we almost collapsed the bleachers as we all collectively were jumping up and down in sheer joy.
The winning drive in 2000. That was my freshman year, my induction into this rivalry. As a native Michigander, I understand something about rivalries, but I had never seen UM-FSU in person. That was a great, GREAT game. The Canes had a 5 year losing streak to FSU coming in as well. Jeremy Shockey and Ken Dorsey started their very productive passing-catching relationship this season also. High level talent on both teams. Electric atmosphere. One of the best games I've ever seen in person.
I know a few of you have mentioned Michael Irvin having a great catch to help land the Canes a victory over FSU. Who would you say over their career had their best games against the Noles? Who sticks out as a clutch player in this rivalry?
Steve Walsh in the 87 and 88 games. He totally destroyed them when they came out with that rap song when FSU was number 1 in 88 and the Noles got killed in the orange bowl.
The person in my mind who stands out as the most disruptive and dominating in the series is the late great Sean Taylor. He had 2 picks (could have been 6 if they weren't playing in a monsoon) a TD, and a number of huge hits in 2003. Taylor gave Chris Rix fits the two years he started against FSU. Even the most stubborn and hateful FSU fans I have encountered have the utmost respect for #26
Alright guys, lets get to the current matchup. Which unit (offensive/defensive line, linebackers, secondary, etc.) for either team is the most important and will swing the game for one team or the other?
Craig Smith (Craig T):
Our offensive line being able to dictate and create holes for a rushing, ball control offense. Our defensive line being able to pressure Winston into some negative plays. And our LBs/DBs being able to tackle and limit the YAC. They have such good athletes that poor tackling in the back = death.
For FSU, it's the Defensive Line. Those guys are big, fast, and super talented. They have 8 guys up front who have recorded a TFL this season. They will try to plug holes in the running game, and pressure Morris all day. Easily the key for everything FSU does on defense.
For Miami, it's not a "group", it's a player. Stephen Morris. I have full confidence that Duke Johnson will find yards and be effective. Morris has been, quite simply, terrible over the last 3 games. The only encouraging thing I took away from the Wake Forest game was the fact that he didn't turn the ball over. He will have to have his best game of the year for Miami to have a shot at winning.
Defensively the DBs have a tall order trying to contain FSU's deep and talented WRs. Hopefully Ladarius Gunter, Tracy Howard, Deon Bush, and Antonio Crawford play their best games of the season.
Miami has relied the past few weeks on the running game and will need to continue to do so. Miami has had issues trying to run the ball against top level talent lately and only had 26 yards rushing last year against FSU. It will help slow down FSUs pass rush while keeping their offense off the field. Since 1988 the team with more rushing yards won 19 of the 26 games.
Alright all, what do you think the score will be? Do any of you take Miami in this one?
Miami finds the ability to run the play action pass and integrate the vertical passing game with their ability to run the ball. Morris throws for over 300 yards and Duke and Dallas combine for 200 yards. Miami wins 24-17. FSU rallies late, but falls short.
Call me crazy. Call me a homer. Call me what you want. The whole world thinks Miami will lose and they just makes me more confident they will pull it off. Miami in a thriller 35-31.
I guess I'm gonna be the one guy that UM fans are going to hate. FSU is more talented from top to bottom, and on a serious roll. Jameis Winston scares the hell out of me. He's the antithesis of Chris Rix, who was touted to have the elusive "it", and clearly didn't. Winston is a special, special player, and I have a feeling he's going to have a statement game.
I can hear the vitriol being typed in response to this already. I hope I'm wrong on this pick.
FSU 41 Miami 27
Cam, that's the popular assessment for sure, Winston is a monster but there are so many intangibles in a game like this that can neutralize FSU's abilities. Every week CFB is littered with the carcasses of upset ranked teams which is what makes this game so great!
Canes 31, Noles 30
34-23 FSU. Jameis makes too many big plays. We cover
I'm with Cam. FSU is loaded and it looks like us Miami fans are just going to have to live with Jameis Winston for the next few years. I don't think it will be a 21 point loss, hell the part of my brain that houses my irrational fan section still believes Miami will win. Miami is capable of winning it would just take Morris and Duke playing up to their potential and FSU turning the ball over. Too much to expect to reasonably pick UM over FSU
FSU 30 UM 20
Last question guys:
Who do you like better as a super hero: Superman or Batman
Batman. He got to see Bat Girl naked. That is good enough for me.
Ok, let me start by saying I have never owned or read a comic book so I'm going off movies. Batman seems like he parties WAY more than superman and in the last movie he *spoiler alert* ends up with Ann Hathaway. I'm so bout that life. But, if my life was at stake Id want Superman.