2011: 6-3 (4-2)
Last week's game: The Noles shipped up to Boston last Thursday night and destroyed the Eagles. The Noles offense wasn't exactly spectacular, but Boston College could not move the ball at all, barely gaining over 200 total yards. Otherwise not much went on; it was a game that only a Nole could love.
Last year's match up: Hard to forget last year's game between Miami and FSU. The Noles steamrolled the Canes at home in what was one of the most embarrassing losses during Randy Shannon's time at UM (although it certainly has competition). Jacory Harris had an absolutely ghastly game, completing only 19 of his 47 passes, and the Noles ran for 298 yards in a game that was practically never in doubt.
Offense: The FSU offense has been pretty injured this year, so it's a bit hard to get a complete read on their offense based on their stats. That said, they've been rolling recently, averaging 38.5 points in FSU's last four games, albeit against just about the worst competition that the ACC has to offer. Quarterback E.J. Manuel is fast and big, bigger in fact that a good majority of the defenders that will line up for Miami. This Miami defense is not good enough to deal with a Manuel that's a running and passing threat, so either aspect of his game will need to be neutralized if the Canes are going to keep the FSU offense inside of 30 points. Freshman running back, and Miami Central alum, Devonta Freeman has really come on in the second half of the season, and he now leads FSU in rushing.
Defense: The Miami offense has been one of the most efficient in the country this year, but this Florida State defense will be the best that they've faced. The FSU defense is only allowing 78.89 rushing yards a game, which is just decimal points behind the vaunted LSU defense for number two in the country. I'd expect UM much like they did against North Carolina, using play action and short passes to get the offense churning, and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more Wildcat or other unusual ways to try and get UM some yards on the ground. Obviously at some point the Canes are going to have to get Lamar Miller involved, but Jedd Fisch won't force it.
Match up in Miami's favor: If FSU has been vulnerable at all on defense this year it's been in the passing game. Though they're still the second best passing defense in the conference, they've allowed almost 70 yards above their average through the air in games that they've lost. If UM can protect Jacory Harris, the UM offense is good enough that the Canes should be able to move the ball through the air.
Match up in FSU's favor: The FSU passing offense does not play favorites. The Noles have had nine different players catch double digit passes this season, and the receiving corps will be as healthy today as it's been all season. The Canes do not have a shut down corner, and they also have no depth, and I'd expect for E.J. Manuel to have a very efficient game. If Miami can manage to get FSU in long yardage situations, the defensive backs and linebackers will need to step up on third down.