History - As one of the bigger rivalries in college football this year's UM vs FSU game finally has gotten some of its national attention back. This week SOTU has put out a ton of great info on the rivalry, and Craig T. put together a outstanding piece looking at the history of the match-up - check it out here . Miami leads the series all time 31-26, but FSU comes in as winners of the last three meetings. Miami is on the road this year, and has a record of 14-8 when playing in Tallahassee. The last few years have been high scoring affairs; you have to go back to 2005 - 2006 games to find the last time either team has scored less than one TD each. This year should be no different, with FSU scoring over 50 points a game and Miami scoring just shy of 40. Since 1988 the team with more rushing yards has won 19 out of the 26 match ups.
Here are a few stats to throw out and impress the ladies with at your watch/halloween party. Miami is 22-5 when scoring first, and 19-6 when ahead after the first quarter. You got her attention yet? Ok, try and go with: Miami is 19 -2 when going into half time with the lead. She a FSU fan? I got you - go with FSU is 21-9 when up at the half. If you tried that, now is a good time to remind you SOTU will have a game thread going during the game, because you are probably alone now... You're welcome.
FSU - Florida State comes in with a prolific offense capable of putting up 50+ against pretty much anyone in the country. Unfortunately they have a defense that would keep the UF offense in games as well. We've taken a look at the two teams' offenses and defenses this week, if you would like to see how the teams players production size up. It all comes back to QB Jameis Winston's ability to utilize all of his talented weapons. His leading WR Rashad Green has nearly 700 yards receiving and 8TDs; and if you try and focus on him, Winston can just go to their TE Nick O'Leary who has 6 TDs and averages 18 ypc. Add on a 6"5 250 WR and three RBs who average at least 5.5 yards per carry, and you begin to see why this team is making a case for number one in the nation. Is it overkill if I tell you I haven't even mentioned a WR that has more catches, yards, and TDs than Allen Hurns?
FSU comes in with the number one passing defense in the nation and are 29th in the nation when it comes to stopping the run. Their run defense should be tested by Miami. Duke and Dallas have stepped up running the ball in crunch time the past two weeks, so it will be up to the Five star monsters FSU has along their defensive front to slow them down. If DT Niles Lawrence-Stample and NG Timmy Jernigan are able to collapse holes and control the line of scrimmage, Miami may be in some trouble. In looking at the stats and reading the websites about FSU, I have found that FSU'S secondary is every bit as scary as FSU's passing game. Lamarcus Joyner and Terrance Brooks cause havoc deep as well as in the back field. FSU likes to bring pressure from all over, so UM is going to have to be aware and adjust to pick up the blitz. (Because a sack strip fumble is only cool when MIami causes it.)
Miami - So as it seems, Miami is out gunned in this match-up. Doesn't happen often. I cannot remember a time UM has been 22 point underdogs - we just mail it in, right? Well, Duke is an OK back, so there is that. Dallas has stepped up quite nicely so they may be able to get a little something going. Wait, isn't the offensive line suppose to be ok as well? Now that I think about it I remember Stacy Coley being kind of a big deal as a recruit, and I swear Morris has set a few QB records at Miami. Hey... maybe this game is worth playing after all. FSU has earned the praise they have been receiving, but to think Miami should just play dead and take a 22 point loss because they didn't route WF and UNC is laughable. Miami is undefeated and while I'm not penciling them into the BCS national title game, I for damn sure ain't apologizing. UM needs to play mistake free and be able to run the ball. It will keep the defense honest and allow Morris to use play action to his advantage. Morris will need to be accurate. FSU has a ton of ball hawks in the secondary, but Boston College threw 4 TDs so it's not crazy to think UM can have success.
Miami's defense has been a bit sloppy in the first half of this season. They have come together and made the necessary adjustments, but cannot afford to let the FSU offense get on a roll. The defensive line is going to need to have a performance like they did against Florida. Stop the run and create pressure in the pocket - no biggie right? Stopping the run will just take one weapon away, but it will help take some bite out of the play action. And creating pressure with the front four will keep the extra defender back to help in pass coverage. Winston is mobile, but no one likes to be harassed, and if you get to pick and choose the times you bring extra bodies, it makes it that much more unexpected and useful. It doesn't have to be pretty - a tipped ball that gets intercepted counts the same as one where a DB jumps the route. They are going up against the best offense they have faced this season, and the second most efficient passing game in the nation, if they keep it close enough for the offense to win it will be a job well done.
Players to watch: For FSU of course it's Jameis Winston, but you already knew that. So let's go with RB Karlos Williams. He started the season as safety and made the switch to RB after game one. Since the switch, he's carried the ball 44 times and is averaging about 8 yards a carry. He's been finding the end zone with 7TDS - something MIami cannot afford for him to continue to do. On defense, it's Mr. do it all Lamarcus Joyner. He ranks 8th in the nation in forced fumbles with 3; has an interception and 3 pass break ups, and leads the team in sacks with 3. He's skilled in creating turnovers, something Miami cannot allow him to do.
Players to Watch: For Miami it's the offensive line. Every damn one of them. Miami needs to be able to run, which means the great wall of Coral Gables need to go to work. FSU gets creative with their blitz's so they have to adjust accordingly. Did I mention they need a big night running the ball? On defense it's Tyriq McCord. Miami's sack leader and third down pass rush specialist is gonna need to go full Auto Bot and make Winston's life difficult. Miami cannot afford to send extra players to rush the QB so their pressure needs to come from the line.
Should you worry: I don't need to answer that, do I? FSU looks like they can beat anyone in the nation with the way they've been playing recently. I don't think Miami loses by 22; and it's not because they will want it more, or anything can happen because it's a rivalry. It's because Miami has good players capable of playing and succeeding against quality teams. That being said, FSU just has too many weapons on offense and their defense is just as loaded.
Prediction: FSU 45 Miami 30
Ways to watch and listenBelow is Miami's ACC Injury Report heading into Saturday's game at Florida State.
Phillip Dorsett-Lower Extremity
Danny Isidora-Lower Extremity
Surgery/Out for the season:
Hunter Knighton- Upper Extremity
November 2, 2013 • 8 p.m. ET • Tallahassee, Fla. • Doak Campbell Stadium (82,300)
Series History: Miami leads 31-26, but Florida State has won last 3 meetings ... Miami 14-8 in Tallahassee.
ABC • Brent Musburger, Play-by-Play • Kirk Herbstreit, Analyst • Heather Cox, Sideline Reporter
WQAM 560 AM • Joe Zagacki, PXP • Don Bailey Jr., Analyst • Josh Darrow, Sideline Reporter
RADIO CARACOL 1260 AM • Roly Martin, PXP • Pepe Campos, Analyst • Joe Martinez, Analyst
WVUM 90.5 FM • Chris Wittyngham • Alex Schwartz • SATELLITE RADIO • Sirius 86 • XM 86