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Game Thread: Miami Hurricanes Host Florida State With Much on the Line

We all know what is at stake....

Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

It's been 6 long, miserable years since UM defeated FSU.

But tonight it is Miami that is at home, Miami that is ranked in the Top 10, and Miami that comes in undefeated.

Can the 'Canes turn the tides Vs the 'Noles?

Tonight should be fun.

Please join in with fellow Hurricanes fans (and a few expected Seminoles stragglers) and leave plenty of comments below.

Game Notes (Courtesy UM):


The Miami Hurricanes welcome in-state rival Florida State to Hard Rock Stadium Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. on ABC.

The Hurricanes own a 31-29 series advantage over Florida State.

Nearly half of the Miami-Florida State games (29 of 60 previous meetings) have been decided by eight points or less, including last year’s match up (FSU won, 29-24).

Seven games in the series have been decided by a single point. Miami is 7-0 in those games.

Saturday night will mark the 28th time in the last 32 years that at least one team has entered the Miami-Florida State game unbeaten.

Miami enters Saturday night’s game ranked ahead of Florida State for the first time since 2010.


The Hurricanes are currently ranked No. 10 in both in the Associated Press and Amway Coaches Polls.

Miami’s No. 10 ranking marks the first time the Hurricanes have been the highest-ranked FBS team in the state of Florida since Nov. 14, 2010.

This also is the highest Miami has been ranked in both polls since Nov. 2, 2013.

Miami has moved up in one of the major polls in each of the past five weeks.


Miami moved to 4-0 for the first time since 2013.

The Hurricanes have now started 4-0 six times since 2000: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2013 and 2016.

The Hurricanes honored the memory of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez with No. 16 decals on the back of their helmets.

Miami has now won seven of the last eight matchups with Georgia Tech.

The Hurricanes and Yellow Jackets are now tied in the all-time series (11-11).

Miami also moved to 7-6 all-time in ACC season openers.

Miami head coach Mark Richt improved to 14-2 all-time against Georgia Tech. Richt also moved to 20-3 all-time against teams from the ACC.

Richt became the fourth Hurricane head coach in program history to win his first four games. Howard Buck, Dennis Erickson and Larry Coker are the only other Hurricane coaches to win their first four games.

Saturday afternoon’s game with Georgia Tech marked the 200th career game as a head coach for Mark Richt.

Richt moved to 149-51 for his career.

Miami scored two defensive touchdowns in three snaps in the first half. The Hurricanes had two defensive touchdowns in the last three seasons combined entering Saturday’s game.

Miami scored on its first offensive possession of the game for the third time this season.

The Hurricanes outscored Georgia Tech 7-0 in the first quarter. Miami has outscored its opponents 42-0 in the first quarter through four games this season.

Miami held a 28-14 lead at the half. The Hurricanes have never trailed at any point this season.

The Hurricanes finished with 8.0 tackles for loss as a team.

Miami was penalized a season-low four times for 39 yards. It is the first time in 2016 that the Canes committed less than six penalties.


University of Miami Director of Athletics Blake James announced on Dec. 4, 2015 the hiring of Hurricane alumnus Mark Richt as the 24th head football coach at The U.

Richt was officially introduced to the public at a news conference at the Shalala Student Center.

Richt, born in Omaha, Neb., and raised in Boca Raton, Fla., returned to his alma mater after leading the University of Georgia football program for the previous 15 years. During that time he compiled a 145-51 overall record and an 85-40 mark in Southeastern Conference play.

Richt won two SEC championships, six SEC East titles and nine bowl games, and finished the season in the Associated Press Top 10 rankings seven times.

Career Victories - Active Coaches

1. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame, 228

2. Bill Snyder, Kansas State, 195

3. Nick Saban, Alabama, 196

4. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma, 181

5. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech, 171

6. Terry Bowden, Akron, 162

7. Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati, 158

Urban Meyer, Ohio State, 158

9. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona, 155

10. Mark Richt, Miami, 149


Mark Richt will faceoff against Florida State for just the second time in his head coaching career.

Richt’s lone match up against FSU as a head coach came in 2002 when his Georgia Bulldog team defeated the Seminoles 26-13 in the Sugar Bowl.

Richt served as an assistant coach at Florida State from 1985-88 and again from 1990-2000.

Richt holds a 20-3 record against teams from the ACC.


Mark Richt will be in search of his 150th career win.

Richt will look to become the fourth Hurricane head coach to win his first five games. Howard Buck, Dennis Erickson and Larry Coker are the only other Hurricane coaches to win their first five games.

Miami will look to move to 5-0 for the 13th time since 1950. The Hurricanes have started 5-0 five times since 2000: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2013.

Miami will be in search of its first win over Florida State since 2009 and its first victory against FSU at home since 2004.

Quarterback Brad Kaaya needs 320 yards passing to overtake Hurricane legend and Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta for fourth on the all-time career passing yards list.

Kaaya will look to throw for 200-or-more yards for the 22nd time his career. In 21 of his 29 career games, Kaaya has thrown for over 200 yards. He also has at least one touchdown in 26 career outings.

Senior wide receiver Stacy Coley needs just 28 yards to move into second place on the all-time kickoff return list.

Coley needs just four receptions to pass former Hurricane stars Phillip Dorsett (121), Allen Hurns (121) and Kellen Winslow (119) on the all-time reception list. With four receptions, Coley would move into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time list.

If running back Joe Yearby surpasses 100 yards rushing, it would mark the eighth time in his career in which he has passed the century mark and would tie him for eighth all-time with Frank Gore.

Senior offensive lineman Danny Isidora will look to make his 31st consecutive start. Isidora’s current consecutive start streak of 30 games is the team’s longest.

Ahmmon Richards needs just 87 yards to crack into the all-time top 10 for most receiving yards by a freshman pass catcher.


QB Brad Kaaya is in the midst of his junior season at Miami, in which he has already posted career numbers that rank among the most prolific in program history.

Kaaya was on the preseason watch lists for eight major honors: The Lombardi Award, the Manning Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, College Football Performance, the Davey O’Brien Award, American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, the Wuerffel Trophy and the Maxwell Award.

Kaaya’s 7,371 career passing yards are already the fifth-most in Miami history. His 3,238 passing yards as a sophomore in 2015 are tied for the sixth-most in a single season, while his 3,198 yards in 2014 are the eighth-most. He is the only QB with two individual seasons ranking in the top 10.

With his three touchdown passes at Appalachian State, Kaaya passed legendary Hurricane quarterbacks Craig Erickson, Gino Torretta, Steve Walsh and Vinny Testaverde on the all-time touchdown pass list.

Kaaya’s 50 career touchdown passes are ranked third all-time in Miami history.

Kaaya has thrown for 200 or more yards in 21 of his 29 career games and has eight career 300-yard performances. His career high of 405 yards came at Florida State on October 10, 2015.

Kaaya was one of just three players nationally to throw for 3,000-or-more yards, 10-or-more touchdowns and five-or-fewer interceptions in 2015.

As a freshman in 2014, Kaaya was named the ACC Offensive and ACC Overall Rookie of the Year after a stellar first campaign with the Hurricanes.


In two career games against Florida State, quarterback Brad Kaaya has been at his best, throwing for 721 yards (360.5), five touchdowns and just one interception.

His 405-yard passing performance last year at Florida State served as the most yards a Miami signal-caller has ever thrown for in Tallahassee.


Running back Mark Walton has rushed for over 100 yards on the ground in three of the Hurricanes’ four games this season.

Walton scored a touchdown on the first play of the game at Appalachian State, as he raced 80 yards for the score. His 80-yard run was the longest of his young career.

Walton’s 80-yard touchdown run against Appalachian State remains as the longest rush in the ACC this season.

In 17 career games, Walton has scored 18 touchdowns (17 rushing, one receiving).

Walton currently ranks 19th nationally in rushing yards per game, averaging 111.3 yards per game. He also ranks third nationally in rushing touchdowns with eight.

Walton’s 7.06 yards per carry ranks 15th nationally.

On Sept. 10 against FAU, Walton rushed for a career-high 155 yards. He also scored a career-high four touchdowns against the Owls. In two career games against FAU, Walton has totaled seven rushing touchdowns.

Walton got off to an impressive start to the 2016 season, as he rushed for a then-career-high 116 yards and had one touchdown against FAMU.

Walton delivered an impressive first season with the Hurricanes as a freshman in 2015, ranking second on the team with 1,054 all-purpose yards and first with 10 total touchdowns.

Walton’s 10 touchdowns - nine rushing and one receiving - were tied with Stacy Coley (2013) for second-most by a Miami freshman since 2000.

Walton, who had 461 rushing yards and 293 receiving yards, was one of just 11 freshman running backs nationally with eight-or-more rushing touchdowns in 2015.


Miami freshman linebackers Michael Pinckney, Shaquille Quarterman and Zach McCloud have made an immediate impact in their first seasons at The U.

The three rookie linebackers have combined for 47.0 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.

The Miami freshmen trio has started at linebacker in the Hurricanes’ last two games. UM is the only school in the nation that has started three true freshman linebackers.

Pinckney and Quarterman are currently tied for the team lead with 20.0 tackles, while McCloud ranks 15th on the team in tackles.


The Hurricanes return to Hard Rock Stadium for the first time since Sept. 10. In two home games this season, Miami has outscored its opponents by a 108-13 mark and has posted a 2-0 record.

Since 2012, Miami has posted a 22-6 record at home.


Punter Justin Vogel has gotten off to a strong start to his senior campaign through four games. The Tampa, Fla., native has 16 punts for 692 yards. His 43.2 yards per punt average ranks fourth in the ACC and 37th nationally.

Vogel has six punts inside the 20-yard line and has four that have gone over 50 yards.

Vogel earned Preseason All-ACC honors after a stellar junior season in which he was recognized with All-ACC third-team honors by media and All-ACC honorable mention from the league’s coaches.

Vogel averaged 42.5 yards per punt in 2015, while his 73-yarder against Clemson on Oct. 24 was the longest of any ACC punter in 2015. He totaled 13 punts of 50 yards or more last season.

Vogel was one of 28 punters to be named to the watch list for the 2016 Ray Guy Award. Vogel is a three-time Ray Guy Award nominee and was a semifinalist for the award in 2014.

After spending the 2013 season at Florida, Vogel averaged 42.8 yards per punt and 62.1 yards on kickoffs in 2014. He was named third-team All-ACC by Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.


Wide receiver Stacy Coley has established himself as one of the Hurricanes’ top pass catchers of all-time. In 40 career games, Coley has hauled in 118 receptions (10th all-time) for 1,675 yards and 15 touchdowns (tied for eighth all-time).

He currently stands as the team’s leading pass catcher with 15 receptions.

In his last two outings, Coley caught nine passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns.

Coley has caught a pass in 13 straight games.

Coley had a dominant freshman season in 2013, earning freshman All-America honors and All-ACC recognition after leading the team with 1,461 all-purpose yards.

After a quiet 2014, he returned to form in 2015. Despite missing two games with a hamstring injury, Coley finished second on the team in catches (47) and receiving yards (689).

Coley’s 79.2 yards-per-game average in conference play ranked second in the ACC last season.

He caught at least three passes in each of his final nine games in 2015, and had 678 yards over that span.

Following the 2015 campaign, he earned All-ACC Second Team (Coaches) and All-ACC Third Team (ACSMA) recognition.


Junior Michael Badgley enjoyed a prolific season in 2015, setting the single-season record for made field goals (25) and besting the previous school record held by Jon Peattie (22, 2003).

Badgley has connected on 26 extra points this season. He has now made 71 straight PAT kicks and 100 for his career. He is 2-for-4 in field goal attempts this season.

Against Appalachian State, Badgley connected on six extra points and a season-long 44-yard field goal. He is a perfect 13-of-13 in field goal attempts from between 40-49 yards during his UM career.

Badgley tied a UM record when he hit a 57-yard field goal against Georgia Tech in 2015.

The Summit, N.J., native set a school record when he hit five field goals against Nebraska in 2015, and would tie that mark later in the season with five field goals against Pittsburgh.

Badgley’s 2.08 field goals per game average ranked first in Division I last season, while his 25 made field goals were tied for fourth-most in the nation. He ranked 16th in scoring (9.6 points per game).


Miami running backs Mark Walton and Joe Yearby have combined to rush for 766 yards this season.

Louisville’s rushing duo of Lamar Jackson and Brandon Radcliff are the only other rushing tandem in the ACC that have more combined yards than Walton and Yearby.

Walton (445) and Yearby (321) have accounted for 82 percent of the Hurricanes rushing output this year.

In addtion, Walton (48) and Yearby (30) have combined for 78 points. Both players have scored a least one touchdown in every game this season.

Both Walton (Booker T. Washington) and Yearby (Miami Central) attended Miami-area high schools before joining the Hurricanes.

Consistent canes

Offensive lineman Danny Isidora, leads all Hurricanes with 30 straight starts.

Fellow offensive linemen Nick Linder and Trevor Darling also have proven to be mainstays on the Hurricanes’ offensive line as they have both started 22 straight games.

Isidora, Linder, Darling and running back Joe Yearby were the only Hurricanes to start every game last season.

Miami’s active all-time start leaders include quarterback Brad Kaaya (29), defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins (26) and wide receiver Stacy Coley (24).


Miami is 17-1 since 2011 when forcing three-or-more turnovers, plus the Canes have won 62 of their last 66 games when recording at least three takeaways.

The list of three-takeaway games since 2011:

Date Opponent Turnovers Forced

Oct. 22, 2011: Miami 24, Georgia Tech 7 3 turnovers forced

Sept. 1, 2012: Miami 41, Boston College 32 3 turnovers forced

Sept. 29, 2012: Miami 44, N.C. State 37 6 turnovers forced

Nov. 1, 2012: Miami 30, Virginia Tech 12 3 turnovers forced

Nov. 17, 2012: Miami 40, USF 9 3 turnovers forced

Sept. 7, 2013: Miami 21, Florida 16 5 turnovers forced

Sept. 21, 2013: Miami 77, Savannah State 7 4 turnovers forced

Sept. 28, 2013: Miami 49, USF 21 3 turnovers forced

Oct. 5, 2013: Miami 45, Georgia Tech 30 3 turnovers forced

Nov. 23, 2013: Miami 45, Virginia 26 4 turnovers forced

Sept. 27, 2014: Miami 22, Duke 10 3 turnovers forced

Oct. 11, 2014: Miami 55, Cincinnati 34 3 turnovers forced

Oct. 23, 2014: Miami 30, Virginia Tech 6 3 turnovers forced

Nov. 15, 2014: Florida State 30, Miami 26 3 turnovers forced

Sept. 11, 2015: Miami 44, Florida Atlantic 20 5 turnovers forced

Sept. 19, 2015: Miami 36, Nebraska 33 (OT) 3 turnovers forced

Oct. 17, 2015: Miami 30, Virginia Tech 20 4 turnovers forced

Oct. 1, 2016: Miami 35, Georgia Tech 21 3 turnovers forced


Miami has scored 188 points through four games this season.

The Hurricanes are averaging 47.0 points per game, which ranks fourth in the NCAA and second in the ACC.

The Hurricanes have outgained their opponents 1,897-1,013 through four games this season.

Miami scored 70-or-more points for just the third time in school history on Sept. 3 as the Hurricanes hung 70 points on FAMU in their home opener.

Miami’s offense over the past two seasons has been among the most explosive in program history, ranking second in 2014 (5,594) and ninth in 2015 (5,161).

UM compiled 5,536 total yards in 2013, which ranks as the third-best total in history.


Teams rarely beat Miami when scoring 10-or-fewer points.

The Hurricanes are now 161-2 in their last 163 games when holding opponents to 10 points or less, after winning 45-10 at Appalachian State. That run goes back to Oct. 1, 1977, ironically, a season that began with Miami holding its first two opponents to exactly 10 points apiece and still losing both of those games.

The only 10 points allowed-or-less losses since: Nov. 8, 2003 to Tennessee (10-6) and Sept. 5, 2005 to Florida State (10-7).


Craig Kuligowski, who is widely regarded as one of the top defensive line coaches in the country, has already made an immediate impact in his first season at Miami. The Hurricanes currently lead the nation in tackles for loss per game (12.0) and are ranked fourth in sacks per per game (4.0).

Through four games, Miami has totaled 48 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. In 2015, the Hurricanes recorded 66 tackles for loss and 26 sacks for the entire season.

Prior to arriving at Miami, Kuligowski spent 15 years at Missouri where his defensive line units frequently ranked among the nation’s best in tackles for loss and sacks.


Under first year defensive coordinator and Miami native Manny Diaz, the Hurricanes are ranked in the top five nationally in the top five nationally in passing yards allowed (No. 3, 137.8), scoring defense (No. 2, 11.0), tackle for loss (No. 1, 120) total defense (No. 7, 253.3) and team passing efficiency defense (No. 6, 92.2).

Miami has allowed just five touchdowns in its last 18 quarters, dating back to last season.

Miami’s defense has started and finished games strong, as it has not allowed a single point in the first and fourth quarters.

This past week against Georgia Tech, Miami’s defense accounted for 12 points as freshmen Shaquille Quarterman and Joe Jackson each returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Against Appalachian State, Miami held the Mountaineers to just 2.6 yards per carry on the ground.

Miami dominated FAU in the first half, as it held the Owls to just one yard rushing on 17 attempts. The Hurricanes also did not allow the Owls to convert one third-down conversion as they went 0-for-11. FAU finished the game with just 46 yards.

The Hurricanes opened the year on a high note, as they held FAMU to just 43 second half yards.


The Hurricanes’ offensive line has paved the way for 930 rushing yards this season. Miami’s ground attack is averaging 272.0 yards per game, which ranks ninth in the country.

Through four games, the Hurricanes have totaled 232 plays and have allowed just 11.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. Miami opponents are averaging just 2.75 tackles for loss per game - a figure that leads the ACC and ranks fourth nationally.

Center Nick Linder was named to the Lombardi Award, Outland Award and Rimington Trophy preseason watch lists. Fellow offensive lineman Danny Isidora also was named to the Outland Award watch list.

UM entered the 2015 season with one of the youngest offensive lines in the ACC, totaling 23 starts. Miami offensive linemen now have 100 career starts.

In 13 games last season, Miami’s youthful offensive line, which consisted of a combination of one redshirt freshman, three sophomores and two juniors, allowed the Hurricanes to average 401.4 yards per game in total offense.


Miami special teams have played a major factor in the Hurricanes’ four wins this season.

Sophomore RJ McIntosh blocked his first career punt against FAU on Sept. 10. It marked the second straight week in which a Miami player had blocked a punt. Pat Bethel blocked a punt in the Hurricanes’ season opener against FAMU.

Junior Braxton Berrios’ 41-yard punt return for a touchdown in Miami’s season opener against FAMU was the first of his career. It also marked the first time a Hurricane had scored on a punt return since Corn Elder did so against Bethune-Cookman in 2015.

Junior kicker Michael Badgley has connected on 26 extra points this season.

Senior Justin Vogel ranks fourth in the ACC in punting, averaging 43.2 yards per punt.


Miami currently has 43 #ProCanes on NFL rosters; 22 of 32 NFL teams had at least one former Cane on their roster, while the Indianapolis Colts lead all teams with four.

Miami had two players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft this past year: DB Artie Burns (1st round, PIT) and DB Deon Bush (4th, CHI).

Miami had eight former student-athletes sign free agent contracts following the 2015 season: Rashawn Scott (MIA), Tracy Howard (CLE), Ufomba Kamalu (DEN), Calvin Heurtelou (HOU), Herb Waters (GB), Tyriq McCord (PIT) and Raphael Kirby (DET).

The Hurricanes have had five or more players taken in the NFL Draft on 24 separate occasions since 1980.

Ninety five Hurricanes have been picked in the NFL Draft since the start of the 2000 season, a figure that is tied for second-most among all NCAA programs.

Miami’s 29 NFL first-round draft picks since 2000, including Artie Burns (No. 25 overall) in 2016, are the most among all NCAA programs.


Cornerback Corn Elder has continued to build off of his strong junior campaign. Through four games in 2016, Elder has totaled 15.0 tackles (14.0 solo), 1.0 tackle for loss, 1.0 sack, one interception and three pass breakups.

His three pass break ups are team-best. His 14.0 solo tackles rank third on the team.

In the Hurricanes’ home opener against FAMU, Elder picked off a pass and tallied a pair of tackles.

In Miami’s first road game of the year at Appalachian State, Elder tied a career high with 7.0 tackles. He also tallied a sack, a tackle for loss, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.

During the Canes’ last outing at Georgia Tech, Elder registered 3.0 tackles and one pass break up.

Elder emerged as one of Miami’s top playmakers in 2015.

Elder took the final lateral of "The Return" 91 yards to give Miami a 30-27 win over Duke in 2015.

Elder tied for fifth in the ACC with 13 passes defended (1.0 per game).

Elder led all UM cornerbacks in sacks with 2.0 in 2015.


This season Miami will select its captains on a game-by-game basis.

In week five, junior kicker Michael Badgley, senior safety Jamal Carter, senior cornerback Corn Elder and junior quarterback Brad Kaaya will represent the Hurricanes during the coin toss against Florida State.


Week 1: Jamal Carter, Danny Isidora, Brad Kaaya and Justin Vogel

Week 2: Braxton Berrios, Corn Elder, Nick Linder, Rayshawn Jenkins

Week 3: Braxton Berrios, Shaquille Quarterman, Sheldrick Redwine, Marquez Williams

Week 4: Michael Badgley, Danny Isidora, Kendrick Norton, Chad Thomas


Redshirt junior running back Gus Edwards returned to the lineup against FAMU. Edwards missed the entire 2015 season with a foot injury suffered during preseason training camp.

In his first action since 2014, Edwards rushed for 106 yards on seven carries and one touchdown.

Edwards rushed for 349 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore in 2014 after posting 337 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman. He has a career rushing average of 5.4 yards.


Miami had 13 freshmen make their debuts on Sept. 3 against FAMU in the form of DL Pat Bethel, DB Romeo Finley, RB Travis Homer, DL Joe Jackson, DB Jeff James Jr., TE Michael Irvin II, LB Zach McCloud, WR Dionte Mullins, LB Michael Pinckney, LB Shaquille Quarterman, WR Ahmmon Richards, DB Cedrick Wright and DB Malek Young.

McCloud, Pinckney, Quarterman and Richards also started for the Hurricanes.


• "Voice of the Hurricanes" Joe Zagacki and color commentator Don Bailey, Jr. return to the booth for their 15th year of Miami football on the radio.

The radio team has broadcast 218 straight games together.

2016 Miami Hurricane Football Affiliates

Miami’s Sports Radio 560 WQAM: Miami- Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach

WKWF AM Sports Radio1600: Key West- Marathon-Key Largo

ESPN West Palm 106.3FM: West Palm Beach

WPSL 1590 The Talk of the Treasure Coast: Stuart-Ft Pierce-Port St Lucie

WSTU AM 1450 Martin County’s Heritage Station: Stuart-Jupiter

WFWN 97.3 The Fan: FT Myers-Naples

WHOO 1080 SPORTS TALK 1080 Orlando-Kissimmee

WHBO 1040 Sports Talk 1040: Tampa-St Petersburg

WXIC 1060 AM: Melbourne-Titusville

1010XL-92.5FM: Jacksonville Sports Radio - Jacksonville - St. Augustine

1490 WTKE: Fox Sports Radio Northwest Florida’s New Home for Sports-Pensacola


The University of Miami football team welcomes No. 17/16 North Carolina to Hard Rock Stadium. The game time is set for 3:30 p.m.