Some of the most epic college football games have been produced by the Miami-FSU rivalry. This “Flashback Friday” looks at one of my favorites of the new millennium, Then #2 Miami’s 22-14 win over the #5 Noles in 2003.
In one of the wettest games I can remember the visiting Hurricanes rode epic performances from Jarrett Payton (who got his first college start after Frank Gore was lost for the season with a knee injury), the late, great Sean Taylor (RIP) and Kellen Winslow Jr. to emerge from the turnover riddled deluge victorious. Payton had worn his dad’s number 34 Bears jersey to bed before the big game and racked up 97 yards rushing and caught a 14 yard TD pass. Winslow caught 7 passes for 107 yards in the game.
Taylor intercepted two Chris Rix passes (he also had 2 fumbles in that game and probably still has nightmares about it), returning one 49 yards for what would be the game winning touchdown. "Our motto was, 'We're going to come in here and punch them in the mouth," Taylor told reporters after the game. "And we weren't going to stop punching them in the mouth."
The sloppy game featured 10 total turnovers and even had one of the most bizarre “onside” kick recoveries after Darnell Jenkins took hold of a shanked kickoff by Brian Monroe. In the end the Canes emerged on top of this rivalry game, cementing it as one of the wildest of the series.