How do you define a rivalry game? My definition is a game that matters more than any game on the schedule. Florida State has always been that game for our Miami Hurricanes and in 2019 that is not any different.
This game has always been a sense of joy and pride for Miami Hurricanes fans alike. For many years FSU has always been seen as the little brother to the Canes, the team that tried their hardest to be Miami, and the team that was the most fun to beat. 5 National Championship, where at least 2 of them went directly through the Seminoles shows that Miami is superior, and in 2019 the race to getting back to respectability starts Saturday at 330pm.
Here are my Five Favorite Miami FSU games:
2017 - Historically this game will not go down as one of the most significant, but personally it brings back tears of joy. FSU was on a 7 game winning streak in the series, and Miami desperately needed a win. The Canes were down 3 with a little over 2 minutes to go when Malik Rosier would engineer a game winning drive for the ages. Darrell Langham would haul in the game winning catch with 4 seconds left and all the Canes fans in attendance would go bananas. It was significant to me because it was my wife’s 1st ever college football game, and she may have seen me shed a few happy tears after the game. She realized then how much Miami winning meant to me.
2002 - Miami was on top of the college football world, so my friends and I took the 10 hour drive from Atlanta to Miami for the annual clash. Canes were lethargic for stretches of the game before rallying to take a 28-27 lead. FSU would get one last chance to win but ultimately fail like many times before missing a Field Goal Wide Left, and the Canes would go on to another National Title Game appearance. One of my best friends had never been to a college football game, so getting to take him to the Orange Bowl completely blew his mind.
1987 - What an unbelievable comeback by Steve Walsh, Michael Irvin, Danny Stubbs, Mel Bratton and the rest of the Canes. This was the 1st game as a kid where I really knew and comprehended how important this game was for both teams. Back in those days I always expected Miami to win, so to see them down 19-3 and struggling was a complete shock. The Canes would go on to win National Title number 2, although I always applauded Bobby Bowden for going for 2 and the win.
1991 - Two words became synonymous with this rivalry on that day: Wide Right. Gerry Thomas would miss a 34 yarder with seconds remaining as Miami would win 17-16 in a 1 vs 2 battle. This game was 3 days after my 16th Birthday and unbeknownst to me, my mom had a surprise party planned for me. The game was dwindling down but people kept ringing our doorbell interrupting my game viewing. As Thomas missed the FG there were about 40 friends huddled around a 19 inch TV to celebrate a Canes victory. I’m not going to deny the utter tears of joy I felt at that time, and it would carry on as Miami would win National Title number 4 later that year.
2000 - After years of being a fan, I was finally able to afford to go to my 1st ever Miami FSU game. A group of 15 of us had 3rd row seats on the 10 yard line on the FSU side. Miami had lost 5 straight to the Noles and needed this win to show that they were truly back among college footballs elite. 17-0 at halftime and the Orange Bowl was unhinged with trash talking Miami fans. FSU would rally to take a late lead, but Ken Dorsey, Santana Moss, Reggie Wayne and Jeremy Shockey would lead the Canes for the win. We would have to wait for Matt Munyon to do the inevitable, and miss another kick Wide Right. I was sunburnt, hungover, dehydrated (orange bowl was out of water) and felt like I played in the game. I can honestly say through the birth of my son, the marriage to my beautiful wife, and having a great career in radio, that this was one of the happiest days of my life.
Miami means that much to me, beating FSU means that much to me. Saturday I’ll be loading up all three of my children, and my wife in the car and make the 3-1/2 hour track to Tallahassee and hopefully I have another on of these moments. Let’s Go Canes!