The game we have all been waiting for is finally here, as it’s Miami, Florida St weekend. The Canes are coming off an emotional 16-12 victory over the Pitt Panthers and head to Tallahassee for a chance to go over .500 on the season. Both teams sit at 4-4 and have left some very winnable games on the docket. Florida St has blown multiple leads, while our Canes have had issues closing games out in the 4th quarter. Manny Diaz announced Jarren Williams will get the start, so for the 3rd straight season a Miami QB will make their 1st start in the rivalry game.
Must Be Stout Upfront
Cam Akers has finally blossomed into the star Running Back that FSU thought they were getting a few seasons ago. So far, Cam has rushed for 917 yards with 12 TDs and added 21 catches with 3 more scores through the air. It is not a stretch to say that Cam Akers is the best offensive player Miami has or will face all season, and the Canes can’t allow him to carry a mediocre Seminoles offense. We have seen in years past Devonta Freeman and Dalvin Cook single handedly destroy Miami’s defensive gameplan by simply being better than the Canes. Akers has that same type of ability, so Miami will their stout run defense to step up. That means Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, and the rotation of defensive linemen must be gap sound and tackle way better than they did against Georgia Tech. Miami only gives up 106.1 per game on the ground so Miami can be up to the challenge.
Calm The Nerves
Jarren Williams will make his 1st start against the Noles in Tallahassee which normally isn’t an easy task. Williams has started for most of the season including the opener against Florida and has been very efficient. Williams also has to be feeling good after leading the team to the win against Pitt last week on the road. When Williams is at his best, he is making accurate rhythm throws to keep the chains moving. Florida St can be had through the air as the Noles are giving up 275.3 per game. Miami has slowly gotten better on the offensive line and if they can give Jarren time to throw, Miami should be in business.
D.J. Matthews and Khalan Laborn have already run off at the mouth about beating Miami, so it’s time to see who can back up the trash talk. This game is usually more emotional than your typical regular season game, so the Canes must display discipline and not get drawn into unnecessary drama that results in flags. Miami hlso must make kicks when they are available, and Manny Diaz must coach the game like any other. Both teams have the opportunity to change the demeanor of their season if they can win this rivalry game.
Miami won for the 1st time on the road last week, so confidence should be high. The best part is that no matter what the records are, in this game both teams usually play close to their best. I expect a close hard fought battle, with a late play or 2 determining the outcome.