With both teams sitting at 4-4 on the year, this matchup between the rival schools will heavily impact their ultimate success for the remainder of the season — per usual.
The seasons that Miami and Florida State have had thus far are eerily similar though. Both teams lost their season openers against out-of-conference opponents, both of them ‘almost’ lost to G5 teams, and both of them have 3 conference losses — one coming against Clemson for the ‘Noles.
However, one thing Miami has done all season long is play ‘down’ to their opponent. Aside from their game against Bethune-Cookman, all of Miami’s matchups have been decided by less than 2 touchdowns — whether that be against Central Michigan, Georgia Tech, or Florida.
This sets the ‘Canes and ‘Noles up for yet another close-contest — the last 5 meetings have been decided by 5 points or ess.
A concern many ‘Canes fans have involves the ‘hangover’ following the rivalry game specifically. It happened last season, in 2016, 2014, and 2013 — although 2013’s ‘hangover’ was a 3-game losing streak, whereas in the other seasons mentioned resulted in 4 consecutive losses. Last season’s was unforeseen, as Miami beat the ‘Noles, making fans think the ‘Canes wouldn’t have much of an issue with Miami’s other conference opponents. Sadly, just the opposite occurred — Miami’s dreams of reaching the ACC Championship were gone in an instant.
The closeness of these meetings may also bring special teams into the spotlight, as this rivalry is famous for putting kickers in do-or-die situations. The ‘little’ things become more important in any close game though, which the ‘Canes have had to learn about the hard way.
Ultimately, this year isn’t looking any different in terms of competitiveness — a blow-out or dominating performance by either team would be shocking. Let’s hope Diaz can start his young career at Miami with a 1-0 record against the rival ‘Noles.