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Big Time Players Step Up In Big Games

19 Notable Plays in the Last 19 years

Dan Morgan #44
Dan Morgan picked off Chris Weinke at the end of the first half, preserving Miami’s 17-0 lead.

After Miami beat FSU in 2000, Santana Moss was interviewed by an on-field reporter and he championed Rohan Marley’s now-ubiquitous catch phrase, “big time players, step up in big games.” To get you ready for the 2019 version of one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports, here are 19 big-time plays, made by Miami players against FSU, in the last 19 years.

2000 (Miami 27-24)

1. Dan Morgan picked off a pass from Chris Weinke at Miami’s goal line, just seconds before halftime, to preserve Miami’s 17-0 lead.

2. Ken Dorsey threw the game-winning pass to “backup” tight end, Jeremy Shockey, in what was Shockey’s coming out party.

2002 (Miami 28-27)

3. Willis McGahee took a simple screen pass, down 27-21 with just over five minutes to go in regulation, 68 yards to the FSU 11, setting up a Jason Geathers touchdown run the next play.

2003 (Miami 22-14)

4. Sean Taylor intercepted a pass from Chris Rix for a touchdown with four minutes to go before halftime, putting Miami up 19-0. Sean Taylor got his hands on six passes from Chris Rix, picking off two in the monsoon conditions.

2004 (Miami 16-10 in OT)

5. Devin Hester blocked a field goal late in the game that would have put FSU up 13-3, ending any chance of Miami winning the game.

6. Sinorice Moss took a short screen pass, with under a minute to go, for a touchdown into the open endzone of a frenzied Orange Bowl.

7. In OT, Miami’s defense prevented FSU from scoring by recovering a fumble and plays later, Frank Gore outran the FSU defense for the game-winning touchdown.

2007 (Miami 37-29)

8. Kirby Freeman threw a dime to Dedrick Epps for a touchdown, to take a 30-29 lead with a minute remaining.

9. Teraz McCray forced a fumble the ensuing FSU drive that Colin McCarthy recovered for a TD, effectively icing the game.

2009 (Miami outlasted FSU, 38-34)

10. Down 31-24, Jacory Harris scrambled on 3rd and 6 with under 9 minutes to go in the 4th, to throw a 25 yard strike to Travis Benjamin.

11. Later that drive, Graig Cooper made an awkward TD catch on a double-move to tie the game up at 31.

12. On Miami’s final drive, Jacory Harris threw a perfect pass to Travis Benjamin with two minutes to go, which set up Miami’s game winning touchdown.

2017 (Miami 24-20)

13. Braxton Berrios made not one, but two great touchdown catches for Miami, when it had no answer to its redzone woes.

14. Braxton Berrios evaded a tackler and took a simple drag route on 3rd and 10 for a first down with mere seconds to go, setting up:

15. Darrel Langham’s TD catch on a perfect pass from Malik Rosier sealed Miami’s first win against FSU since 2009. The play will forever be enshrined in Miami Hurricanes iconography.

2018 (Miami 28-27)

16. Seemingly dead in the water down 27-7 in the third quarter, Sheldrick Redwine smashed Deondre Francois, forcing him to fumble deep inside FSU territory. The play set up Miami’s first touchdown since the first quarter.

17. Michael Pinckney picked off a screen pass the very next drive, which set up another Miami touchdown.

18. After Pinckney’s interception, Jeff Thomas made an extraordinary touchdown catch on a great pass from N’Kosi Perry to bring the Canes to 21-27 in their comeback effort.

19. N’Kosi Perry threw a perfect pass to a streaking Brevin Jordan which gave Miami its first lead of the game late in the third quarter, 28-27.

Honorable Mention


  • Santana Moss made two big time runs after the catch on Miami’s game winning TD drive. The whole drive featured clutch play after clutch play by Moss, Dorsey, and Shockey.


  • Sean Taylor destroyed PK Sam across the middle with under five minutes to go on third down, in what should have been called a catch and fumble.


  • Sean Taylor recovered a blocked punt deep inside FSU territory, which set up a field goal.


  • Miami’s DajLeon Farr caught a touchdown pass on a perfectly executed fake field goal, putting Miami up 24-23 in the third quarter.


  • Randy Phillips made a diving interception just before halftime in Miami’s endzone, to secure a 14-10 halftime lead.
  • After FSU took a 23-14 lead, Graig Cooper returned the ensuing kickoff to FSU’s 30 yard line, which sucked the energy out of Doak and led to a field goal, keeping Miami alive in the game.
  • Down 31-24 in the 4th, Leonard Hankerson moved the chains, by making three guys miss on a short screen pass he took for 17 yards and a first down.

2016 (FSU 20-19)

  • Jaquan Johnson made an interception deep inside Miami territory to preserve Miami’s 3-0 lead in the second quarter.
  • Corn Elder stretched out to stop a pass on 3rd and 10 inside Miami territory. Miami’s defense was great in the 2016 game.
  • Mark Walton made a number of guys miss on a long run that would have probably won the game for Miami if it was not called back.
  • Braxton Berrios returned a punt deep inside FSU territory to set up:
  • Brad Kaaya threw a perfect touchdown pass on 4th down to Stacy Coley that would have tied the game up if Miami could kick PATs.


  • A Michael Jackson interception stopped a driving FSU to secure a mere 3-0 halftime deficit.
  • In the early third quarter, Ahmmon Richards caught a 33-yard reception down the sideline which led to a field goal, Miami’s first points of the game, to tie the game at 3 apiece.
  • That same drive, Ahmmon Richards destroyed AJ Westbrook on a crack back block, which ignited the Canes’ sideline.


  • Jeff Thomas made a leaping catch in traffic, down 27-21 to keep Miami’s momentum going. The next play, N’Kosi Perry threw a perfect pass to Brevin Jordan for the game-winning touchdown.