Playing at the original site of the Orange Bowl, this game has an incredible amount of history for Miami. Despite that, FIU vs. Miami is a matchup that’s lacking in installments — even before the infamous brawl in 2006.
For the ‘Canes though, this game shouldn’t play-out as a rivalry game, despite both schools calling Miami home. FIU (5-5) has little-to-no ‘quality’ victories and isn’t a team that Miami should struggle with. With that said though, Manny Diaz and company struggled mightily with Central Michigan earlier this season — nudging-past them by a score of 17-12.
Since then, however, it seems that Miami has learned how to beat ‘subpar’ teams.
Through harsh learning pains and curves, the ‘Canes seem to finally be one their way. After a disheartening loss against a 2-win Georgia Tech team earlier in the season, Miami went on the road to win a thriller against Pittsburgh, dominate Florida State, and came home to obliterate Louisville.
Interestingly, bye weeks have somewhat of a ‘curse’ for Manny Diaz in his first season as head coach. The ‘Canes had a bye week during the first week of the college football season, as their game against Florida came during week ‘zero.’ The following week, they lost a heartbreaker against North Carolina. The ‘Canes had another bye after sneaking-past the Chippewas but lost to Virginia Tech the following Saturday.
So, how will the ‘Canes perform out of the gate this time around? It’s hard to predict. Taking the entire season into account, it seems like Miami is a completely different team now. They’re able to start fast, provide time for Jarren Williams to throw, and the defense has rallied in a major way — looking similar to 2018’s group.
Ultimately, a win is what’s important. However, the fashion in how Miami does is essential for confidence in the program. Miami has never lost to FIU — a feat that should obviously be upheld. Facing Butch Davis and a cross-town program, emotions will surely be high — but the ‘Canes have to take care of business.