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100 Greatest Plays In Miami History: #23-Defensive Stand On Final Play Secures Upset Win At FSU 2009

It was an offensive shootout throughout the game, but the defense decided the final play.

Florida State vs. Miami Photo by Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images

The 2009 battle between the Canes and the Florida State Seminoles was one of the most exciting and dramatic ever to be played in the history of the rivalry. Unranked Miami took on the #18 Noles on Labor Day night in week one of the season.

Defense was in short supply all game long. Jacory Harris threw for 386 yards for the Hurricanes, and Christian Ponder was no slouch for FSU, tossing for 294 yards himself. Harris drove the Canes down late in the fourth quarter, which ended in a Graig Cooper touchdown to give Miami a 38-34 lead with under two minutes to play.

Ponder however, drove the Seminoles down the field and put them in a position to win the game with a go-ahead touchdown, as they reached the Miami 10-yard line with 23-seconds to go. The Hurricanes defense held strong, and it came down to one final play with five seconds left.

Watching this game as a 14-year old, I initially thought, and I'm sure I wasn’t alone, that Jarmon Fortson caught the touchdown and FSU had won the game. Though, Brad Nessler uttered those beautiful words, “No! Incomplete! I thought Fortson had it. The Canes have survived.” To hear the Miami fight song being played in victory in Tallahassee was a lovely sound.