As the rhythm of the band pumped out the fight song over a mostly silent crowd, Jarren Williams pulled his imaginary arrow back and released it into the night sky. The timing was perfect. After all, Miami had just taken a 23-10 lead over its archrival Florida State on a perfect throw in stride to Dee Wiggins that gave Williams his second perfectly thrown long touchdown pass on the day.
While much of the failed 2019 campaign made you wonder if Williams and the rest of the quarterbacks could even hit a dart board at any given time, there was no doubt that Williams’ strike to Wiggins was a bullseye --- and one that hit its biggest rival right in the heart.
Sure, go on Twitter for five minutes and you’ll see Miami and FSU fans poking jabs at each other for their respective failed seasons. Nole fans will give legitimate thanks about being able to move on from Taggart, and will chide Miami’s late-season face plants against FIU, Duke, and La Tech. But make no mistake: FSU fans wanted that win against Miami BADLY. The social media turnabout would have been vicious against Miami fans had the result been different.
Thanks to the enigmatic Williams’ steady arm on November 2, Miami got the last laugh.
After a solid first half on both sides of the ball that saw the Canes take a 17-3 lead to the locker room, the Noles pulled within 17-10 after five minutes of the third quarter. What followed was a slow grind of punts, turnovers, and sacks by both teams.
Then, with 12:13 left in the game, Miami started 1st and 10 at the FSU 44-yard line. Williams lined up in the pistol formation, three wide, with Deejay Dallas behind him. He turned and faked the handoff to Dallas, looked up field, and lofted the ball deep downfield. Dee Wiggins had gotten a step on the cornerback on a deep post route and was ahead of the safety, over whom the ball passed into Wiggins waiting hands in stride. In a perfect microcosm of the day for the Noles, the corner raised his hands in a WTF manner as Wiggins crossed the goal line, pushing the Canes advantage to two touchdowns.
With the way the Miami defense was living in the FSU backfield, that play would turn out to be the backbreaker in Miami’s 27-10 win and undoubtedly served as the high point of the season.
The defense was the story of the day, with Gregory Rousseau notching an incredible four of Miami’s nine sacks on the day and making life generally miserable for Alex Hornibrook. Somewhat lost in it was Williams’ effectiveness. Jarren went 21-37 for 316 yards and the two long touchdowns to Thomas and Wiggins and was generally impressive, despite the stagnant third quarter from the offense. Watching Williams, it felt a few times like watching Jacory Harris’ 2009 performance in Tallahassee with the touch on those deep balls.
There will be the FSU Twitter trolls who will say who cares, both teams suck, you’re beating our worst teams ever, etc. etc. and throw up smoke and mirrors to try to steal our joy. That’s just a crock. FSU-Miami matters now, has mattered for decades, and will keep on mattering for the foreseeable future. It’s the game that makes you giddy to win, no matter what the state of the teams are.
Thanks to a perfect ball from Williams to Wiggins, the bragging rights over FSU extend for yet another year. And for that, it’s our offensive play of the season for Miami. Go Canes.